How Fitness Embraces Failure

“Why Fitness Rocks”

by Paul Phillips – MudRunManiac.com

             900

As of today, 900 is the total number of burpees I have left to complete the 5K Burpee Challenge for March. This challenge has proved very difficult for me. Despite tweaking my approach each day and growing very efficient at the burpee exercise, my biggest hurdle has been setting aside the time to do them. In reality, I can do a couple hundred burpees in 25-minutes or less now. But, I’ve skipped a few days here and there that really dented my progress.

To compound matters, I slipped and fell on my ass this past Sunday. Actually, I landed on my hand and banged my knee pretty hard. The knee still works, but my right wrist is still a bit sore. I managed to eek out 300 burpees last night, but with the ABF 10K Mud Run this Saturday, I don’t have a lot of room for another slip-up (pun intended)!

Close But No Cigar

One thing I just won’t do is quit. I’m so close to completing the Challenge that, naturally, falling short would be a disappointment. But, whether or not I complete 5,000 burpees by March 31, the Challenge has been a great success. You see, I’ve learned to recognize that there is no shame in failing. In fact, failing at something is one of the most important things we can do to ultimately succeed…

Why Failure Rocks

Many people are good at what they do. But most people didn’t get good by being good all the time; instead, they likely failed several times along the way. You see, failure means that you tried something out-of-the-ordinary, outside your skill-set, or away from your comfort zone. If you failed at something, it means you tried something amazing and fell short. But that rocks!

In weight-lifting, “going to failure” means you perform as many repetitions of a given exercise with a given weight until you just can’t do anymore. In these terms, failure is a benchmark for putting forth an enormous amount of effort and skill in order to test your limits. Once you fail, you then have the opportunity to evaluate your journey, learn from your mistakes, and see how you can adapt or improve so that you can be even more epic the next time around. If you’re not failing, you’re likely not traveling too far out of your comfort zone. That’s when things get stale.

It’s easy to “succeed” when you don’t challenge yourself. Given enough “success,” you might find that you are no longer moving forward, evolving, nor growing. Have you peaked or have you just started to deteriorate?

Do Epic Work!

Hybrid Athlete Joe Vennare likes to use two simple words to motivate: “Do work!” I’d like to add a third: “Do EPIC work!” Do epic work and you are bound to fail. Fail so that you can learn, grow, and reach new limits. If at first you DO succeed, try to FAIL again.

Author: Mike Ryan

After 26 seasons as a full-time certified athletic trainer and registered physical therapist in the National Football League, Mike Ryan has outstanding first-hand experience. His unique professional and athletic background has sharpened his skills in the arts of sports injury management, elite rehabilitation, performance enhancement and injury prevention. Mike is now taking his experience to mainstream America. His mission is simple: Sports Medicine advice that is easy to use and brings fast results. Learn more about Mike Ryan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

15 − nine =