Progress Comes When You Least Expect It

Progress Comes When You Least Expect It

February 4th is my Crossfit anniversary. This is my second year and sometimes it feels like I’m not making much progress. Sure, my lifts go up maybe 5# or 10# almost every time I test, but WODs never get any easier (from what I hear, it never gets easier and that’s the point…). Some days I’m incredulous that I can’t get through the simplest of movements.

Anyway, I’ve been carrying around an old journal for the past week. I last used it about two years ago when I was way too busy for my own good. It’s filled with to do lists, reminders, and progress tracking. This morning, I finally had the opportunity to crack it open. As I flipped through the pages looking for a blank one, an entry caught my eye. It was from April 2014, titled “Exercise Goals > by July?” This was two months after I started.

Are you ready for this? Here are my goals

  • Deadlift ¾ body weight (187#)
  • Back squat 100#
  • Press 55#

Whaaaat? That’s where I started, y’all. I currently deadlift 255#, squat 180#, and press 95#! As I read through the entries, I saw more interesting numbers. My clean and jerk was 45# and I front squatted with a 15# bar (I’m way over these now!). The first Ladies I met were Diane and Christine. They were modified to death but I finished in 8:53 and 18:25, respectively.

Other entries started popping out at me. My gratitude statement for April 28th was, “Ben, trainer, said I’ve gotten better since the last time he saw me! That was about 1 month ago!” “Awesome workout today. Killed it!” “Took the body fat test and didn’t freak out about the number!”

There was also a quote I copied down from a blog (A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss), “You may never notice that you’re actually losing inches all the way around because you’re so focused on something that may take a while. Being hyper-focused on the giant things can make you overlook the small achievements that in the end, mean so much more.”

What a statement, right? It spoke the truth to me in that moment. In the past month or so, I’ve overlooked every single one of my little wins. This week alone, I shaved almost 3 seconds off my Everest time and did 15 burpees, then ran without wanting to die. I did 75# thrusters! Hell, the fact that I SHOW UP to Caffeinated 5 times a week is a win! Side note: You all see me more than my family, friends, and coworkers.

What an eye opener that was. Yes, I’m making progress, I just haven’t been able to recognize it. And because I haven’t recognized it, I haven’t celebrated! So here’s the change I’m making. Journaling is happening, starting now. I need to be able to compare April 2014 Sabrina to February 2016 Sabrina to March 2018 Sabrina. And I’ll try (I promise), that when I’m exhausted, miserable, and frustrated that I’ll change focus to my little wins. After all, I’m competing with myself and no one else.