PROGRESS NOT PERFORMANCE

Feb 22, 2016

"These guys aren't from this planet!"  As I sit in the crowd at the 2013 CF Games this is, oddly enough, the most logical and rational sentence I can produce to describe what I'm seeing.  And what I'm seeing is athletes doing things I simply cannot...and faster than I can even imagine.  Honestly, it's an unusual feeling for me as I've spent much of my life on the opposite side of the experience.  Amidst all the cheering, activity and organized chaos, I realize quite quickly that what I'm getting is perspective.  As humans, perspective is good to have, but hard to get.  While sometimes you can seek it intentionally, more frequently it finds you when it pleases.  Perspective allows us to see ourselves more realistically, and in the end, to navigate life more effectively.

Stated simply, there's always someone better than us.  At everything.  And for each and every discipline there's only one person on the planet who doesn't have to admit this to themselves.  Well that's just downright depressing, right?  Maybe not. What if we take this as a chance to change the paradigm? To shift our focus.

Recently I noticed a particular 8th Day member had gained a tremendous amount of strength. She'd put on muscle mass (a good thing ladies! :-) and was lifting amounts of weight overhead she could barely get off the ground when she first joined.  After class I told her about my observations.  "Oh, thanks", she said, "but I'm not even close to as a strong as (enter any name here)."  It's an easy trap to fall into...using the measure of performance to judge ourselves by. We need a new metric: PROGRESS

Performance grabs the headlines. It turns heads.  Sets records.  And you know what...that'll never change. It's part of our human existence. We don't need to pretend like it doesn't matter. It's inspiring, and shows us the potential we have as humans to achieve. Yet it's progress that puts us all on level ground. Some athletes at 8th Day are striving to perform 20 unbroken muscle ups, while others are working hard for their first. Both are ascending their own personal mountain. You see we're all climbers...linked by the journey itself. So pursue great performances, but use them as stakes in the ground. Get yourself a training journal, and keep track of your numbers.  You'll never know where you are if you don't know where you've been.  And next time someone notices your progress, be happy and know that you’re succeeding at 8th Day!