Let Yourself Be Great

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A) 3×5 Press (+2 / +5) (15min)

B) AMRAP 3 for quality
6 Pull Ups
6 Pistols

Then, rest exactly 3 min

Then, for quality and time
Result of AMRAP above

C) 5RFQ on the 2:00
5 DL (60-65%)
10 Jumping lunges
Max situps
**1 min cutoff**


A) 3×5 Back Squat (+2 / +5) (20 min)

B) 4 Rounds for quality and pace on the 5:00
250m Row
200m Run
15 Burpees
**4 min cutoff**

Yesterday, I had asked the women’s class to write the first fear that popped into their heads when they saw the long, hard workout on the whiteboard. They scribbled away. The idea around writing their fears was that at the end of class, I envisioned them sharing that the fear had become a non-issue during the workout – that most certainly they would feel a major sense of accomplishment afterward.

Surprisingly, my experiment sort of back fired.

During the workout, I watched the women in my class do some amazing things. They pushed themselves farther than they thought possible and did things that some of them quite literally hadn’t done in over a decade. Afterward, they were raw with emotion as any forty-five minute grinder will do. I was, too, but I soon discovered for the opposite reason. I was tearing up because I witnessed their determination and a transformation that seemed crystal-clear to me. When I asked them what they thought of their fears then, they were quiet. We went around the circle and instead of listening to them bask in their success, I heard self-bashing. “I’m old and slow.” “I can’t believe how out of shape I am.” “I should have done better.” I couldn’t believe my ears. It broke my heart.

This kind of negative self-talk is common. I know it. We all mentally grapple with our shortcomings and where we think we should be, or how we should look, or how much more we should lift, or how fast we should run. I just make my women’s class admit it more. I feel the more they say it out loud – and release it from the dangerous traps of the mind — maybe they’ll recognize the ridiculousness of it. When that doesn’t work, I feel that maybe when they hear others berate themselves — and when they argue how silly that is — maybe, just maybe, I can get them to understand that they sound the same. If we can see the triumph of effort in others, why can’t we see it in ourselves?

One of the athletes in my class yesterday hadn’t run two miles in over fourteen years. Another for nearly nine years. Another athlete who feared many parts of the workout, did the whole thing without scaling reps. I was nearly crying at the end of class because of the bravery it took to take on such fears and to face the often monumental emotions of not feeling good enough. I wish they could just see what I see. As soon as they commend themselves for how great they are for just being there and for trusting me and themselves week in and week out, it will all feel so much better. The workouts will still hurt, but that feeling inside where we burst from endorphins and acceptance and we just allow ourselves to be effing awesome for just a minute – it makes us happy. Everything else in our lives becomes a brighter color, a better smell, a richer sound.

I wish anyone who can’t shake the negative self-talk could see what I see. But I guess I’ll just have keep describing it to them until they believe me.

Let yourself be great. It’s ok.

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Ryan being great.



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