Friday, August 17, 2012

My Lesson in Humility

hu·mil·i·ty: nounthe quality or condition of being humblemodest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank, etc.

I'm a pretty good athlete. I work my ass off, and there's not a lot of sports I am awful at. However, I guess overall I'm pretty average. I honestly forget that though, because in my own little world I can always hold my own and be competitive. Team sports allow you to help rely on your teammates to push through and get a win. Today I was reminded, however, what a difference there is between elite level athletes and bums like me.

One of my co-workers at the gym used to run at Wright State in Ohio (a Division 1 school). She has been following my programming and diet plan for about 7 weeks now and has seen some ridiculous results. As of her last body comp test she had gained 4 pounds and lost about 2% bodyfat. Not only that, but her squat had gone from 95 pounds for 5 reps to 150 for 5 reps. Thats a pretty significant increase. (Yes, some of this can be accounted for because of her training age, but regardless it's a huge increase.)

This has been happening in conjuncture with another athlete doing some of my programming; another co-worker is going to the Olympic combine for bobsled/skeleton in a few weeks and her results have been ridiculous too. This other co-worker played softball at Boston University (another D1 athlete).

To be honest, I spent quite a bit of time thinking that I was just that good. Until today.

Kelsi is training for a half-marathon, and her workout for today called for 8 800 meter runs paced under 3:20 seconds. That equals out to running a mile in 6:40, which is the pace she wants to keep up during her race. That's pretty fast. She was looking for some company so Luis and I decided it was worthwhile to join her. My stupid ass was (obviously) talking a bunch of shit about how I thought I could beat her in a 400 and would be able to do at least two of her 800's with her.

Well, I had to stop and puke after the first 400 meters.

It felt like the fastest 400 I've ever run. I can play volleyball all damn day and feel ok, but I puked after like 70 seconds of running. It was a weird pace for me; not a jog but not a sprint. Somewhere uncomfortably in-between. Luis finished the first 800 with her and then we continued on by doing magic miles (sprint the straights, walk the curves) while Kelsi continued with her regularly scheduled programming.

As we walked we would watch her run, and holy shit. That girl can move. I finally realized that the reason she and our other co-worker were crushing their programs had much less to do with me and much more to do with their natural ability. They are elite athletes. Division 1 athletes are very high in terms of what they are capable of. Seeing her crush her runs (faster than she had planned, while on "trash" legs) was a very very cool thing to see. Any time you get to see a high-level athlete do what they are great at, it's a cool experience.

It's also very humbling and a great way to remind yourself how average you are. It also serves to remind me how much harder I have to work. Nothing wrong with that, I've never been afraid of a little hard work.

Thanks for reading! Go do something awesome today.

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