“Embrace the Suck.” The phrase has applicability far beyond the walls of our gym, but for today our focus is on our training. In Ruth’s 2010 post “Embracing the Suck” she eludes to that pivotal moment when we truly commit ourselves to an effort. In life, as in our workouts, this moment of clarity can take place at different stages. For the less experienced, it often hits them mid-workout when they realize what they’ve gotten themselves into, as they push limits they never thought possible. For more experienced, it may occur when they read the workout online since they’ve been-there-and-done-that enough times to know what lies in store. Whenever the realization takes places, “Embracing the Suck” is a choice. It’s an attitude where we cast aside our fragile ego, we get over our self-doubt and negativity, and we fully commit ourselves. Reluctance all but fades away and our thoughts converge on what lies ahead (also known as getting in the “zone”).
This state of mind is ideal for training because our mind and body are in sync. Distractions really don’t phase us because we are dead set on the goal at hand. We come to terms with the suckage of our situation and focus on making the best of it. Let’s be clear, “Embracing the Suck” is not merely surviving the workout or competition just to make it through in one piece (although a lot can be said about mental toughness), but instead coming to grips with the given circumstances and giving one’s best effort to overcome. Much like when one comes to terms with their own mortality, one’s perspective shifts to making the most with the time they have left. This, to me, is truly “Embracing the Suck”.
Get over the fact that your workout is probably going to suck on some level, get your butt into the gym, and focus on how you can make the most of it. Have a plan of attack prior to jumping into the workout, but have the presence of mind to make changes on the fly as necessary. You’ll find that not only will your performance improve, but you might actually feel accomplished knowing you chose not to simply go through the motions but honestly give that day’s best effort both mentally and physically. And in the end that’s really all you can ask of yourself.
Back Squat 3×5
4 Handstand Pushups
8 Kettlebell Swings (70/53)