There is no need to beat yourself up.

You are allowed to be proud of yourself.

Being proud doesn’t mean telling the world. But, a celebratory high-five, throwing your results up on the Pb board, or an Instagram pic are nothing to be ashamed of.

I am a firm believer in giving credit where it is due. Due when you have worked for it. That does not mean credit should not be given for what you would consider small, or insignificant progress. This is sometimes, where the most recognition is deserved, and often needed.

I recently put one of the girls I coach through a de-load week, concurrently with a small amount of testing. Often it can be hard to stay motivated and driven, training by yourself in isolation. I wanted to show her that she is progressing.

This particular day I had programmed that she ‘build to a heavy Clean & Jerk’. I had also said, that if she missed a weight she is to stop.

She sent me a video of her last successful lift which was in fact her current best to date…

“That 75kg Clean was so easy! Well-done”

She then replied…

“Well done? That was so bad”.

I laughed, and replied…

“So bad, are you wasted? Look at how much faster you stand up. Last time you cleaned that weight it almost crushed you. Look at the control you have of your knees and, how up right you are when you receive the weight as you stand. Not to mentioned the fact you are not using a lifting belt”.

No reply. But, I knew she would now be watching the video, over and over again.

“There is huge improvement, you should be stoked”.

I left it at that until later that afternoon, when I received a response…

“Going from what you’ve said about today’s training, you have helped me realise not to be so hard on myself. To be honest I was pretty disappointed with today’s training before I spoke with you".

It is easy to feel like a failure. To feel like you are stuck at a standstill.

We can thank social media for that.

It is so easy to be engrossed in the idea that you are not good enough when you compare yourself to the elite.

And don’t read this, thinking ‘I don’t compare myself, I am an individual'.

That’s bullshit! your subconscious does it for you.

Take a look at your Facebook newsfeed. Your feed is a direct reflection of the crap you indulge in.

Facebook works like this…

If you read something, Facebook takes note of that. If you watch a video, Facebook notes that down too. If you even stop on a post Facebook records it. Do you not wonder why you rarely, if ever see posts of sports you don’t follow? Have you never wondered why your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend have a completely different feed? it’s a direct reflection of your interests.

The only reason you are disappointed is because you are comparing yourself to some elite athlete.

Have you ever compared yourself, to yourself?

At the end of the day you are trying to do yourself one better. You are trying to beat the old you. To improve from where you were a week ago. To look back at the younger version of yourself and laugh.

Yesterday I posted a video to my brother’s timeline of the first time he completed a Ring Muscle Up. Knowing that he can now do multiple with a much better movement pattern, he was stoked!

I remember listening to Matthew McConaughey, who said it best…

“I need 3 things. One is something to look up to. The second is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase.

… My hero, that’s who I chase. When I was 15 years old I had a very important person say to me, who’s ya hero? I said I don’t know, give me a couple of weeks. A few weeks later that same person came up to me and said, who’s ya hero? I said you know what, its me, in ten years from now. So, I turned 25, that same person came to me and said, so are you a hero? I replied, not even close. No, my hero’s me at 35. So, every day my hero is always 10 years away. I’m never going to be my hero. I’m not going to attain that. But that’s fine with me, because that keeps me with someone to chase.

… To that I say alright, alright, alright”

Every small step, is one step closer to a better you.

The key is to step forward, and to be proud of each and every step.

Pic: Regionals 2013, where it really began.

Michael Gillum