2020, already 37% better

This will be a year of new beginnings and greatness. That’s so easy to say at the beginning of the journey, right? But don’t be fooled. If you’ve been doing the work all along then the journey is of course a continuation of the past, it’s just marked with a somewhat arbitrary timestamp. 

Take this morning. I dropped into the gym for an early workout. I’ve been trying to fix a nagging knee issue for some time as I try to up my weekly running mileage. I did some treadmill work since it’s a bit easier on the knee than running outside. I was about to leave but decided to throw in a few squats just because I felt like it. The squat is a really hard move for me, always has been for whatever reason. I planned to do one set for a handful of reps just to test my strength. First set felt good. Then the second. Then a third. I kept adding plates. By the 6th set I was squatting literally 37% more than last week (which I calculated based on 1 rep max to normalize). 

That’s not because “2020 is sooo amazing!”. It’s because I’ve been working my butt off (literally, my glutes are the weak part of the chain, causing the knee issue) for the past 2 months and today was a breakthrough. That’s how this game works, like adding fire to a pot of water: looks like nothing happening, then suddenly, magic, it boils! This would not have been nearly so interesting, or notable, if I didn’t have a baseline of hard workouts and self-doubt behind me (I f-ing hate squats and I’m not built to do them, etc.). 

I realized that I’ve gotten accustomed to getting good at the slog without a feeling of payoff for so long that I almost forgot that in fact there can be breakthroughs and progress, highs associated with winning. Not that this example is anything particularly impressive or awesome in the grand scheme, but it was one of those little personal wins that affirms that progress is possible. 

So where’s the limit? How far can this go? I’m not sure but this morning I was handed a lofty assignment – see the video (1:30 onward if you’re in a rush).

Here’s to 2020 being a year for asking bigger questions…and maybe even answering some of them!