Know the saying ‘comparison is the thief of joy?’
Well, it’s also the thief of progress. And gainz.
Last week I hit a new milestone – a 100lbs bench press PR! My weakest and least favorite lift.
With a powerlifting meet coming up and a hectic schedule that’s forced my training to take a back seat, this was a huge confidence booster.
Days later, I saw a few other people who are training for the same meet CRUSH their deadlifts and squats in the 200-300lbs range. Suddenly, I felt really, really small. My 100lbs PR felt like pink dumbbells in comparison.
And there went my confidence.
I wanted to quit…
I pressured myself to wake up at 4:50am to get to the gym….
I rationalized all the reasons why I wouldn’t be successful at this meet (which is my first by the way)…
But then I remembered that comparison is the thief of happiness, joy, progress and most of all, GAINZ.
And eff that. I’m not in competition with these other women. I didn’t sign up for a powerlifting meet to win medals. I signed up to try something new and deadlift.
Because I love deadlifts.
And while bench presses are not as exciting to me, I still went from a max 75lbs bench to 100lbs. So my training may be imperfect but it’s progress.
That’s already a win in my book.
Trust me, training will suck sometimes.
Maybe for a day. Maybe a month. Maybe years.
You might go days without getting to fit in your precious 1-hour routine and 15-min foam rolling session.
And it’s okay.
What’s not okay is comparing ourselves, our training or our progress to someone else whose life, schedule, priorities, skills and needs are different than yours.
It’s easy to compare and give up. Like, really easy. Think of all the extra time you’ll have by quitting fitness altogether! Less laundry, more time for happy hours, late office meetings, more time with your friends and kids, more time for Netflix marathons…the list is endless!
In the book The Slight Edge (which I’ve read twice!), Jeff Olsen makes a marvelous point about progress and success. It’s the small, often subtle actions we take consistently every single day that give us our edge and help us succeed. Those actions are both easy to do and easy not to do, that’s why not everyone is successful.
So, we can choose to not workout, to not follow the program, not to compete, not to embrace the challenge. That’s easy. It’s also easy to show up at the gym, to follow the program, to embrace the challenge of competition and try something new. It’s uncomfortable, inconvenient and imperfect at times but still easy to do.
It’s easy to compare myself and give up.
It’s also easy for me to show up at the gym, give my full effort even if it’s not perfect, and compete successfully.
It’s perception. It’s taking small actions. Consistently. And then celebrating every triumph along the way and celebrating others on similar journeys.
Now back to the bench press…
I spent one evening beating myself up with thoughts like “This PR means nothing. I’m not squatting as much as these other girls.”
Then I came to my senses and stopped trolling lifters on Instagram.
Because a PR is still a PR. Celebrate that shit. Own it.
Now over to you…What areas of your life do you often compare yourself to others? And how do you celebrate your wins?