I was doing a strength training workout with my BFF Jo last night, and during a short break, she handed me her iPhone to look over some of the workouts we are going to be moving into in the near future.
I scanned through the list and images, and saw these:
“I can’t do those.” I proclaimed.
“Yes you can.” Jo responded matter-of-factly.
“No, I definitely can’t. Those? That’s crazy. I can’t do that.”
“Are we looking at the same thing? Yes, you can. You definitely can.”
“Andrea, if you’ve done the same Pilates workout as me, you can do the chair crunches.”
“I think you’re wrong.”
“We’re going upstairs to try right after this.”
“Fine!” I replied smugly, certain I was going to prove her wrong with my lack of strength.
We went upstairs to the Captain’s Chair. She demonstrated how to do the crunch. I got into the Captain’s Chair (which, by the way, sounds like more fun than it is). I did the crunch. And another. And another.
And for the rest of the night, and all this morning, I’ve been thinking. I’ve been doing that since I was little: saying, “I can’t,” before I even try something. I think part of that comes from the knee problems and constant pain I was in, and the fact that I was often struggling to even walk in crutches without inflaming whichever leg wasn’t in worse shape, never mind trying to do gym class or something. And maybe part of it was from being a chubby kid and feeling like I could never keep up.
Regardless, it’s an awful mindset to be in, and yet it’s so, so common. So as of last night, I have made an active decision to cut it the hell out.
(A) Stop approaching life saying “I can’t” and just fucking try.
(B) Sometimes you need a friend to believe in you before you can believe in yourself, and thank goodness for friends like that. (Especially when they’re so matter-of-fact about it, like Jo.)
P.S. When I did a Google image search for “Captain’s Chair crunches,” a couple of interesting photos came up that I wanted to share with you all.
P.P.S. I can barely walk today. Strength training FTW! (I’d do a little arm pump with that, but it hurts too much. Hurts so good.)