As I've navigated my way through our most recent strength cycle, I've discovered that a little chalk, a calculator, and a whole lot of courage are yielding me some pretty serious results. There are days when, as I begin to warm up, I have to ignore the little voice that sometimes says, "Ugh. This feels heavy today", and instead write out my reps and percentages before I ever even get started.
That way, when it comes time to do what the programming calls for, I can approach it with a much more confident attitude.
"The board says 80% for eight reps. Science says I'm strong enough to do that based on how I've been working out. Now I must."
I pull the 80 for eight and casually mark it off my list. And as the workout progresses and I draw my lines, I grow.
I demonstrate to myself that I can do what I say I'll do, or at least try with all my tiny little might. It allows me to feel solidified in my new-found desire to act with honor and integrity, despite how hard it's going to be or whether or not I feel like it. And every single time I finish what I start, no matter how heavy the task, my confidence soars and my character as a human being stands a little taller.
Incredible things happen when we show up and muddle through hard stuff. When we do the tedious, seemingly meaningless things that most gloss over because they aren't glamorous or they're too tired. One thousand small actions culminate in a final pull that I could have never even dreamed of had I not just shown up and done the grunt work.
And I find myself proud, not of the heaviest set, but what it took to get there.