This past week has been a week filled with milestones. Last Monday, I celebrated my birthday; on April 5, my 18-month-old daughter celebrated her one month anniversary from being weaned off her pacifier (which merits its own post), and yesterday was the culmination of my 70 Day Pull-Up Challenge.
First off, even though I am a year older since I first began the challenge, I am so much stronger than I have ever been. I feel it on my bones, my joints, my muscles, I feel it in my spirit. When I initially set out to perform a pull-up in 70 days, I did swallow hard in fear my goal was rather ambitious; but I figured I had nothing to lose and so much to gain. I’ve had ambitious goals in the past – becoming the first person in my family to graduate high school, joining the Marine Corps, becoming a naturalized citizen (another goal that merits its own post), becoming the first person in my family to earn a master’s degree, and running a marathon have been among a few. However, I encountered each one with the confidence that I had the skills to achieve each them. I wasn’t necessarily scared of going after them. When I stated I wanted to do one pull-up, I had the fear of not being able to do it not only in the 70 days, but that I would never be able to do one period. You see, I don’t consider myself to be a physically strong person. I’ve actually never considered myself physically strong. Pull-ups were only performed by strong people, a category I could not even fathom to entertain. Thus, for years, my erroneous rationale has prevented me from stepping outside of my comfort zone (I still struggle with this daily). It’s kept me in fear, allowing the model of physical weakness I categorized myself under to dictate what I could and couldn’t do.
Truth of the matter is, I no longer care about the “strong” or “not strong” category. I care about the “can” and “can’t” category. There were no obstacles in my life impeding me from performing a pull-up, only the ones I mentally placed upon myself to leave me in the “I can’t” category. I’ve discovered such new confidence and mental strength within myself I did not know I had. And so, here is the physical verdict of the last 70 days:
The physical verdict indicates I am REALLY close to performing my first strict pull-up. I wanted to kip my body really bad to get momentum and put my chin above the bar (I was inches away). I am not disappointed in myself for not mastering the pull-up in the 70 days allotted. I know that I will continue challenging myself and I am very confident I will be able to perform not only one pull-up, but multiple before my next birthday. This challenge has taught me that I am part of the “can” category, but first I have to want it, and then I have to work for it to earn it.
What limitations have you placed on yourself? What challenges or goals have you given yourself to let you know that you “can” do it?