They’re Not All Mountains: Why It’s Important to Embrace Small Victories

When looking down the long road of life, things can get daunting. There are times when we just want to be at the place we are headed or reach those goals we have been working out butt off for. We want it so bad we can taste it. And yet it seems that with every day we are not getting any closer. Have you ever felt this about something you wanted to do or a new goal you were trying to hit? 


Well don’t be ashamed. It happens to almost everyone at some point with something. It is especially likely to happen to you if you dare to dream big. Having big dreams and wanting all you can possibly get out of life is exhilarating and refreshing. It is the most amazing way to live. But it also means knowing just what you are getting yourself into, expecting it to not go perfectly, and knowing how to handle that.

Recently, one of my first crossfit coaches wrote a great article for Pure Pharma on what happens when people hit a plateau in crossfit; when their body has gone through the epic changes of first starting crossfit and progress starts to level off. It is something I have felt myself a time or two before and something I have even written on in the past as well.

Most recently for me, moving really shook things up because I was forced to spend a lot of time away from the box, which just produced more frustrations and seeming setbacks, but also opened the door to a new box, a new community, a fresh set of challenges, competition, and coaches to give me different input. It also allowed me the chance to restart in a sense. To strip my frustrations and shed my overly comfortable skin. I decided it was a new chapter and I was going to make it just that. I was going to set new goals, change my mindset and attitude, and get to work.

Athletes you see at the Crossfit Games didn’t get there by training one single day. People who lose 70lbs to get healthy and fit don’t do it overnight. Figure competitors are not just born looking that way. Marathoners and triathletes don’t just wake up one day without ever running and tackle a marathon. The elite people, the people who we see accomplish inspiring unbelievable things, work hard day in and day out for a long time to get to the place they are. 

So why do we think that every goal we set needs to happen NOW or we are failures?
It’s because we aren’t recognizing the small victories. I have big visions for what I want to be able to see myself do and my body do in this amazing road of fitness. But just because some of them take me a longer time or are tough for me doesn’t mean I can’t get there and doesn’t negate the value of everything else that I do and all the hard work I put in. 

Over the last month in my new chapter, I have been able to embrace tiny victories, even the unplanned seemingly insignificant things. For example, Friday at the box we did a workout from the 2008 games. It was a twist on Grace; 30 slightly heavier squat clean and jerks. My performance wasn’t show stopping or unordinarily impressive or anything of the sort. All I did was do the workout Rx and finish around the same time as the rest of my class. Average at best. 

The significance to myself personally being that I was able to look at that workout and say that I was going to force myself to try it Rx at 105#. To know it would be tough, take a deep breath, and bite the bullet. In October I did Grace Rx for the first time and getting 95# over my head for 30 reps was rough on me. I struggled. Now, I also struggled on Friday BUT it was with an increase of 10# and it only took me less than a minute longer than October’s Grace had. Like I said nothing crazy or super brag worthy but more than enough for me to be proud of myself and acknowledge where I am, where I’ve been, and where I am headed. 

     (Grace in 2014 – Grace in 2015)

Go big or go home is a great motto when it pushes you to be treat. But letting yourself say “I may not the best but I did _____ better today than I had in the past.” That is a battle won. Just cause you can’t make it up the mountain just yet, doesn’t take the value away from any hill you climb. 
Celebrate yourself for putting in work. Acknowledge even the little things you do one day that you couldn’t have done before. Think back to where you started. Be proud of who you are. NEVER STOP DREAMING.

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