Athletic Performance: It Is Not About Perfection. It Is About Progress

Courage is grace under pressure
— Ernest Hemingway

By: Jason Harrell

Last week I discussed how by truly knowing and understanding our purpose for our journey towards a specific goal, we can overcome the motivational hurdlesthat will inevitably come up along the way. Goals come in varying sizes – big and small, short-term and long-term. No matter the size of the goal at hand, it is important to stay the course, remember our WHY, and remain focused. With any goal, we must remember that its not always going to be easy. There are good days and bad. Sometimes, the trains are delayed or we have to work later than expected for a client. Life happens and that’s okay (we’re all still good people), because the journey itself is not about perfection. It’s not about perfecting the kettlebell swing in the first week, hitting a double bodyweight deadlift, running a better mile, loosing 20 pounds of fat, gaining 10 pounds of muscle, or simply making it to a session on time. It’s about progress. 


Put simply, it’s about the progression to the goal and the journey behind the goal. We learn more about ourselves while we’re on the road that leads us to the finish line than from actually crossing it. Everyone knows the Rocky stories! We all know that the Rock is going to be triumphant in the end, but it’s his journey that we are all inspired by, its what gives the goal meaning. What were the better habits that cumulated over the time it took to complete your first pull-up? What improvements did you make about your day to day to loose your first 10 pounds? Did you prioritize your day differently so you could make it to your 6am group session? 


When we begin to notice and name the changes we’ve successfully made during our journey, the goal becomes clearer. Within the progression that we’ve made we begin to believe that even though sometimes life will get in the way, and we fail (sometimes again and again), and progress is delayed, that we can still be successful within our failures. 


The journey and the “why” is NOT about perfection, it is about progress. Fall, pick yourself up and fall again. Because without this struggle, what is your success anyways? Don't let the fear of failure, or lack of perfection stop you from what is going to make you great. We can’t succeed without the risk of failure. This is us living outside of our comfort zone where progression lives, and where our goals will be found.


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