This weekend when I was at a CrossFit competition, I made a smart aleck remark regarding my weakness in a certain area. I don’t remember the specifics, but it was a little lightning rod for stares and rebuke from my colleagues who are frequently on my case about “Negative Self Talk”.
Ron even went so far as to say he is “looking forward to the day when the Self-Deprecating Chuck is replaced by the Arrogant SOB Chuck”. I hope he was joking.
I am too old, er, I mean too seasoned, to be arrogant in the Gym. I am not the old dog who grew up in the gym and who has seen it all and done it all. No, I am just the old dog who came in from the cold. The stray dog who was near death, until someone took me in and nurtured me back to health.
I have no reason to be arrogant. Some friends say, “But look what you’ve accomplished over the past year”! They are right, I have grown considerably, but much remains to be done. Though I am much stronger than I was a year ago, I am still weak. Though I may be stronger than many men in their sixties, I am still weak. I have far to go.
When I say I cannot do something, I am not imposing limitations on myself. I am speaking in shorthand. Usually it means, “I cannot do it – yet!” or “now”, or “today”. It seldom means I will not strive to do it, but recognize that it will happen in incremental steps that may be much smaller than yours.
Regarding me being arrogant; I have been arrogant in the past in other areas of my life and career. I’d rather look in the mirror at a struggling old man than at that arrogant young fool I left behind. My humility in the gym in not feigned. I am in awe of what my colleagues do and I realize that I am the new kid, in spite of chronology, and I will have to fight for every ounce I lift, and every inch I jump. And I am grateful that by God’s Grace this body still rises to do it. I rejoice when I succeed. I am joyful when I PR. But arrogant? I hope not.
So guys, get used to my self-deprecation, it’s not negative self-talk. It’s a reality some of you have yet to realize. But don’t let that discourage you from pushing me to try harder, I need it, I savor it.
Get Defiant! Get Well!