Jason and I did squats this morning and I had a pretty good workout until the final set. We were doing sets of 5 reps and he had me put 370 on the rack for the last set, which I thought seemed pretty high, but I tried not to think about it much and just do it.
Well, I got to the bottom part of the movement and dropped the weight, I couldn't do it. Second week in a row I wasn't able to do my final set. But I still thought I was supposed to do it 5 times, so I did 5 reps, though I needed his help at the bottom part (the toughest) part of the lift. Even though he was helping me, I thought I was going to die as I racked the bar, I almost didn't make it up the last time.
I was really frustrated that I couldn't do the weight for the 2nd week in a row. Which is when Jason told me to embrace the failure. The fact that I'm pushing myself to the failure point says something about how hard I'm working. Most people, he said, don't go to the failure point with squats, because it's too difficult. And even with me needing help, I was still getting stronger by doing the lift.
He also encouraged me to keep working on form during the lighter reps. One of my problems is that my form breaks down when I'm doing really heavy weight. The other problem is mental, my brain breaks down and tells me I can't be doing this. But if I keep my form correct during lighter weights, it will be more natural during the heavy reps.
Two major parallels with this whole effort of trying to plant a church. First of all, I need to be doing the right things (character and leadership wise) all the time, even when it's easy, because that will shape me to be able to do the right things even when times are difficult.
Secondly, I need to continue to embrace the failure. This directly applies to our Love and Logic event we're doing this weekend. We did this exact same event last April. While I was thankful for those that were there and glad that some families got some parenting help, in my mind the event was way short of what it could've been (failure is probably too strong of a word, though I sure felt like a failure when only a handful of people came). But I learned from it. We started publicizing the event a week earlier in the newspaper. We're passing out flyers in the neighborhood and I started advertising it earlier within the church, too. There are already more church people coming than last time and we've gotten several RSVP's from people not a part of our church - as a result of both the newspaper add and the flyers in doors.
Failure is good for the soul. It forces us to realize what we did wrong and how we can improve the next time. It also makes a person go one of two ways. Do we throw up our hands and quit or do we strengthen our resolve to keep doing what we know is right?