Friday, November 21, 2008

I hate change!

My mom tells me I get it from my dad, but a constant quality of mine is that I don't like change. Even if I discover that a change can help me be more productive, I try to overcome the need for change by simply working harder without making the change. This is especially true of my workout routine.

About a year ago, my lifting partner, Jason made me change our squat method to a box-squat. At the time, my max dropped by about 100 pounds, but I've now worked back up to where I'm stronger than I was before, which was the point of the change. I've now gotten comfortable with the box squat routine but I've hit another plateau. My answer; just try harder and I can push through it. But I've reached a point where just trying harder won't get results.

Jason noticed my need for change when I was complaining about how badly my knees hurt during the squat. Jason has quite the eye for technique, if I slightly change my stance or posture, he immediately notices the difference. So, he worked with me on pushing my knees out further, keeping my upper body tight and staying on my heels as I came back up off the box.

I immediately felt the difference. My knees didn't scream at me during the movement, a tight torso gave me a 'springy' feel to the movement and staying on my heels took the pressure off my quads and put it in my butt and hamstrings (which are much stronger than quads - the difference between pulling and pushing). A few months of this and I'll be squatting way more than I am now. The only problem is that I'll have to go backwards before I start going up again. I had to drop down to just one plate on a side so as to work on mastering the new technique. And just that little bit of weight strained muscles not used to being worked in that way. When it was Jason's turn, we added 3 plates to each side. That was pretty frustrating because my goal was to be at 4 plates on a side by this time of the year but I was working with just 1. I KNOW this is going to result in my becoming stronger, I just HATE change; lifting with less weight and having to reteach myself.

But the short-term pain is going to result in long-term growth.

Am I just talking about weightlifting - of course not. There's a lot to be learned from this in leadership, too but I'm still processing all of that so I'll wait to make my thoughts public.

Another good leadership lesson is that Jason told me my improper form was the result of his failed communication. He had communicated part of the correct form, but not all of it. I had no idea this change was needed because it had never been communicated to me. I'll think through that, too. But once he explained it to me, it then became my responsibility for how I'd respond.

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