Goals are so important not just in fitness, but in life, too. They keep you moving, focused, and above all, you get a huge sense of achievement once you’ve finally smashed those goals you’ve been working hard to achieve!
Running was my main sport, and it’s easy to set running goals – I want to run my first 5K, I want to run X distance in Y amount of time, I want to run the Manchester Marathon this year. Now I’m not entering road races or even running as much, I’m finding I have to be more creative about my fitness goals, especially if I want to make them SMART – that’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
You may remember that a few months ago I set myself two goals – a 100kg deadlift and a sub-45 minute 10K time, both to be achieved by the end of summer. Okay, I realise end of summer is a bit vague, but I sort of did that on purpose as I wasn’t sure how my life was going to pan out over the next few months.
As it happened, the sub-45 minute 10K goal went by the wayside: as I concentrated more on heavy and dynamic lifting, running just interested me less and less. I still go on a Sunday jaunt, usually a 10K, but that’s definitely a sociable party pace, and not the lung-burning pace (for me!) required to hit that sub-45.
I concentrated on my deadlift, and it turns out it’s much better to have one goal anyway – the more you focus your time and effort, the more achievable something is. I worked on volume deadlifts during CrossFit and I worked on heavy single lifts on my own, until finally I went to Virgin Active with Clare (who kindly photographed my proud moment – thanks!) on Wednesday, and managed to hoist 100kg of bar. No messing: I started heavy and hit the 100kg within four lifts.
My leggings are pretty representative of what it takes to hit goals – you can only see the neon yellow DO IT – what everyone else sees when people hit their goals. Them actually doing it. What you don’t see – and what’s much harder to see in shiny black print on my legs – is that people who achieve DON’T QUIT, even when it’s hard or they stumble. Sure, I have my moments, but I’m pretty bloody-minded when it comes to things I want. When I started my new job I struggled to see how I could fit in training around long commutes and longer days, but I found a way – my gym is halfway home. At the start of the summer, I could only lift an 80kg deadlift and couldn’t see how I could possibly reach 100kg. I kept chipping away at it, until finally 100kg came off the floor relatively easily.
Do it. Don’t quit. And get a cheesy grin like this when you hit your fitness goals!
So – what’s next? I think I’m going to bask in the glory of my 100kg deadlift for a while, though obviously I’ll keep pushing for a bigger lift every time. I feel I’m seriously lacking in the gymnastic area of CrossFit – so that’s handstand walks, muscle-ups, kipping toes-to-bar and handstand push-ups. In six months I want to have nailed the basics of these and be able to do some sort of scaled version of each movement in WODs. I’ll stick around after the WOD on Saturday to work on these movements and I’ll even aim to get some coaching sessions in focussed on these movements.
How will I get on? I guess I’ll be reporting back in six months’ time!