Day 60: The One Mistake I Never Seem To Learn From..

I am a perfectionist.

I worry. I fret. I sometimes over-think situations and have a tendency to do things slow and the long way. By contrast, I’m also eager to get in the thick of a situation if I feel other people are holding up the line and often rush into situations if I feel I have all the relevant information.

However, undoubtedly my biggest failing is that I never seem to learn from experiences of brutal pain. An example would be the physical kind, of the monkey-bar-hanging-persuasion.

I truly believe that monkeys have misrepresented their bars in an attempt to disarm the general public and we, in our daily duties, have slowly grown desensitized to the danger that monkey bars possess as they stand there so unassuming in our parks and playgrounds. If there were signs showing the mishaps of those absent-minded 20-somethings of the world, swinging away unknowingly on those constructs, I’m sure the amount of injuries  which take place on monkey bars would see a sharp decline. I’ll fill you in at the end as to why I feel so strongly about this..

The first reason for mentioning the dangers of monkey bars for those ‘wise’ enough to use them is because, as many of you will know, I’ve been using the local playground as my own personal gym, as I can’t afford a gym membership at this time. The precursor to each session would be a 5 km run over the hil near my home. This would be followed by the circuit, which consists of roughly 5 supersets over a space of 55 minutes. I’m well aware that this is possibly too long to be training so I’ll work on bringing my times down.

The exercise routine looks like this:

Exercise Sets Reps in 1st Set Reps in 2nd Set Reps in 3rd Set
Dead-hang Pull-ups 3 5 5 5
Hanging Supine Row 3 15 12 10
Decline Press-up 3 15 12 10
Tricep Dips 3 15 12 10
Wide Decline Press-up 3 15 12 10
Hammer-grip Chin-ups 3 15 12 10
Diamond Press-ups 3 15 12 10
Sit-ups 3 15 12 10
Hanging Leg Raises 3 15 12 10
Hyper Extension 3 15 12 10
Superman 3 15 12 10

What I’m surprised with is how many exercises I’ve been able to do without any weights. Checking out youtube, I’ve noticed several other exercises that I can incorporate into my routine at the 4-week mark. This is the routine I’ve stuck to 5 out of 7 days a week for the last 3 weeks though I’ll need to come up with some leg workouts and begin to break up my training routines into a specific body part per day but I can look at doing that later as well.

The other reason I mention monkey bars is because of the great opportunity I had to learn from my mistake this evening. It so happened that I’d just finished my 2nd set of sit-ups atop the monkey bars. My preferred method of dismounting is to levitate but I chose the alternative of simply swinging back and flipping onto the ground (as we kids would always do when we were younger). Most every day (even rainy ones) I’m able to dismount easily, landing firmly on the ground, both feet sure(here comes the kicker), today however, I found that a combination of swinging back too fast and holding onto the bar longer than necessary resulted in me landing squarely on my back (gotta love bark, dontcha!), my head acting as the grounds drumstick. Dazed with what I would later realize was a mild concussion, I quickly got to my feet, staggered over to my wife, who was curiously wondering what the thud and sight of me on my back was about, and struggled to take my mp3 player out of my pocket in a shallow yet effective ploy to divert attention. I then dizzily walked over to the monkey bars to continue my routine. The good news was that my head ceased throbbing after 3 hours, the bad news was that I had 45 minutes of training to go. This gave me more than enough time to bask in my foolhardy mistake, identify what I’d done wrong (swung too fast, held on too long) and work out how to prevent it in the future (do the opposite Josh!).

The lesson is this:

I failed to properly dismount because of a combination of a wondering mind and cockiness (after all, the other 15 times had gone off without a hitch). While carrying the reminder of my mistake, in the form of a constant pain in my mind for the next few hours, I was able to reflect over and over again on where I’d gone wrong. Despite the throbbing of my brain, I recognized how to reduce the chance of a recurrence and continued to train through the pain.

Doesn’t sound sensible right? What if the injury had been serious and I needed to go to A & E?! Suffice to say neither were the case so that was good. The example though, serves as a cool reminder of how I need to approach my Personal Development and Business Development endeavors. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that I love to invest time and effort on developing a healthy body and encouraging others to do the same. It was the first thing that I could confidently do and show others I was competent at doing. I believe the key for me going forward, will be to take that approch to my own fitness and health, and apply it to my current business projects and own Self Improvement.

I’m confident in my ability to change my physical self (once given the correct tools). The test will be to apply those self-motivational techniques and “Can Do” attitude to other parts of my life a lot more. I know for a fact that if I can do that, I will be successful in my business, family and personal life,which is the best way to learn from my mistakes.

I’m certain that if we all recognise what we do best, we may very well be able to make things work by being unorthodox in our approach. I wish everybody every success in the world with such an endeavor and look forward to hearing the results.