One at a Time: Everyday PR’s
I will be the first person to say that I would love to hit a PR (personal record) everyday. I mean everyday I want to go home and say, “YES!!” I totally hit that big weight or I finally did a muscle-up. In reality though, I am only human, and day to day I can only truly focus on practicing a few skills at a time. Training takes many, many, many, many hours and if you are not completely committed for hours, day in and day out on this training, the number of PR’s are also going to be limited. However, if you take the time and focus on one thing at a time, you will come to realize that everyday you are getting better and that in itself is a PR.
“Consistency is the key!” I hear it almost everyday spoken to me by my Coach or in my own mind repeating his words. There is so much truth to this word consistency. I see athletes everyday who show up ten minutes early to stretch and mobilize, contemplating the days workout and how they are going to tackle it. These athletes are also the ones who stay ten minutes after class and practice that one skill that they are trying to get better at. The key to their success is not they are born with natural abilitites, or “she was born skinny” or “he was born muscular”, it simply is that these athletes take exactly 10 minutes or less everyday and practice. Have you ever timed yourself to practice that skill you want so badly for exactly 10 minutes?
I know so many athletes that ask, “Why can’t I…”? or “How can I….”?, and my answer to these questions are exactly the same: Practice everyday. It is curious to me that we as humans expect to be able to do something without having put in any effort. I will tell you that I am guilty as anyone else when it comes to the voice in my head that says, “Why can’t I do a muscle-up”? or you fill in the blank for youself. I do know that my immediate answer to myself is, “…because you do not practice consistently enough”. Duh!
The cool thing about practicing a skill is that you do not have to do it everyday, or everytime you come to the gym, but you do need some sort of consistency. You need to schedule in your desire to practice this thing that you want to do so badly. The only other thing wtih scheduling is that you must follow it and complete it. I know like most of you, I start off strong and I am full of determination. But as the a week or two goes by, I start to get frustrated and perhaps a little bored and then I come to the conclusion that I, in fact, will never achieve my goal. This is the exact moment where I need to dig in and keep trying because just around the corner is my success, my big PR.
I think that this is what I see separating athletes from their next PR is the loss of determination. Just beause you did not get that PR when you wanted it to happen, does not mean that it may be just around the corner or that you have not progressed. Take double unders for example, just because you can not do 50 in a row does not mean that you will never reach 100. Right now you can do 10, and tomorrow 11 and the next day 12. Keep track of your progress and realize everyday that you do one more and everyday that you practice, you are getting a PR. They are happening everyday and happening one at a time.