Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Push Ups

I jumped back from maternity leave a little early this time to get my team going. I'm a fall sport coach at at local university.

We've had leadership meetings since January for this coming season and although it didn't solve all of our problems, it surely helped. We all promised to bring something to the table that will help make the team better. I can't say what each of the five girls did but I know they certainly took turns really shining. I enjoyed the relationships we built because of it.

I wanted to bring consistency with small measurable goals. I really enjoy helping people make progress. One of my coworkers told me this story about a softball team who built a culture using rituals. They did one push up everyday and added one each day. I was nervous about adopting this in August because I couldn't do push ups...tall girl with long arm syndrome :-) I feel like push ups and pulls ups are one of those things that a person who considers herself to be pretty bad ass should be able to do.

So we did- one push up a day and add a push up each day we were together. Practice or game, win or lose. It was fun some days. It was not fun others.

Once we got twenty days in we started to break them up in sets because I didn't want to compromise form- we weren't just doing them to do them. We were doing them to get stronger and build the culture that repetition builds habit and lifestyle changes.

I could hear the groans and see the eye rolls when I told them to hit the deck. Also, since I was doing it with them and I took a loooooong time to complete mine, I really don't know if they did them all... either way they know how many they did and have to live with their choices. Some will care. Others won't. That's life.

Once we hit thirty or forty or so I started to notice pectoral muscles sticking out a little and feeling more strength in my biceps when we did them- I was taking a really long time to do them since my arms are so long, but I did them. And now I want to wear all the halter and tube tops! Some of the girls even admitted they enjoyed doing them now.

The exercises we hate the most are the ones that are most needed.

The season ended last week and I need to fill two hours of my day that was once occupied with practice. I want to be able to run. I want to be able to do unassisted pull ups. I started couch to 5K yesterday and body weight hangs. I did three hangs for one minute each throughout the day. I hear that a by-product of these hangs is increased grip strength. I still think I'll let Todd open my jars.