In 2011 I conquered the deep end of the pool – 20 feet down to the bottom of the pool. Sam and I never did have a tea party on the bottom of the pool like he promised though. Then I moved on to conquer open water swimming, which took a little longer but I feel fairly good in the open water these days. These were two big fears that I never imagined I would conquer. I did though. Now I’ve met my new deep end.
Tonight I finished the second week of Iron Tribe 101. A lot of what we have done so far is familiar to me. There have not been many movements that I haven’t done in some way with Sam over the past five years. I am the slowest one in my group but that is really nothing new. I’m always slow and that doesn’t really bother me because I keep going. I am back to running for the first time since Augusta 70.3 in 2014. It’s not far yet but I now have hope that I will return to running. But I almost walked out last night because it felt like a big mistake.
We finally got to the pull up bars and jumping rope. Neither may sound daunting but I have never (I mean never) liked or been skilled at jumping rope. I was not one of those kids who just loved jump ropes on the playground. Sam tortured me with a lot of things I didn’t particularly enjoy but jumping rope was never one of them. I hate jump ropes with a passion. But I did ok with jumping rope and I will improve over time. Pull up bars are another matter. First of all they are high and require climbing on a box to get to the bar. Then you hang from the bar and pull yourself up. My shoulder just doesn’t do well with that movement. I was already tired yesterday from things going on at work plus post-yoga teacher training weekend exhaustion. It was too much when I could not get on the box to get to the bar so I picked up my stuff and walked. But what happened next is one of the reasons I decided to try Iron Tribe in the first place. Leslie, one of the coaches, followed me. She did not let me walk out the door. We took a few minutes and then went back and modified the pull ups with ring rows, which are not easy either. Those I can do and I am getting something similar, though not exactly the same. Everything is scaleable, and that is another key to Iron Tribe. I will get to the pull ups but my shoulder may need some rehab or to get stronger first. They are my deep end and I will conquer them. I will also conquer some of the other movements that I don’t quite have down yet.
Sam has been with me the whole journey so far. Leslie reached out to me, not only when I was about to leave but later in the evening. That meant a lot to me. The 101 group I am with has been hanging together through the workouts. We are at various stages but the support we have for one another can be felt. At the end of the workout last night while I was still feeling discouraged, I read some of the things that are posted in the gym. Yes, there are leaderboards and competitions but there is a different feeling and vibe. The coaches want everyone to succeed and want to make sure you understand what you are doing. It is a tribe, a group that is supportive, and we are stronger together. I’ve got this. I’ll conquer my new deep end because I am part of something bigger that is going to make me better.