Fri-day Try-day

HILLS HILLS HILLS HILLS!!

That’s a typical Friday at NP_BOS, but today was a little spicy. We threw in that old classic Rock, Paper, Scissors, to determine which hill–front or back–you would run.

Basically, you pair up, meet/greet, play until there’s a winner of 2 games of RPS and then the winner runs the back hill while the 2nd place finisher runs the front hill.

BUT

There was more spice today. Each time you got to the top of the hill you also did 10 step-ups on the wall, before finding another partner to play RPS with. I got to coach the shit out of everyone to focus on the technique of those step-ups. For most everyone, it’s paying more attention to the use of the glutes (those are your meaty butt muscles) at the top of the step-up, and giving them a little more activation (squeeze) as you stand ALL the way up. Not just 3/4 is the way up, which is a pretty common thing for people to do. Because it feels like the “work” of the movement is done when you get 3/4 of the way up. But if you focus on using your glutes all the way up, you get more out of the movement.

We also threw out a “scale up” option for those step-ups, which was to do single leg squats. Those fuckers are hard to do, and definitely something most human beings don’t want or need to do on a regular basis. But I noticed something very cool happen with them today. Here’s my observation, the conclusion I came to about it, and the challenge I want to throw out to the tribe.*

Observation: most people did step-ups as directed. Only 3-4 did the single leg squats, I expect because they’re hard and the step-ups were already #spice thrown in between running hills! But as those few folks did try them out and as I coached them through the movement, other people listened…watched…and by the last couple of sets at the wall, there were handfuls of people saying, “ok let me try, watch my form,” or “is this it?” Or “how do I do these?” Even Bojan, who hates anything new, especially if it’s fitness-y and reminds him of his pre-Dad-bod rowing days, finally gave them a try after I gave him shit** every time he got to the wall. Bottom line was the more people explored something new, even when it was hard, the more other people wanted to try it too.

My conclusion: trying something new is NOT simply about being able to do it or not. Getting to the point of “doing something that’s hard” is not an all-or-nothing event. It IS a process with many milestones of progress and accomplishment along the way. And because I could observe so many of you exploring the idea of single leg squats, we began to identify all the various ways of scaffolding and scaling the movement to best match your strength, range of motion, comfort with squats, balance, etc. There are so many elements that go into it and each person gets to figure out what their body needs to gradually develop new skills and strengths, and to evolve as athletes and humans who move! So…trying something new, especially when it’s hard, is more about finding the little steps to focus on along the way, and less about the all-or-nothing ‘I can do it’ or ‘I can’t do it.”

The challenge: try more hard things and be open to the process of getting better at it. We can all be slightly better human beings by letting go of the expectation that we’ll just be able to do hard things without lots of gradual growth. So ask questions, gather information, use people with more experience to guide you, but please keep trying (or start trying!!) more new things. Hard things. Things that scare you a little bit and that challenge you. As we saw this morning, lots of us benefit when we see others stepping out of our comfort zones a little bit and being willing to try.

Make Fri-day a Try-day. Make any damn day a try-day. I think that’s what this whole community is all about, at its core. We’re better together, and we have to –we GET TO –keep trying.

Keep changing the world, my friends.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

MONDAY DESTINATION DECK is on Boston Common! (Every Monday in February). Do not miss this one. Wear the colors of your favorite country and represent at the NP Olympics.

THE TRIBE IS STRONG!

*this is very #sciencey

**kindly and lovingly encouraged him to reach his full potential.

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