On the first Friday of Spring Break, I woke up early(ish) to go to the gym. When I’m not in school, I like to work out in the morning. I think it sets a great pace for the remainder of the day, but I am pretty sure that it just helps me to eat less throughout the afternoon and evening! :)
I have been feeling a little less than motivated to complete my workouts recently. I have been on what could be deemed a diet, and I have been following a workout guide. (Beach season is just around the corner, friends!) It’s not that I don’t enjoy the guide, but I guess I don’t enjoy having a rigid schedule to follow. This Friday morning, however, was one of my flex days on my workout plan. I had the choice to do whatever I wanted to do, and I was super excited!
When I got to the gym, the owner asked me if I was doing leg day. I had, in fact, chosen to work legs that day. When told him I was, he asked if I wanted to pull a truck. Initially, I thought he was talking about a weighted sled. I have pulled a sled before, and it is a pretty fun workout. When he returned with a harness and long cable, however, I learned he was being literal. He actually meant that we were going to pull his pickup truck.
Like any reasonable human, I thought, “There is no way in the world I am going to be able to pull this truck by myself!” I have some leg strength, but I definitely didn’t think I had enough leg strength to pull a full-size pick-up truck. He went first, and he made it look easy. Typical. I was preparing myself for the embarrassment of my eminent failure.
As I was putting on the harness, I kept cracking jokes about how the truck was going to run me over or how it was going to be so pathetic when it didn’t move at all. He kept reassuring me that I would be able to do it on my own. He coached me through what techniques to use and gave me some key pointers for how to be more successful (as part of the pull was on a slight incline). I was all but certain and I was going to fail... miserably.
With the harness on, cable attached, full-size pickup truck in neutral, and a small crowd of LECO employees that had gathered to watch, I took a deep breath and began to bear crawl. I used the techniques and guidance he had given me, and before I knew it I WAS PULLING A TRUCK ACROSS A PARKING LOT. Like, what?!?? Before all was said and done, I pulled the truck three times!
Afterward, I was completely exhausted but also in awe of my own strength. I didn’t even start lifting weights until year ago and was incredibly out of shape two years prior to that. I felt incredible.
I am telling the story to make three points. The first point is that we are all very fortunate for our health and our physical abilities. This is something so easy to overlook and is often taken for granted. I am always amazed by the strength, power and resilience of the human body. We are all very fortunate to be healthy and physically able to do the things we want to do!
The second point is how success can prompt motivation. As I previously mentioned, I had been feeling very unmotivated and was actually sort of dreading my workouts. After I pulled the truck, I realize that all of my hard work really was paying off. The success of the truck experience made me want to work harder and try new things to improve myself. When we give our students the opportunity to experience success, we motivate them to try new things and encourage them to put forth more effort.
Last, we have the power to instill confidence in others through teaching them what they need. I had absolutely no confidence or faith that I was going to be able to move that truck. But the owner of the gym gave me the techniques I needed and coached me through it. After I was finished, I think he was just as excited as I was!
Think about that impact you have on your students each day. You coach them and give them the confidence they need to do things that they are certain they cannot achieve. You build them up so that they are able to experience success. You motivate them. You were capable of allowing them to see and reach their full potential.