Training Tears

I had an inspiring conversation with an athlete the other day about crying. For the sake of this blog I will call this athlete Suzy. This is not her real name, so if you know a Suzy, this person is not her.

Suzy was fairly green in the strength training world, and on this day we had some heavy squatting and some heavy deadlifting. This was her first experience with weights like this and she was not familiar with the level of exertion necessary to move them. Needless to say, she made it through the workout, and did fantastic. As we were cleaning up the bars and plates afterword, and I noticed her welling up with tears. I waited until after the others left, and asked her how she was doing. She was a bit taken aback at that a workout could bring you to the point of tears. I, on the other hand, was really impressed with what I saw.

As a coach, leading athletes through workouts is a very common part of the day. There are all different levels of effort that I see. The special thing here is that well inside Suzy’s first five workouts she has reached the point of tears. The amount of effort necessary to reach this point is special. I like to call this being “plugged in.” Without a doubt she was plugged in to what was happening with her body on this day. This experience was nothing but positive. Without a doubt, it was such a cool thing.

Now, hold on. I am not saying that every workout should come to a close with a flood of tears. And, no I don’t cry every workout, either. The point is the effort this athlete gave. This effort shows itself in many ways, tears are just one of them. Emotions tend to surface when you have to put forth maximal efforts.

Being plugged into your training is a very important skill, especially when it comes to getting results. This is where all the juice is. The moment you unrack a barbell loaded with more weight than you can get to your shoulder from the ground, your purpose becomes very clear. If you are not plugged in at this point, the lift will not happen, and you risk injury. There is nothing quite as unnerving as the feeling of descending into a squat, and being unsure of whether you can stand the weight back up.

It’s nice to take a lesson from a new athlete. Suzy, well done! I am not sure you even knew what was happening on this day, but you inspired me to plug into my training again. We can all use reminders now and then.


Danny Lesslie

8/22/13 WOD

8 Push Press (95/65)
4 Broad Jumps (7’/5’)
-Rest 1 Min-
Max Strict Pull Ups