Let’s talk about bad days. I had a tremendously terrible night at the gym on Friday and I feel like I need to take a minute to talk it out. One of my goals for the gym this year has been to get a ring muscle-up. I’ve been working on drills and doing progressions for several months now. For the last few weeks on Fridays, I’ve been giving myself pep talks all day and making myself attempt ring muscle-ups. Without fail, I try over and over again and make the same “mistake” over and over again. I get really close, but never get one. I know exactly what my body needs to do, but when I attempt it, something gets lost in translation. Josh recently read “Chasing Excellence: A Story About Building the World’s Fittest Athletes” by Ben Bergeron and discussed it with me. One part that really stuck out to me was how important your mindset is. You might not be able to change the outcome, but you can change how you deal with the outcome and how you handle different situations. I’ve really been working on keeping a more positive attitude, even during my failures or “bad” days. So I woke up at 3 am on Sunday? That just means several more hours to get stuff done around the house and spend time doing fun things with my hubby. So I dropped the broccoli all over the floor? Well, I cleaned the floor this afternoon and eating a little bit of dust builds character, right? So I missed another muscle up attempt? I just got the closest I ever got! On Friday, though, something just broke in me. I got so very frustrated, making attempt after attempt and failing over and over again. I kept a smile on my face the whole time and joked around with everyone around me. But when I made one last attempt before class (and missed yet again), I snapped. I am a little embarrassed to admit I threw a little tantrum, picked up the gymnastics mat, and threw it. I held back the tears and made it through the warm up. I knew I wouldn’t make it through the workout, so I went into the bathroom to have a little cry, thinking that would help. I gave myself a couple minutes, wiped my eyes, took a deep breath, and headed out to get the workout done. The workout was an EMOM of farmers carries, bar muscle ups, box jumps, and rowing. I’ve been able to do bar muscle ups in workouts for the last few months (one at a time and scaling the number of reps down), but I couldn’t even get one in that workout. I know it’s because I exhausted myself and my grip during my ring muscle up attempts- my body just hasn’t adjusted to that much grip work yet. Cue my breakdown. I stepped up to the kettlebells for my farmer’s carries with tears streaming down my face. My coach, Jeff, saw me and stopped me. He calmed me down, reassuring me that it was just a bad day, that I was more than capable of getting through the workout and doing my best. I wiped my tears away, took a few deep breathes, and carried on. There were a few other times in the workout that I couldn’t hold back the tears, but I made it through. Afterwards, Jeff stopped me to talk again. He asked what was going through my head during the workout. The tears streamed down my face again as I explained how I was so frustrated about my muscle ups. How I know what I need to do, but can’t get my body to do it. Jeff asked me if I was giving it 100% in my skillwork, my lifting, my workouts and if I was then there was nothing to be upset about. He reminded me that it’s ok to step away from working on one specific thing, to move on to building my other skills and in doing so I will still improve across the board. Everyone has bad days. Some maybe more than others. But at the end of it, we’re all doing our best and that’s all you can ask for. I learned on Friday that I don’t always have to have a good day. I’m allowed to have a bad day. To just let it all hit me. To cry and cry some more. To allow myself a pity party for a short time, but also to not let that bad day and all that frustration consume me. So I “set a timer on it” (thanks to Rory Zambard and Girls Gone WOD Podcast for that gem), gave myself Friday night to be upset, then woke up Saturday morning with a fresh outlook. So, please please please, if you’re having a bad day, don’t feel like you have to always plaster a smile on your face and fake it. Give yourself that good cry and let your frustrations out. But, set a timer on it and get back to being your wonderful self again!