“Do not be ashamed. You are enough.”

I have this posted on my bathroom mirror. It’s not my wisdom – but rather borrowed from a Ted Talk by Brene Brown on the Power of Vulnerability.  It applies to the daring things we attempt in life from busting out career moves, to building relationships and – yes – to achieving physical feats as well.

The Academy is a jungle of exotic characters with colourful backgrounds and extra-gym pursuits.  We all train for our own reasons, but together we inspire, we hold each other accountable (yes, the multitude of athletic nerds we are even publish our progress on Wodify for all to see), we’re truly #inthis2gether. In not-so-calm unity, our community thrives.

Amidst our enthusiastic #noexcuses and #dothework, though, I’ve heard countless members dim their personal accomplishments.

I’ve seen many new folks come in and apologize in their own way “for being useless”, or sweeping a PR under the rug because it’s only 75% of so-and-so’s max, or being discouraged that their pull-ups aren’t coming along as fast as they’d like (when they work 100 hour weeks, travel and can only make it 1-2 times/week). People feel ashamed for having to modify a movement or finishing a workout last (when really, being the only one still working while the rest of the class is finished and watching is possibly the bravest accomplishment of the hour!) We all have that voice – at times louder and at times quiet – that shames us for not being [insert trait] enough. It seems that the driving force behind that is comparing ourselves to others. On one hand, the community that helps us achieve our goals also enables that internal, denigrating voice. HOW TO DEAL?!

As this is supposed to be a performance tip and not a philosophical tome, maybe try the following:

For the next few weeks, work on “minding your platform” and see if that changes your outlook. Compete with yourself. Don’t be looking at your neighbours’ weights or reps, work off your own. Do what you can with what you’ve got.

And even though it might look different person to person, Progress is progress. Effort is effort. So do not be ashamed, You are enough.

Written by: Coach Emily Delpero