Oftentimes while at the gym, I watch others complete their box jump sets and tell myself one day I am going to give it a go. They look fun and most importantly, I know the benefits of plyometrics; however, something has kept me from incorporating them into my workout routines.

On this particular day, I glanced around the gym and noticed it wasn’t as packed as it typically is with members. I made a deliberate goal to myself, “at the end of today’s workout, I will attempt my first box jump.”

After my short slog (slow jog) and core strength workout, I approached the area with the various free weights and box jump sets. I scanned the area and retrieved the lowest one I could find; there were three sizes to choose from, and I was certain there was another shorter one that simply couldn’t be located.

As I positioned it and approached it, I was so excited and enthusiastic about this new goal. To my right was a gentleman doing the highest box jump I have ever seen; so explosive and agile, he moved so smoothly and his effort looked effortless; I admired his strength and jumping ability. Inside, I wanted to ask this stranger to come over and tell me what to do and how to do it, but he wasn’t a mind reader.

I got into position and froze. I found my feet unable to leave the ground and my enthusiasm began to turn to discouragement and frustration. I thought about quitting. Then, I decided perhaps a warm up and getting familiar with the box was needed, so I began individual step ups, and did three sets to warm up.

As I completed the individual box step ups, I captured my “head noise” the fear of failing, the fear of stumbling, the fear of those on the treadmill and machines behind me who perhaps observed my attempt and might have labeled me as “unable.” I had to confront my own weaknesses, and realized I needed support from the outside to support me in accomplishing my goal. I looked to my friend who was working out with me and shared my fears verbally; I immediately began to feel lighter. She provided the right amount of direction and support; she listened to my concerns and encouraged me. I turned to the right and watched the gentleman as he continued his effortless box jumps. I replaced my head noise with words and phrases such as “this is a new experience” “I can do it” “I know how to jump” “strong legs, strong lungs and strong mind” “jumping is fun” and then I took my leap. To my surprise, I landed on the box! I wanted to squeal like a three year old in delight. I eagerly began my sets and thought consciously about my competence and commitment level to this goal and task. I was completely inexperienced and eager and enthusiastic. Upon my first attempt, I became quickly discouraged and frustrated, overwhelmed with personal disappointment and consumed by fear.

Upon my finish, my friend said to me, “What made you able to do it” and my reply was, “You and that gentleman over there.” I walked over to the stranger and said to him, “You inspired me today to try something I have always wanted to do and didn’t know how to. Watching you gave me strength and helped me gain confidence to try something new.” I said to my friend, “Thank you for your words of encouragement, your patience and reassurance.” I feel certain that had my friend muttered any words of frustration or showed irritation in my attempt with my goal, it would have been easy to walk away from the goal and set it aside for another day.

In order to achieve, to be a self-reliant achiever, one needs to have the support and direction required against the goal or task. With your goals and tasks, do you receive both the support and direction required to achieve success?


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