I pulled the gloves on. I set the timer. I patted the ends of the gloves. No feeling. It had worked.
I walked over to the heavy bag. I took one swing at it. And a lightning bolt of pain traveled through my raw knuckles, up my arm, and into my shoulder.
And I was done.
One swing was all it took.
There was no second punch. There couldn’t be. Not until my hands were healed.
Frustrated, I ripped the gloves off and tossed them aside. I yanked the wraps off. I stared at my throbbing knuckles that were now shaking again, and I looked at the combat rope laying on the ground across the room. Forget it. No way. I want to do this with the heavy bag. And I’m not going to do it until I can do it with the heavy bag.
And you know what I learned? When you jack up your knuckles as bad as I did, they take a long time to heal. Like a really long time. And that’s why I am sitting on this couch nine days later, letting rats scavenge Funyun crumbs out of my beard. It’s why I haven’t showered today. It’s why I started eating crap and getting depressed about it all. Knuckles take a long effing time to heal.
But the problem isn’t that knuckles take time to heal.
I’ve been angry and discouraged and self-sabotaging because of that, sure. But it’s also because of something more.
Yes, the problem is much deeper. The problem is that after my first heavy bag workout, I decided there was only one right way to reach my goal, and as soon as that became undoable, I decided to let my goal itself become undoable. I let a few bloody knuckles derail my entire goal of getting in shape in time for Cabo.
Nothing else was wrong with me. My legs still worked. My arms still worked. I still had amazing equipment, all of which would do the job even without the heavy bag. But I chose to give up until I could do it the way I wanted to do it.
No. You know what? It was more of a tantrum. I should have written it like this.:
I REFUSE TO WORK ON MY GOAL IF IT DOESN’T GO EXACTLY HOW I NEED IT AND WANT IT TO GO!!! Picture me stamping my feet like a two year old.
And isn’t that a problem that so many of us have from time to time? I know I do.
We all know what it’s like to have a genius idea and make a brilliant and empowering goal in the aftermath of our ideas.
Some of us know what it’s like to reach our major goals.
We all know what it’s like to give up on our goals, too. And, most of us know what it’s like to give up just because things didn’t go exactly as we planned them to go.
My heart was set on walking down a beach in Cabo without sucking in my gut.
To reach that goal I made a plan. I made subsets to that plan. A roadmap that would get me there.
I got to work.
Something didn’t go to plan.
And my goal was derailed.
How silly is that? Oooh, poor baby, he can’t punch a bag so he’s just going to give up on his goals.
Well, yeah, when you put it that way.