Practice makes Perfect

I am a perfectionist. I am also a procrastinator (something of an "if I can't do it perfectly now than I'm not going to do it at all" kinda thing). The end result of these two traits is that I am very often dissatisfied - generally with myself, as opposed to the task at hand.

Lately, this has crossed over into my training. Case in point - on Tuesday I PRd my deadlift, pulling 240#. At first, I was jubilant. Bitchin'! I kick butt! High Fives were traded with my training partner.

And then I watched the video.


Watching a video of a PR is often like seeing a photo of yourself in your favorite outfit - some things are better left in the happy place. Especially if you're a nutcase like me.

The first time I watched the video, I thought to myself "OK, form definitely suffered with the heavier lift - I'll really have to work harder to set my back better next time". The second time I thought to myself "Man, that is not a pretty deadlift". The third time " Eh, my previous PR lift of 225# was uglier than this, so that has got to count for something". The fourth time "Ew".

Eventually, I watched the video and decided that I looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I opted not to post the video in my training log, and set it to private on my YouTube channel.

Does the fact that it was not a perfect DL negate the PR? Or do I accept the imperfection, and glory in the sheer brute strength (give me my happy place here) that I exhibited in lifting it at all? It was not pretty, it was not perfect, but it also was not dangerous. And regardless, I was unable to lift 240# in any way, shape or form 2 months ago. But does it count?

The question I put to you is Where do we draw the line? At what point does simply doing it no longer cut it? If your squat is parallel but not below parallel, does it count? If the new CrossFit standard is chest to bar, does that mean the chin over bar is no longer valid? Are these nuances the difference between an elite athlete and a casual one? Or just the makings of neurosis?

For me, I think it all comes down to what I ask of and expect from myself. There is a first time for everything, and I will bask in the glow of accomplishing something that was previously impossible. But once mastered, it must be perfected. If not, what's the point?

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