Never failed to fail

The list of Abraham Lincoln's failures prior to becoming President of the United States are well documented, including his defeats in politics and business. Hence the following quote:

Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.
— Abraham Lincoln

I'm not necessarily Tigger-enthusiastic by nature, so I might argue that success is going from failure to failure without losing your commitment to the process. 

Or your sense of humor :)

In today's age of social media, where we can celebrate our large and small victories alike, sometimes it's easy to only see what someone is doing well. The advantage of Facebook and Instagram is showing only what we want the world to see. Which is why if you scroll through my Instagram account, you'll see only videos of me deadlifting. I've become good at it over the years, and I'm proud every time I add more weight. What you won't see are a lot of videos like this:


Not only was I disappointed, but humiliated and also a little dizzy. Yeah I'm seeing stars right there. And I’d be lying if I said I could just shake it off. 


Much to my delight, this miss happened in front of a group of dudes who watched me crumble to the floor under weight that they were curling. 

Also use safety bars people. Just do it. 

I record all of my bigger lifts to look at form, so I can promise you I have plenty more just like this. Bench press, deadlift, squat; I've missed my fair share in pursuing my goals. 

When you hit a new PR, you want to post that puppy all over social media.  Hello Facebook, hello Instagram, and to all 12 of my followers on Twitter OMG HEY LOOK AT ME!! OMG USING ALL OF MY EXCLAMATION POINTS HERE!!!* It's a rush. 

But if it's a rush to hit your personal goal, it can sometimes feel devastating to miss. Below is a video I sent to my former coach Tony Gentilcore when I hit my previous personal best of 265lbs. 


The fails are in there. Several of them. It made for a good video, but I was frustrated. I questioned my progress and my process, and wondered if I'd maxed out on my strength gains. Missing a lift, or a run, or a workout can also set off all kinds of triggers about who you are and what you're doing. But you have to learn to accept the failures for what they are.

Teaching tools. Learning experiences. And part of the process. 

Failure happens. Maybe not on social media, but in real life. And it's ok. It's part of the process. 

*At Gannon University, my professor Dr. Walter Minot said we were only allotted five exclamation points in our lifetime. I've used most of mine on deadlift posts.