We train for many reasons, but sometimes the process itself breeds confidence.
Roughly 30 days ago, we (that’s me, Ben Lindbergh and some of you) began a 30 day calf-workout-challenge-thingy. If you haven’t been reading daily, shame on you. Read this and rejoin us.
I’m sure you, like me, have been diligent and made it through to the end without missing a day. Congrats. I can’t wait to hear your results.
You ever have that friend who asks a question just so they can tell you their answer? “Hey, did you go anywhere interesting this summer?” Then, before you can reply, they spill. “I went to Barcelona,” said with the full Castilian Spanish style pronunciation for good measure. Bar-the-lona.
That’s what I just did. Really, I can’t wait to share my results with you. They are dramatic. But first, let’s think about what fitness can accomplish for us. Consistently training to improve a weak or personally unsatisfactory body part can change your confidence level in it and in general. From huffingtonpost.com:
On a very basic level, physical fitness can boost self-esteem and improve positive self-image. Regardless of weight, size, gender or age, exercise can quickly elevate a person’s perception of his or her attractiveness, that is, self-worth.
Let’s stay focused on the self-worth part of that quote.
So here are my results. I gained…
1/8 of an inch on my right calf.
In fact, I lost a ½ inch on my left. Measuring issues you say? Absolutely. You must know exactly where on the calf you wrapped the measuring tape and I did not do an adequate job with that part.
This is not my finest hour, ladies and gentlemen. I invited you to take part in a scientific experiment with me and I left out the science part. This is problematic. Some would say: “You just spent 30 of the most boring and painful workouts imaginable and got nothing out of it?” Well, not really.
About 8 days ago, something strange happened. I caught a glimpse of my calves from the back. “Damn,” I thought to myself, “They sort of look just skinny, instead of embarrassingly skinny. “ Dig that. I may not have grown at all in lean tissue, but psychologically, I felt taller and more confident in my baby boys.
Additionally, the last few days, I was finally able to complete the entire ten minute workout without stopping. Not every night, but my endurance improved substantially. Granted, I have no desire to win the Survivor calf raise competition, but it felt good to see a result of some sort.
Regardless of what the tape measure says, this was a worthwhile exercise for me. Setting a goal like spending 30 days trying to achieve growth of any type can boost self esteem. From advancedlifeskills.com:
Start where you know you can succeed. One effective way to build your self-confidence is to choose an area in your life where you know you can take control. No matter who we are, there is always some area in our life where we feel a level of competence. Start by setting one reachable goal in that direction and then take action.
And all along I thought this had something to do with my skinny lower legs.
PS: If you participated in the challenge, send in your final pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your address. Plus, share your experiences in the comments below. Seriously, I won’t tell you about my vacation.