birthday challenge
November 11, 2013 posted by

What To Do When Things Go Wrong

What To Do When Things Go Wrong

“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.”

– Winston Churchill

Whenever I do long challenges things go wrong and, I suppose, if they ever didn’t I’d be disappointed. Dealing with adversity is exactly why we take on challenges. The idea being that if we deal when things go bad under a somewhat-controlled situation it will make us better at coping with life’s inevitable clusterfucks. With that in mind here are three ways to turn negatives into positives.

Don’t target perfection. Nobody is perfect. That includes you. I don’t know where the ideal of perfection came from but it’s failures, not perfection, are what make life worth living. Without failure there is no measure for success.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to be the best. And it doesn’t mean you sometimes won’t succeed. But consider a “perfect game” in baseball. For every one that happens the said pitcher will have the same “stuff” (baseball term for how you’re pitching) at least a hundred other occasions. The “perfect game” is a combination of many things falling into place, and a lot of luck. Any pitcher who states that they’ll only pitch if they can throw perfect games isn’t a pitcher anymore.

In my line of work I see the ideal of perfection used as an excuse.  All the time. Somebody misses a workout, cheats on a diet, gets an injury or is forced to deal with a family issue and decides to cash in their goals as if their fitness and health was based on being perfect. Look at is this way; would you watch a movie or read a book where the hero didn’t face adversity? Of course not. So why would you expect it in yourself?

Plan for the inevitable. Here’s where overachievers seperate themselves. Rationale tells us failure isn’t just an option, but a virtual certainty. Those who win (if you think of this as a bet) are those who stack the odds the most in their favor. Whenever I go into a challenge I have contingency after contingency. I do this in other walks of life as well. Life doesn’t always turn out how you’d like it and those who come out on top probably had the best Plan B… or C.

Embrace defeat. As Nietzsche  said, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and, you know, since he was a philosopher these kind of statements were said for others to live by. This one’s turned into a pop cliche but singing it isn’t enough. You should embrace it fully. Revel in defeat and learn all that you possibly can from it. As Captain Kirk once said, “I don’t want my pain taken away. I need my pain!”

So my tips are nothing more than a change of attitude. And that’s about right. Though I dislike using such judgements, it’s what separates winners from losers most of the time. So I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the more prolific winners, His Airness, who famously said,

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Now let’s do the numbers…

Steve’ 53rd Birthday Challenge

Join the Challenge and win stuff!

Beachbody Workout of the Day

P90X2 Yoga X – A little overly active for my desired recovery today.

Synopsis – Pretty tired after lifting 551,200 pounds yesterday. Did have much on my run and decided not to do anymore.

 Reading & questions answered: /2809 (53/day) –   9 & 0 (385 questions and 2,169 pages) Bad reading weekend. Need to get back at it!

Servings of Shakeology: /53 – 1(42) – w/ water 
Days of Ultimate Reset: /5.3 .3(.3)
Days taking supplements: /53 – 1(41)
Days of no alcohol: /53 – 0(37)****
Days of no meat: /53 – 1(41)
Coffee Cycles (more on this later): /5.3 – round 6
King Pin fritters: /5 0(0)

Beachbody workouts: /53 –1(41)
Push-ups: /5300 – 00(3,920)
Jumping jacks: /5300 – 00(3,800)
Leg lifts: /5300 – 0(3,520)
Crunches: /5300 – 0(3,590)
Ab Ripper X Moves: /5300 – 00(3500) [110,900]
Beast back day: /53,000 lbs. 0(54,000) [129,200]
Beast chest day: /53,000 lbs. 0(53,000) [59,700]
Beast shoulder day: /53,000 lbs. 0(53,000) [59,800]
Beast leg day: /53,000 lbs.   [125,500]
Beast arm day: /53,000 lbs. 0(53,000) [68,100] 
P90X2 functional warm-up: /53 –2(41)
Running drills: /53 – 2(40)

Neuro-integrating stretching: /53 – 2(40)
Iron Mind gripper and extensor band reps: /10600 300(8100)
Breath hold sessions: /53 – 0(40)
Stabilizer sessions: /53 – 0(44) 
Internal Organ Training: /53 –  1(40)

5.11 Climbs: /5 2(6) [5]
5.12 Climbs: /3 1(2) [1]
5.11 Boulder transverses: /5 – 0(5)
5.12 Boulder transverses: /3 – 0(2)
Campus board movements: /530 – 00(471)
Climb-specific pull-ups: /530 – 05(280)
Cycling on road bike: /53 miles 30(30) [74]
Cycling on mountain bike: /53 miles 0(38) [205]
Cycling on cyclocross bike: /53 miles 0(46)
Cycling on time trial bike: /53 miles 0(20)
Cycling on fixed gear bike: /53 miles 0(0)
Cycling on single speed bike: /53 miles 0 (51) [30]
Cycling on tandem bike: /53 miles 0(0)
Hiking: /53 miles –2(54) [10]
Running: /53 miles 4(44)
30 minutes of rowing: /5 times 0(5)
30 minutes of elliptical: /5 times 0(5)
30 minutes of swimming: /5 times 0(0)
Hours of travel 0(47)

Tasks for his wife: /53 – 1(44)
Chores around the house: /53 – 3(43)
Tasks for his dogs: /53 – dogs are basically sidekicks so this one’s a freebie

Blog posts: /53 – 1 (42)
Team Beachbody Instructional Videos: /5 7(7)
Team Beachbody Video Chat /5 1(6)
Days keeping these stats: /53 – 1(41)

A Few Challenges of Yore

2000 – 40 Days of Hell
2003 – Get Back To Reality
2006 – This is Gonna Hurt
2007 – My Blood Must Be Fully Replaced Each Year
2010 – Birthday Tribute from 67 friends
2012 – Making Lemonade




  • A few versions of the MJ commercial:

    I’d pay money for a dvd of MJ’s greatest misses. The “almost” shots are nearly as cool as the makes.

    Speaking of excuses, some people also use lack of the “perfect scenario” as an excuse to not work out. Not enough time, no equipment, too cold, too hot.

    It’s the whole reason T25 and P90X3 fill a niche. When I only have 30 min, I modify. X and INS workouts are so easy to modify to fit a time requirement. But some people use their time constraints as an excuse to do nothing.

    And last but not least, one of my favorite quotes “don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good”

  • Thanks, Matt. Don’t know that quote but very true.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *