Looking back on my 2011 training chart puts perspective on the importance of taking on life one day at a time. I train a lot but, still, when you add it all up I’m not getting a lot of chances per year at each of my pursuits, much less each individual workout. The other day, during Plyocide, I was being lazy about working on an exercise I’m weak at when it dawned on me that I was only going to get a few chances at it in the course of the program, which inspired a vision Oregon’s football slogan, Win the Day.
One of the first things taught to Oregon players is the importance of each day. It’s a play on “live each day as though it were your last” but tailored to competition. I find it a great reminder to help get after it during the P90X2 workouts because, as Ducks coach Chip Kelly knows, once you make winning each day a practice it leads to better performance, period.
Why is each day so important? Looking back through my calendar I noted that I had only 6 full climbing days 2011, my preferred sport. My favorite workout of last year, Asylum Strength, I only did 5 times. PAP sessions: 12. When you have a full schedule and begin to analyze how it’s broken down the importance of each workout becomes clear; each time you slack off is missing an opportunity to improve yourself. If you lay each workout on a graph you will see exactly how a bit more effort or concentration here and there would have yielded greater overall improvements. Over time it’s the difference between champions and everyone else.
The X2 workouts are hard in a unique way. My favorite quote about the program, so far, has been “as I get better at the workouts they just get harder.” Conversely a complaint was that they were too slow. P90X2 is not step aerobics. It’s not simply about moving or getting your heart rate up. It’s about winning each encounter with something that’s going to challenge you. Once your body adapts to the subtleties of each movement you then add weight, or speed, or height or range of motion.
If Plyocide isn’t hard then you didn’t jump high enough, far enough, fast enough or use enough control to hit every square, touch the ball with your foot each movement, etc. If PAP doesn’t hurt you simply aren’t giving it enough effort because I’ve seen some of the most athletic people on the planet literally begging for mercy during those complexes. You can’t say you’ve mastered X2 until you can do all the exercises in perfect form with the same weight you can use from a stable platform; and if you think that’s impossible then you’re starting to get the picture. There is room for improvement and winning each day is the essence of what P90X2 is about.
To be fair, daily winning isn’t necessary or required. It’s about the effort. Bad days are a reality. Not to mention that if we never lost then winning would lose its luster. It’s fine to have off days, or lazy days. Days when you choose something over nothing, even when you don’t have the energy to bring it, are an important part of the process. But as you move up the pyramid of fitness to the point where you’re trying to do something special you’re going to run into an adversary. And whether it’s you, or an opponent, how you react to it will ultimately define your success.