The pinnacle of my frustration occurred on day 26. The previous day, part of our workout included 2 sets of 48 Double Unders. In order to encourage us to do our DUs, if we do singles instead of doubles, we have to do triple the number. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get more than one DU--so I ended up doing 300 singles total that day. This meant for the first I was not able to meet my daily quota of 25. In addition, Sean and I had finally returned the rope we had borrowed from the gym, which meant I was using a completely new rope for the first time. So the next morning I got up at 5:30 AM to ensure I could do my 26 for the day. I pulled out my new rope and quickly realized that a jump rope can actually be used as a Medieval torture device. Not only could I hardly do the DUs, but the rope kept hitting me so hard on the same section of my lower back that I still have visible welts as I write this.
Now I must share I have another bad character flaw in addition to being ultra competitive--I can be extremely stubborn. When I couldn't accomplish the jumps I wanted, and the rope kept hurting me, I was not going to give in. I was not going to leave the patio until I had finished my 26. It was at this point that I actually began to understand what the students I work with feel like when the books they read are too difficult for them. They work so hard to learn the sound, the words, and yet, when they go to read some books, all that hard work sometimes doesn't seem to pay off. I had been working every day for 25 days on this skill, and on that 26th day I was almost worse than the day I started. I have not felt that level of frustration in a long time!
At one point Sean came out to make sure I was okay--as I wiped the tears of frustration form my eyes, and kept the swear words deep under my breath, I was able to share through gritted teeth, "I HATE DOUBLE UNDERS!" Forty minutes later, and I am not exaggerating that amount of time, I came into the house having finally been able to do 26. I was starting to question whether I could keep up with the challenge anymore.
The next day, I reviewed a Double Under video Sean had shared with me. It gave steps for how I needed to stand, where the rope should be when I jumped, where to have my hands as they turned the rope. Today I went out to the patio with a new attitude and some new strategies to try with my Double Unders. I decided to actually pad my back with a potholder to protect me where the rope seemed to enjoy torturing me (I am determined, but not stupid). I brought out my music, my water--I was in this for the long haul. And today, not only did I do the 27 I needed to do, I was able to do the 25 I missed the day I had to do 300 singles. The best part was--I was done with all 52 in ten minutes. I still can't do more than one before the rope stops, but I can do them, and that is the most important thing to me.
There are going to be times on our journeys that we will be faced with some frustrating challenges. The key is not to give in. Try a new strategy, start each day with a renewed attitude, be willing to understand that sometimes you have to work hard to get what you want in life. Never give up on yourself. No matter how many times you are pushed backward, keep pushing forward. You are worth the extra effort and time it takes to accomplish your goals. Be patient with yourself and you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.