Workout of the Day

What If It’s Not What You Thought It Would Be?


Life is full of things not going as planned, not being what was expected. A career, a relationship, an education, a purchase, whatever. We are fed stories (and we feed ourselves stories) about what something will be as we embark; but inevitably, things turn out different. Sometimes this is positive -- things turn out better than we thought they would. But quite often, things go the other way.

As always, this presents us with an opportunity. Will we choose to react? Or will we respond? Reaction is the oft-chosen path. We turn to feelings of betrayal, disappointment in self or others, blame, resignation, defeat. On the other hand, we have an opportunity to respond. We have a chance to look back at what actually happened and how it diverged from our expectations. Were our expectations misguided? Or did we have result-based expectations but no plan for how to get there? If we choose to respond rather than react, we give ourself an opportunity to learn, to reassess and apply.

We see this story of reality not meeting expectations play out often in sport and fitness. I recall watching a young athlete who had been told all his life that he was “gifted” and “talented” (and he certainly was) struggle with the crushing disappointment of being sidelined on game day because his performance was not up to snuff. His expectation was stardom, his reality was no bench-warming second stringer. For him, this was a hard-learned lesson in the value of hard work: when you don’t show up to practice, you eventually get passed up by those who’ve committed themselves to the process, regardless of any natural talent or gift you may bring to the table.

Fitness is subject to this divergence of reality and expectation as much as anything. Goals are not met, old habits persist, results fall short. To some, this acts as another nail in the coffin of defeat. But to those who see the opportunity to respond, each of these failures and disappointments acts as another stepping stone along the path of betterment. If the above-mentioned athlete chose to react, he would blame the team, the coach, the weather, the stadium lights, what he ate for dinner, whatever. If he chose to respond, he would reflect and see that his actions did not match up to his expectations -- his choices and (lack of) commitment to the process were not enough. And from this, he would have the opportunity to adjust his actions and his expectations.

Henry Ford put it best, saying, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

If there’s one guarantee that I can make you, it’s that things won’t always go as planned. And that’s okay. You always have the opportunity to make it better.

- Preston Sprimont


  • Supine ring row w/ pause - 3x max (2-sec pause)

  • 5 min AMRAP:

    • 400m run

    • Max ground to overhead (95/65)

Rest 4 mins

  • 5 min AMRAP:

    • 400m run

    • Max toes to bar