It’s always amazed me how powerful tiny changes can be. I often think back on my life and (like most people, I assume) consider the big “what if” events that have shaped my time on this earth. Where I went to school, what jobs I’ve taken, what opportunities I’ve passed up, or ignored, or didn’t strive for. These are all BIG things, BIG concepts that have BIG consequences.
But it’s the little things that can secretly surprise and shock you with their significance. It was the little choice of one dating website over another that led me to find the love of a lifetime. It was the little choice of changing gyms that has completely reshaped my fitness, diet, and health philosophy (as well as my dress size!). It was the little choice of picking up knitting again, after a 10-year hiatus, that totally revamped and renewed my creative side.
And for an even smaller example, but a result no less exciting, my weight lifting today looked like this:
Power Cleans 1 X 6
53#, 83#, 103#, 113#,
123#, 123#, 123#, 123#!
See that? Yeah, go back and look for a sec. See that last bit up there? Yeah. I failed THREE times at my one rep max of power clean, 123lbs. I was getting a little frustrated, as I knew I could do it, but I was having trouble pinpointing the problem. It wasn’t that I was lifting the bar away and up from my body…it wasn’t that I was going too wide on my stance…it wasn’t that I was cheating myself on the hip drive…what was it?
I stood, perplexed, staring down that barbell with my hands on my hips. Enter Trainer Neil.
“You’re grasping that thing very white-knuckled, you know, and by the time you get it to your chest, you can’t spin the bar fast enough to get your elbows under it. Why don’t you just loosen your grip?”
A light bulb went off, and the fourth time I tried the weight, I almost let the bar rest loosely in my fingers, instead of tight against my palms. Bingo. Pop, up it went, and like it was nothing. It all came down to Neil’s little suggestion of a tiny movement to allow me to go big with the weight.
People often say “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” That’s true to an extent, I suppose, but you also can’t get too caught up in the big things or you’ll miss what’s right under your nose. Don’t ever negate the power and the importance of those little things; it may be the BIG choices that shape your life, but it’s the little things that fine-tune it.