Starting Well

Starting Well

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I remember my Sophomore year of college at UC when all I was chasing in the gym was the highest number I could add by 45. Long story made short, if you would have asked me then to name the most alpha exercise in the gym, I would have instinctively loaded up the bar for some bench press. Yeah buddy!

One day, my lifting buddy took his first step in the uphill battle of teaching me the clean. And I imagine it looking really, really bad. Nonetheless, Dustin kept encouraging me and told me to think of this lift like manhandling somebody. Well that idea really stuck with me as I began to learn more about the sport of weightlifting many years later. Ask me now, and I can make a biased argument in favor of the snatch as the most alpha of them all.

Why the snatch? What starts off to appear as a wide-gripped deadlift quickly escalates to directly overhead at the bottom of a squat, and then standing it up. If you’ve never attempted an overhead squat before, go try it with just a piece of PVC pipe. And maybe you’ll get an idea of the coordination needed before strength is even a factor. Put simply, the snatch requires the most speed through the biggest range of motion. And I love it!

More specifically, I appreciate the snatch because learning principles about moving weight better can help me move through life better. Last week, I only practiced a consistent start position to lift from. Because my movement became consistent, it became easier to adjust my timing of other movements and resulted in keeping the bar closer.

After a few reps, I saw how this could draw a parallel on the importance of how I start each day. Just as I choose to take time for a routine to set my shoulders tight before each lift, I prioritize starting my day with a consistent routine to give me more momentum throughout the day. Doing things like reading a daily devotional and spending a few minutes in prayer can help me stay in a better rhythm throughout the day. A healthy bowl of oatmeal for breakfast always puts a smile on my face, too. I even put the water on the stove before I read. This way boiling water is immediately ready by the time I add everything in a bowl. It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s free momentum to start the day.

Now, I challenge you to spend some time thinking about what you could do well at the beginning of each day to see more success. Consider even small things like drinking a glass of water, or rinsing your face off. There is great power that comes from intentionally creating healthy decisions.

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