Note: This post was written by Jes and Bud intermittently adds his two cents throughout.
While most of us consider what people appear to be on the outside the determining factor in their physical ability, I’m very aware that the mental determination within an individual far outweighs anything that may appear on the outside. Such is the case of one of my long-time and surprisingly favorite clients, Bud Gibson.
(Bud: Jes wanted to make this a dialog with me throwing in remarks. Well, Remark #1, it’s nice to be referred to as surprisingly favorite)
Sure, most of you probably see us as a mismatched pair. But actually if you take away the layers, Bud and I are both fierce perfectionists who share a passion for personal achievement. It’s through this shared mental approach that includes tenacity, confidence and focus to the point some would consider obsession (Bud: some!? I’d say most), that Bud was able to not only perform, but master the two ball push-up.
When I first began training Bud, like most people he was afraid of me (Bud: I’m not sure I was so much afraid of Jes as dying from the workout). Rightfully so…I’m not sure, I guess you guys can be the judge of that. But the feeling of nausea throughout the entire first workout seems to be a theme with many of my trainees. Bud was not excluded from this right of passage (at least the way he tells it he’s not).
In terms of physical ability, while Bud was strong, (and by strong I mean capable of performing most lifts well and with decent form) he had little or no ability to transfer his strength into movement or functionality (Bud: This is why I sought Jes out and why I still work with her). His core was extremely weak, as he was unable to hold a basic plank for more than 30 seconds.
From the beginning of our working together, Bud insisted upon being able to beat me at everything. It didn’t matter if we were talking about running, jumping, lifting, stretching, or whatever…Bud proclaimed that he would reign supreme…at least in some capacity. I personally thought he was nuts (just being honest) and I’m a little surprised he didn’t join my volleyball league just so he could beat me at that too (Bud: Had I known of this league, I probably would have. Jes kind of kept it from me … hmmm).
One of the tasks Bud insisted (vehemently) that we work on was the 2 ball push-up. From a trainers perspective, I thought it was a fantastic goal. Something challenging that had a lot of mini steps he could use to encourage him along the path to achieving it. So the journey began…
First on the list was the basic plank. We worked on this a few times a week until it came quite easy for him to hold for at minimum one minute. Next was something Bud was already very proficient at, the basic push-up. We didn’t spend much time on that other than to incorporate it into different aspects of his training regimen. Third was the one and two ball plank (Bud: This is actually the part I remember. The first time at the one ball plank, Jes had to hold the ball between her feet to stabilize it for me. That’s when I realized beating her at anything would not be so easy. I still haven’t given up though. It’s a long term goal. It will happen). This took more time for him to master and was incorporated into workouts quite often (every week) as we worked up to the 2 ball push-up. Last was the actual two ball push-up. After a period of time, dedication, and obsessive focus Bud was able to easily perform the push-up and still can to this day.
As his trainer, I will say that watching Bud progress from hardly being able to do a plank to being able to easily incorporate the two ball push-up into workouts was very rewarding. It was an honor to guide him towards one of his own personal fitness goals. I also would like to reiterate, that it wasn’t Bud’s physical ability that caused him to reach his goal, he started with almost no ability to do the most basic component of this exercise (Bud: Such the flatterer). It was his mental tenacity, will, focus, and persistence that caused him to master this movement and all the skills necessary to achieve it. GOOD JOB BUD!
(Bud: Jes has actually asked me to write my own post next week, telling my side of the story. Quite brave, if you ask me. Suffice it to say, for now, that the honor has been all mine)