Plateaus

Learn to embrace the plateau. In fitness (and every skill in life for that matter), it is common for newbies to see rapid improvements initially that inevitably leads to their first plateau. Plateaus are where you spend most of your time during your development, and you are going to practice and put in the work without seeing much noticeable progress for a period of time.  You can compare it to watering seeds. Although there won’t be any noticeable growth for a while, you still have to apply consistent care for the seed to eventually sprout. When it comes to exercising, the biggest hurdle is getting people to start, and the second would be to get them through their first plateau. Once they make it through, typically they have momentum, and it becomes unlikely that they fall off the wagon. In CrossFit, I hit my first plateau about six months in, and it lasted about a year. For the growth of my gym, we hit our first plateau three months in, and it lasted six months. When I started changing my diet, I hit a plateau about two months in and didn’t see a significant change until 14 months later. This pattern applies for instruments I played, coaching, communication skills and anything I have ever spent a significant amount of time on. It can still be frustrating but knowing that the plateau is normal helps you keep grinding even though you aren’t getting consistent positive feedback. When the burst of improvement does eventually come, it is gratifying because it validates the hard work you have put it, but it also sets you up for your plateau at the next level. Think back on your life and see if this fits. It’s possible to enjoy the journey and the plateau as opposed to resisting it and being attached to an outcome. On a side note, the “leveling up” seems to always come after a setback for me. In some ways, I actually appreciate setbacks now, because fundamentally I get that it is necessary.  George Leonard’s book “Mastery” is a very short read and discusses this concept eloquently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 – Kuang

 

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