“I’ve noticed your progress,” said the nice woman at the gym this morning.

“Thank you so much!” I managed to reply, though I’d just been contemplating how slow my progress was. My squat sets had seemed much, much harder, even though I’d done them inside the squat cage instead of with free weights the way I’d been doing for the past few months. Surely, that should have made it easier, right?

Later I realized what I’d done. I’d loaded the bar with the amount of weight I was accustomed to — 70 pounds — but neglected to add in the weight of the bar itself.

Turns out the bar weighs 45 pounds.

I think often, when we try to assess our own progress — whether it’s on working out, writing, or anything else in our lives — we forget to include the weight of the bar, the bar being defined as everything else that affects our capacity to accomplish our goals.

So the next time you’re frustrated that your progress isn’t what you wish it would be, remember the weight of the bar. You might be surprised at how much you’re lifting.




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  • Angela
    August 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Great post. That is surely something I struggle with. I love how you put it.
    I just had the conversation last night that I felt like I haven’t accomplished as much as I wanted this year, but then my boyfriend pointed out that I have nearl kept up with my over-ambitious goal. I wanted to make a comic a month and I nearly have. And that is great on top of a full-time job.

  • Debrarian
    August 5, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Remember the weight of the bar! Just the image I need. Thanks Sara.