About the Author
Ben Crookston is the Founder and CEO of TrainHeroic. Prior to finding his home in the tech world, Ben ordered the Sampler off the career menu, teaching, coaching, and writing. He has an incredible family and back squats 500 pounds A2G.
// life is change
It’s inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be hard. In many ways, we choose how it feels and impacts us.
With every change, great or small, we have a choice to resist or respond. React or adapt.
Two years ago, I had major surgery performed on my left hip. A genetic abnormality, years of athletic abuse, and laughably misguided training smashed my hips into a shape that better resembled those of “an 85-year-old woman.”*
It turns out, there are only so many barbells we can juggle and ice-cold max lifts we can attempt before our body calls the bill due.
I’ve had my fair share of injuries over the years and have the scars, scraggly fingers, lingering back issues, sliding shoulders, and a stack of CT Scans to prove it. But nothing before fully prepared me for the forced humility of having my hips hacksawed to pieces.
One day I’m trying out for the US Bobsled team, the next I’m in a wheelchair; with Lauren bathing and assisting me to go to the bathroom.
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Fun. I started training for the bobsled only 45 days ago, pulled my hamstring 2 weeks in, and today, got to test myself against some stupid fast people. I came into this with no expectations. I had next to no knowledge of the sport, the faintest understating of the combine requirements, and frankly, no idea what my rickety, abused, and aging body had left in the tank. Today, I missed the cut for a Camp invite, but I think I had more fun than anyone in attendance. It reminded me what it's like to be truly be an athlete, to have the invigorating, heart hammering anxiety of gameday, to stare down the demons of self doubt, and to compete toe to toe at a high level. I started this with a goal to show people that it's never too late to chase your dreams and it's never the wrong time to discover what you're capable of. Today was merely the first step in accomplishing that goal and goddamnit, that first step feels goooooood! Thanks to all that support me, that coach me, and that inspire me to Be my Best. @teamusa and @elanameyerstaylor I'll see you next year 😜 @cal_strength @powerathletehq @trainheroic @sorinex #beyourbest #bobsled #pathtopeyongchang #powerathlete #speed #performance #olympics
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Surgery 1 of 2 in the books. With a few complications, it ended up running over 5 hours. While I'm feeling a healthy dose of pain, it pales in comparison to the love I've felt throughout this process. / I'm one lucky SOB. / Plenty of people in this world say "let me know if I can help," but are magically absent when you come calling. Then, there are people who ask "what can I do?" and always follow through. / The latter are the types of folks I'm fortunate enough to have in my life. / To my friend and mentor @arimlevy who helped sift thru our bewilderingly complex medical system to help me make my decision for surgery. / To my homie @mcquilkin for training me and getting my body battle ready. You're a genius. / To @kgoldberg88 who inspired me thru his own progress and lent me his recovery bike on < 5 hours of notice. / To @bernardofanti who gave me his fancy ass ergonomic crutches and cooks up the best food. / To my family who is the definition of the Support and Commitment. I don't know where the hell I'd be without you. / To @lholland who's been there the whole time. From rubbing my hips each night when I come home from work and can't feel my feet, to holding my hand in the hospital. You're patience and healing touch blow me away. / And to my team who's stepping up during our busiest time of the year to take care of our customers in my absence and make this whole thing possible. You're my heroes. / Thank you. Thank you all so damn much. I'm going to get better and I'm going to get better for you.
The change was real. And initially, it was hard.
Where I used to recover like Wolverine mainlining Deer Antler; at 32, my body had enough. As much as I wanted to race back to lifting, hooping, and ripping mountains on my bike, my aging meatsuit had other plans.
For the entire first year of my rehab, I held an outdated mental model and expectation for improvement. I thought I could do as I normally did, when and how I used to do it. That meant doing too much, too soon, too fast. Unsurprisingly, such arrogance only led to setbacks and heartache.
Our body has its own clock that keeps track of time in aches and pains rather than hours and minutes. We can try to speed it up all we want, but we’re not the ones in control.
While I may be stubborn, I’m not entirely stupid. Eventually, I learned to listen and respond to what my body needed. I began to ride rather than fight the wave of change.
Who I was in the past is not who I am today. And I’m okay with that. In fact, in many ways, I prefer it.
Today, my coach programs for me each week
And while the week might look great on Monday, by the time Thursday rolls around and life happens; more often than not, I’m adapting his prescription to the changes that came my way.
Where deviating from the plan used to frustrate me and make me feel like a failure, I’ve gotten better at shifting my attention to the process, training only to improve my body and mind, rather than achieve some arbitrary goal I’ve been programmed to care for.
At TrainHeroic, we call this “finding joy in the journey of training.” It’s one of the elements of our Heroic Spirit, and to me, the one that’s often the hardest to live up to each and every day.
The journey’s more of a squiggly line than a straight one. Simply staying on the path often feels harder than achieving almost any end. So as a team, we work intently to deliver solutions that make such a balancing act just a little bit easier for the committed athletes we serve.
Our solutions seek to keep them in the fight, feeling the satisfaction of progress in the process, regardless of the obstacles they face.
To help athletes better dip, dive, duck, and dodge the wrenches life chucks their way, we recently launched a new solution in our mobile app.
Introducing our latest update to trainheroic
Our latest update empowers athletes around the world to adjust prescribed training on the fly.
Today, athletes can adapt their sessions by:
- Logging warm-up sets and added volume
- Adding Exercises to account for extra work
- Swapping Exercises to make changes when injury, equipment, or ability demand
- Rescheduling sessions when conflicts appear
And to make things extra nice, we wrapped up all those benefits in a redesigned, streamlined experience to keep athletes focused on what matters most.
Over the past month, I’ve found these improvements quite beneficial in my own training. I suspect others will too.
If you have feedback on our recent updates, please reach out! There’s nothing we love more than hearing from those we serve.
We have more upgrades planned for the near future, so keep your eyes out and stay ready.
Until then, as life changes, how will you respond?
Adapt, evolve…be your best,
*doctor’s quote, not mine
** hat tip to our big brother TrainingPeaks who’ve used this quippy mantra for years as a guiding value