This is the 2k time trial data collected by Concept 2. It is for heavyweight males. We recently tested this at XCF so many of you should have some concept of how these times compare. To give those of you who aren’t as familiar with the 2k time trial I will give you some frame of reference. The fastest male time at our gym is 6:36.1 rowed by Kevin Daniel. The fastest women’s time from XCF is 7:36.0 rowed by Jennifer Wheeler.
There are a few different ways to look at this chart. I think the most common or at least the first reaction most people would have is “well I certainly suck more than I thought I did.” This is natural. We often rank ourselves based on the people around us. We also tend to choose people to compare ourselves to that don’t make us look too shabby. We compare our kids to the neighbor kids, and our back squats to the other 41 year old, Caucasian male, who works in financial services and votes republican. When we look at such a refined data set it is easy to become blind to the larger picture of what is possible.
Another way to look at that data is to see incredible potential. I can take the top male and female row times and consider that they are only fast enough to beat someone in their 60s or 70s or I can consider just how much faster they can get considering that someone the same age as them has produced so much more power. I can choose to be encouraged because I have evidence about what is possible. We might never achieve it but there is a reason to keep striving. Our best can be better. Somewhere in the world a 70 year old dude is proving it to me. In fact somewhere in the world a 40 year old women is telling me that I can do more.
I turn 33 today. I haven’t quite moved into a new box yet so I guess I just have to keep pushing harder. If I stay the same as I am now I will be the best when I am 75. That seems like an odd way to live. I think I will push for a whole lot better now so when that inevitable downward slide starts to happen I will be descending from a mountain instead of a hill. Basically in 10 years or I want to be as good as Kevin, or Charles, or Judy, or Gordy, or any one of the monsters we’ve got on tap at XCF.
There are “data sets” all over the place that we can respond to in similar ways. Do you get fired up or bogged down? What story are you telling yourself about what is possible for you based on what is possible in the universe?