Pushing Through the Wall
One night this past fall (2020) when I was working out with my basketball trainer, he said something to me that I have not forgotten since.
It was one of my first training sessions with him, and he was having me do a very challenging ball handling drill where I felt like quitting halfway through.
However, he began to yell, “Push through the wall! Get through that wall!” over and over again. I finished the drill without stopping.
What exactly did this phrase mean? What “wall” was he referring to?
Rather than a physical structure, my trainer was referring to the mental “roadblock” that every human’s mind builds when they reach their breaking point.
This is similar to the glass ceiling theory: “The glass ceiling is a metaphor for the invisible barrier that prevents some people from rising to senior positions. It’s a subtle but damaging form of discrimination where you cannot attain the opportunities you see in front of you, despite your suitability and your best efforts.”
This concept can apply to social, economic, or even political spheres, but in my personal experience, the wall (or glass ceiling) was the physical and mental feeling of ultimate fatigue and weakness.
During the drill, the voice in my head was screaming, “I can’t do it anymore,” “This is too hard,” “I want to give up,” “This isn’t worth it,” and more degrading phrases.
Somehow, my trainer could sense this, and that’s why he told me to push through the wall. He could perceive that I was reaching my breaking point, but he knew that I had the opportunity to push farther. He knew that I had the potential to keep fighting, even if my body or my mind told me otherwise.
After listening to his advice and ignoring all the negative thoughts in my head, I stopped viewing my wall as a roadblock and instead viewed it as an opportunity to showcase my strength and ability to overcome adversity.
When your body pushes through the wall, it learns that it can do a lot more that it originally assumed. Therefore, the next time you do the same activity, you go even farther, and the same with the times after that.
This pattern allows for constant growth rather than complacency. It pushes you to become the best athlete, both physically and mentally, that you can possibly be. It encourages you to leave absolutely nothing behind and leave the court with no regrets.