You Never Know Till You Try...

Handstand Pushup


I did my first handstand push up yesterday at Crossfit. Now, before you roll your eyes and think, “Ugh, another Crossfit post I can’t relate to…” just hold on. This really doesn’t have anything to do with Crossfit. Sort of. 


Crossfit teaches me about life.


Yes, it keeps me healthy, active and helps me discover what my body is capable of at 43 years old…but it does so much more. It tests me in ways I never thought it would. Because I choose to position myself in a challenging activity guess what happens? I get challenged. Which means I’m uncomfortable, clumsy, confused much of the time and often I’m the one with my hand up asking for another explanation of the workout. Yep. That’s me. 


But, I’m also learning. 


I learned something this week that really surprised me. I can do a handstand push up. And last week, I did my first toes-to-bar and shocked the hell out of myself. I squealed so loud the whole gym turned around. 


Both of these moves are tough, not impossible, and over time most Crossfitters are expected to be able to do these. I’ve been doing Crossfit for 9 months and I assumed I wasn’t ready. In fact, whenever the workout includes these moves I’m the first one to ask the coach to scale it down for me. 


Because I never tried it, I assumed I couldn’t. 


Never make assumptions, especially about the things you think you can’t do….until you try it. The funny thing about the toes-to-bar move was that I spent about an hour the day before studying a ‘how-to’ video on how to build up to doing one. I gave myself 2 months to work on it hoping I’d be able to manage one by the end of the year.  


So, when I got to the gym last week I spent all my time on practicing the basic moves of swinging my legs…never attempting to try to actually get them to touch the bar. Then Calvin says to me, “Have you ever tried?” Sheer terror came over me. Of course I’ve never tried, I’m not ready. Who me? I can’t do toes-to-bar.


Until I tried.  


I leaned back, swung my head, hips forward, raised my knees and gave it my all to get my toes to touch the bar. I nailed it on my first try, and my second and my third. Guess what? I can do toes-to-bar. And, probably have been able to do it for a few months if I’m honest. But I hid behind the idea that I couldn’t, I wasn’t ready. You really don’t know if you’re ready until you try. 

(Not actually me…incase you had any doubts. #goals) 

(Not actually me…incase you had any doubts. #goals) 

Last night Coach Robb said everyone was going to do handstand push ups. My hand shot up and asked, “What if you can’t do them?" He just looked at me and repeated that everyone was going to do them. He has no mercy, which I secretly like. No excuses, no scaling, no messing around for 20 minutes feeling scared and wasting time. I got up to the wall, put my hands down and threw my legs into a handstand for the first time…and then I pushed up and down which qualified for the most pathetic push up. But it qualified. 


You have to start somewhere. 


If you don’t start you can’t get better. There are so many things I have already disqualified myself for, so I never try, I never start. What’s the point? I can’t do it anyway, right? Someone else can do it better than me. They probably can, but you never know until you try. For those of you who know me…did you ever think I would be in Crossfit? Or doing a handstand push up? 


What do you have to lose?


Really? What is the thing you’re not quite ready to do? Read a few more books, videos, another class before you’re ready? How do you know until you try? Rather, spend the time honing the parts that need work rather than not trying at all. You’re just delaying your growth and ultimately success. Stop being chicken or hiding behind excuses, or your ego. Be willing to fall on your butt or your head, literally. You might just surprise yourself and everyone around you. #NeverStopStarting


Want to know more about starting well? Using startup principles and framework to ensure that you are building on a solid foundation that may start small but scale fast! 

Lisa is a branding and business coach for entrepreneurs. She will help you clarify your brand, tell a great story and attract more business. Contact her at