If you don’t want to see the rest of your summer flushed down the toilet, do not—I repeat, do NOT—watch Suits.
The day I discovered Suits was the Sunday after my birthday. I was hungover, a little sunburnt, and since it was still technically my birthday weekend I gave myself the green light to lay on the couch, turn on Netflix, and not move until I passed out that night.
Two episodes in, I texted my friend Nora and said, “Have you ever seen Suits???” She responded with two words: You’re doomed.
I watched in an entire season in one day. For those of you unfamiliar, we’re not discussing your average ’90’s sitcom. It’s a full-hour show, sixteen episodes per season. Covering the entire first season in one blow was both impressive and disgusting all at the same time.
My only break came when I walked across the street to order nachos (I crushed those just like I crushed Season 1).
Of my many, many faults—this is one of them. No, I’m not referring to an all-out Netflix binge. I’m referring to what a Netflix binge represents.
I am an instant-gratification addict. My ultimate demise is wanting to run before I can walk. In Netflix terms, this means streaming episode after episode, just so I can get to the end.
Full confession: If it’s a show I don’t care for, I’ll still Wikipedia the ending.
I’ve told you before about my personal trainer, Will. In my present life, he’s the closest thing I have to a coach, and (thank goodness) is much calmer than the high-strung personality of yours truly.
One thing Will drills into my head—almost to the point of being annoying—is this:
Respect the process.
In terms of fitness, this has been one of the most frustrating years of my life. My hip started bothering me in January, and within one month I couldn’t do a bodyweight squat. Thinking I dislocated it, I went to two different chiropractors demanding they throw it back in. The second one listened to my symptoms and watched me try (and fail) to do a squat. His assessment included a labral tear in my right hip (in English: he thought I tore the cartilage), and recommended me for an MRI.
Results showed the cartilage was not torn, but had severely eroded. The erosion caused a build-up of fluid in my hip, which is why I woke up every day feeling like I was eighty.
I didn’t squat for six months. I threw myself into the pool for two weeks, then modified my training schedule to include four days running, two days swimming. Will put me through glute workout after glute workout, in hopes my butt wouldn’t shrink two sizes through rehabilitation.
I thought the whole ordeal would be over in two months. Instead, it took half a year. One week, I’d hit 300 pounds on leg press. The next week, I wouldn’t be able to sit in the machine because my hip couldn’t handle the position. In May, the pool I’d been swimming in closed for renovations—until 2017. I shot a text off to Will, saying, “This is the ONE THING that’s keeping me healthy!” Then I sat down on the curb and cried.
He sent me a text back that said, “Respect the process,” and I almost threw my phone against the damn wall.
You don’t have to love the process. You just have to love the end result.
I got off that curb, prayed no one I knew saw me crying, and walked to the hotel across the street. I changed in the lobby bathroom, walked to the fitness center, and apologized that I had, “left my card in my room,” to the lady working the front desk. Then I walked out onto the pool deck and did my workout. The next week, I found another (public) pool to swim at.
Yesterday, I did six sets of squats, working my way up to 155. I was so proud of myself! It was my first unassisted squat, and the first time I’ve went over a plate, in six months. And I did it with no pain.
At one point, 155 was my warm-up in the squat rack. Yesterday, it was my mini victory of the week. One month ago, it was a mini victory just to be in the squat rack.
I hate the process. I hate waiting for the next episode, waiting for rehab to kick in, waiting for my butt to grow back. I hate every, single minute of it and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
But you don’t have to love the process. You just have to love the end result, and respect the process enough to get there.