You choose your ball and chain. Really, you do. Something happens, and you choose to continue to be bothered by it. You choose to have something continue to affect you long after the fact. You pick out the ball and chain, then you strap it to your leg. Drag it around all day after you. Maybe all week. Worse — maybe you drag that thing for years and years, the metal scraping the ground and leaving marks behind you, marring the pavement and showing, always showing, where you’ve been.
You might do this in your life (“I’m no good at this” or “This always happens to me”), and you might do it in the gym. Think about what you say after the WOD. “My pull-ups sucked so bad. I’m terrible at them.” “I was so slow on the sprints.” Do you beat yourself up all day for your shortcomings? (And how useful is that? If beating yourself up was all that was required for improvement, we’d all be professional athletes, right?)
Well, get this — you don’t have to do that. You can refuse to drag that weight around. Instead, you can walk free. Deal with whatever happened, decide how to improve, then put the ball down, and leave that chain there. Walk away, unencumbered. Maybe a slight limp (life hurts after all, there’s no denying that — we all have scars and memories) but it’s something you’ll shake off after a bit. Something happened doesn’t mean that something needs to keep happening. If you don’t have to carry a 45lb plate overhead all day long every day, you can go faster, right? Get more stuff done? Have more fun? Same thing with life.
You make this choice. Not someone else. Despite all your protestations, nobody else can chain that ball to your leg. Only you can do that. Only you.
So, decide. Walk and drag. Or run free. Choose how you wish to go through this life.