Breaking The Impossible


Today, I was going to release a new post either on omni sets or muscle imbalances. But something happened in my life that I thought was impossible.

It is something that is reserved for elite gymnasts and acrobats.

A few weeks ago I kicked off the 12 Week Calisthenics Trick Challenge. We had around 75 people join the private Facebook group and choose a calisthenic trick goal.

Mine was to do ten unassisted handstand push-ups in a row. I’ll be honest with you, a part of me thought I would never be able to do it.

Guess what?

I achieved it last Thursday!CN Tower Handstand

I guess I am so surprised by this because I was struggling just a week beforehand. My wife and I went to Toronto for a weekend getaway. I decided to try the handstand in the CN Tower and I absolutely stunk. I was so embarrassed. There were about forty people around us checking out the glass floor. I decide to do a handstand and could barely hold it (that’s me on the right fumbling for my balance point).

The Adrenaline dude can’t even do a handstand. Nice. Great marketing for your website, Todd.

Then, all of a sudden less than two weeks later, I achieve my 12 week goal. Wow!

Achieving your own personal “impossible” is not about riding a smooth rocket up to your target. It’s filled with peaks and valleys. The key is to ride out the peaks and valleys and stay consistent.

Three People That Fail

People can be categorized into one of three different categories. Each one of these types of people will fail, but for different reasons.

Person 1: Never Tries Anything

This is the person that doesn’t believe they can do something so they never try at all. They may see something that they want, such as to live a virtual lifestyle, start a business or get a great body. Yet, they think, “I could never do that.”

This person fails because they never achieve anything great. Because they never even try.

Person 2: Tries But Gives Up When It Gets Hard

This person actually steps out of their comfort zone and tries something. However, they run into difficulty and say, “This is too hard. I’d rather stay in my comfort zone.”

This person fails because they lose confidence and reinforce negative beliefs that they can’t do anything.

Person 3: Tries But Gets Lured Away By The Next Shiny Object

This is the category that I have to be most careful of. I frequently fall into this category, trying the latest technique without letting my current plan take root. Do you fall in this category? I bet a lot of you do too.

This person fails because they delude themselves into thinking they are actually progressing.

How Do You Break Your Impossible?

Below, I have listed five steps to help you achieve your impossible. I know there are a lot of you out there that have unfulfilled dreams. You have inert talents living inside of you that need to be expressed. They need to be shown to the world. But you are your biggest stumbling block.

You think you can’t do it. I’m here to tell you that you can. Kill the voice inside of you that says, “You’ll never be able to do that.” Just go out and do it.

Here are the steps.

1. Choose A Target

There is a verse in the Bible that says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” You must have vision for your life.

Below is a picture of one of the walls in my office. It shows my “What Does Failure Look Like?” poster and my “What Does Success Look Like?” poster. I look at these every day. This helps instill the vision of success in my life. It drives me. It motivates me to push harder than I ever thought I could push.

failure or success

2. Believe That You Can Do It

You must tell yourself every day that you can achieve your impossible. No one will give you the belief. You have to find it inside yourself.

3. Find Your Plan

This is actually the easiest step, yet most people make it the most confusing. There are so many options out there for building muscle, losing body fat, doing bodyweight tricks. It’s easy to become a deer in the headlights. Find something that looks good, have faith that it’s the right plan, and just do it.

4. Stick To Your Plan

This is often the most difficult step. Either the plan gets too difficult, life gets too busy, or a new shiny plan pops up.

Make the sacrifices necessary to stick to your plan. Through hell or high water, just do it.

5. Reassess

After giving the plan enough time to work, reassess and decide if it’s working. I emphasize that often a plan may take two or even three months before you notice a difference in strength, size, trick ability, etc.

Time is the greatest multiplier. When I was in Karate class as a teenager, I once asked the instructor how long it would take me to get good. He told me that progress is like stacking pieces of paper on each other. Each time you practice you put another piece on the pile. At first, you don’t notice the growth of the stack. After multiple times, however, you start to see the pile getting larger.

There is nobody on this earth that is more special than you. If you desire something enough, then go out and take it. It’s amazing what can happen when you devote yourself to a cause, and stick with it long enough to see it through.

You will achieve things you never thought possible.

For me, it was ten handstand push ups in a row.


P.S. This is what my desktop on my computer looks like (click the image to see a larger version).

See your vision. Now go out and get it!

Computer Background

Credit: photo

Show/Hide Comments (6 comments)
  1. Tim

    Great message whether fitness goals or life goals.

  2. Derek

    Hi Todd,

    First of all congratulations! That’s an awesome accomplishment; one that I can’t even imagine being within my realm of reality!

    Not sure how I came across your blog, but coincidentally or not, I achieved a similarly impossible but much more modest fitness goal today. 51 push-ups in one set. One push up for every year. Well, actually in advance of my 51st birthday, which is tomorrow.

    Previous personal best was 41, about a week ago. Arms were shaking quite a bit on those last five today, which I was expecting. Not expecting how out of breath I was and the elevated heart rate…that was all new, and hard.

    On Thursday I begin the next phase of the program to reach 100 pushups by mid September and must confess to feeling like your “Person #2…tries but gives up when it gets hard”. After those last five pushups today I have a sense of dread looking towards the next 2 months and have been thinking all evening that it will not be possible.

    After reading your blog post I still harbour some serious “possibility” doubts wrt to achieving 100 pushups by mid September, but I am now determined not to be person #2 who gives up because it is hard.

    So thanks for the perspective!


  3. Chris

    I’m very happy for you Todd. I’ve been working on my handstands for a while now and although I can only manage a single handstand pushup at this point the one thing I know is that handstands are just like that… some days are good some days are bad. Some days I think I’ve finally got it, with nice long steady 20+ second holds… and then a day or two later I’ve lost it and can’t stay up for more than 10.
    I just started learning handstands last year, April 13, 2013, after watching the “How I got the one arm handstand” video from Ryan, of Gold Medal Bodies. Part of the reason was to show my two young kids that with consistent practice you can achieve any goal you want. The progress has been slower than I would have liked but I’m more patient these days. My ultimate goal is a straddle press or a OAHS but I’m a long way off either of those goals. My short term goal is a 60 second hold on a freestanding handstand. I’ve got to admit that they’re both way harder than I thought they would be. I’m turning 43 soon but I think it’s still possible.

    • Todd Kuslikis

      That’s awesome Chris! Love the lesson that you are teaching your kids. Definitely will give you the drive and determination to carry through those days when you feel like you’re not making progress.

      I have the same thing. Some days are blah, some days are great. The key is consistency. 🙂

  4. Mark Salamango

    Well said Todd. I have a similar handstand goal. It’s encouraging to know that it clicked for you at some point!

    Right now I’m working on getting an L-sit to a handstand. I’m 6’5″ so physics is not my friend at the moment, but I’m stubborn enough to keep working until I get it.

    Your 5 keys have proven themselves in project coaching I have done for over 10 years so the skills definitely transcend fitness.

    Have a Blessed day!

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Definitely did Mark.

      That’s an awesome goal. I’m 6’1” so I have a challenging time with those types of moves too. Where there is a will there is a way!

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