TRUST IN THE TRAINING PROGRESS
People often get so caught up in the results they stop appreciating the process. I’m not referring only to the athletes, many times people in our surroundings tend to do that for us. What everyone needs to remember is that in the end, only a handful of people from all over the world get to go to the Games. Athletes have to face the fact that no matter how bad they want it, and how hard they train for it, they may not advance to compete at the Regionals or the Games. By any means, I’m not saying this to shatter anybody’s dreams.
I’m a firm believer in ‘impossible is nothing’ and all that, but sometimes your impossible isn’t the Games, it might be winning your box’s birthday competition or simply getting your first muscle up in the Open. If you, or the people surrounding you, set your goals too high, at some point you will realise you may not be able to achieve them and suddenly something that brought joy and fun (a WOD) to your day becomes a constant reminder of ‘I’m not good enough.’
DON’T LOSE HEART
I have witnessed many athletes in many sports who after their ‘dream’ didn’t come true, quit sports all together. Even more, they started to hate it. Their physical fitness level went way down, all the healthy lifestyle principles went down the drain. I’ve also seen many people that ‘used to’ do CrossFit but lost the motivation once they realized they were not as good as they thought they were.
YOUR OPEN SCORE DOES NOT DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON
First and foremost: Your Open score DOES NOT DEFINE YOU as a person, it defines your abilities at that moment in time which could be affected by sickness, injury, a sleepless night, a busy work day, etc.
‘If you are happy with a score you got, according to the circumstances that you were in, no-one can tell you that you shouldn’t be proud!’
Keep in mind that your score is not a direct reflection of you as a human being. Moreover, it would be very unhealthy to base your self-worth on the scores you earned. This is not just an ‘average crossfitter’ case. This is very much an elite athlete case. The points, the podiums, the prizes, the fame can be a very lonely place even if you are surrounded by fans. If you don’t find a deeper meaning as to ‘WHY’ you engage in this you may not feel happy standing on the first place podium.
WHY DO YOU COMPETE?
I have experienced talking to different athletes that reached their big time goal. Some earned the trophy, went back home and were surprised when they didn’t feel as happy as they thought they would. When I asked them about their training they sometimes replied ‘I hated it’. They hated the coach, didn’t like the team, had ‘no life’ through the years of training but thought earning the trophy would make it all worth it. Guess what…sometimes it doesn’t.
Instagram and Facebook throw messages at us of famous athletes or Crossfit ‘average joes’ that are getting better at something. They get their first muscle up, first double under, a PR lift. While it is great to achieve that and share it with the world, (I do that too sometimes) as viewers:
‘We need to remember that we are good enough people where we are right now.’
We should strive to achieve new goals, but we should also be proud of where we are at right now!
THE HARD TRUTH BEHIND PROGRESS
We don’t literally get better every day, even if it looks that way at the beginning of our regular training regime. Many times, you get better after weeks, months and years of training. Other times, you get worse and then much later get better again.
‘This is the TRAINING PROCESS. Understand that process, there are no shortcuts.’
If you are not happy with your Open result this year, if you noticed little or no progress after weeks of previous progression, or if you start experiencing some burn out…don’t quit! Think about the time it was fun, refocus your training, go back to it, enjoy, play, lose a WOD to your best friend and laugh about it together. And most of all, don’t let opinions of others about your abilities destroy your love of the sport.
PATIENCE & DEDICATION
If competing in Crossfit is something you strongly think about, the most important skill you need to obtain is: patience…
Some people finish on ramp (typically, a month long introduction to CrossFit at every box) and then ask when can they go to their first competition. They are eager to test themselves, to beat someone, to see how good they are. Omitting the topic of possible injuries by going in too quick, I’ll say the role of the coach is to calm that person down and tell them ‘You are not going to the Games next year’.
The coach is not killing the CrossFit bug or enthusiasm in that person. Quite the opposite. A coach is like a parent who tells the child ‘you can’t have your candy before dinner, your stomach will hurt.’ The member probably doesn’t get it, but the coach knows it, because he has probably been there himself, and is trying to save your love for fitness.
FINDING WHAT CROSSFIT MEANS FOR YOU
I love to see athletes like Miranda Oldroyd and Chris Spealler (see below) not disappearing from the stage once they decide to just love the sport and not necessarily compete as much as they used to. They are the true example of lifelong athletes who do it for themselves and find an incredible joy in it with or without the trophies. In the end, let’s all remember that there is a thin line between enjoyment of sport and being entrapped by the sport.
Jumping in on the assessment week with the @iconathlete crew and surprised myself with a PR clean and jerk at 290. The last time I hit a PR in this lift was 2012! It’s been a fun week with the #iconathlete members seeing where some of my lifts and conditioning are. Thanks to the 4:30 pm class @crossfitparkcity and @foxyroxy129 for the push!
A video posted by Chris Spealler (@cspealler) on
I recently read a piece by Mirada Oldroyd on her blog titled ‘Evolve’. The inspiration to write this article came from my experiences, as well as from her article. To understand my article even better, I invite you to read her blog entry as well.
Featured Image © Nero @ RX’d Photography
Miranda Oldroyd Instagram © Miranda Oldroyd
Bw Training Image © Crossfit Siouxfalls
Chris Spealler Instagram © Chris Spealler