Sunday, April 20, 2014

Prepared to Fail

This past week, I had a couple of workouts that proved to be outside my ability. On paper, I could tell they would be brutally tough, but somehow the thought never crossed my mind that I would fail to complete it. CJ had given me several difficult EMOMs (every minute on the minute work) in the past few weeks and prided myself on being able to complete them as they were written. This week was a totally different story.

What was the difference?

Everything. I cannot compare EMOM a, b, c, etc. They are all unique in reps, movements, surrounding workouts, and evilness. I cannot think that success in one EMOM ranks higher than another. I had to tell myself this a few times.


During the minute that I realized I couldn’t physically complete the assigned work, I experienced my oh-so-typical anger and frustration at myself. Why can’t I do this? Am I not giving enough effort? Is this all that I have? Every four-letter word was vocalized too.

The Take-Away

Once the rage and total self-disdain wore off, I got a chance to reflect on the training sessions with on open mind and heart. Maybe, I thought to myself, I wasn’t supposed to finish those EMOMs. Maybe that wasn’t the point of the workout. Maybe I am missing something…

I need to be ready to fail.

There is so much to be learned from failure. Not only does it open my eyes to the way I respond when I encounter disappointment, the experience also helps me adapt to it better.  It doesn’t do me much good to always crush a workout and walk away feeling all warm and fuzzy. That isn’t reality. That isn’t competition. And that sure-as-shit isn’t Regionals.

How will I respond when shit hits the fan? My knee-jerk reaction is to want to punch a wall, punt a foam roller, or something destructive like that. My challenge is to remain calm and collected and press on. This week I encountered good training for that and I am prepared to fail.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Being Better

Over my traditional birthday breakfast this morning with Robby, we discussed progress - the progress of our members at CrossFit Chicksaw as well as the progress that we have each made over the course of our CrossFit careers. I started to reflect on my own journey and how far I have come. Afterwards, I came to an obvious realization.

My weaknesses are still my weaknesses, but they are better. And better does not mean “good.” And I better not tell you what they are. Ha! Actually, you can easily take a peek at my last four years of competing and clearly see where I fall short.

I occasionally hear about people striving to make “strengths out of weaknesses.” I haven’t quite experienced the 180-degree turnaround in my personal weaknesses. I am pretty sure that I will never win any kind of barbell ladder, no matter how much I focus on it. But I can and will be better. You better believe it.

Progress can be painfully slow. I remember, all too well, when throwing 155lb. from ground to overhead was the best I could do in 2011. I proved my improvement in the 2013 CrossFit Games clean ladder, sadly not in form, but in physically being able to move the 195lb. bar. You don’t have to tell me. I know it was ugly. I am really not sure why I do that weird split thing. Anyway, I will take the PR tie!

I continue to press on. I work on the small intricacies of each movement in hopes of continuing to ride the train of progress. I think it is pretty cool that even after four years of CrossFit, I still improve. I still PR. They don’t happen fast or often, but they certainly let me know that my efforts are paying off. 

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Friday, April 4, 2014