Tuesday’s workout was one where I diabolically put movements together that created a workout with no mercy on any skill level. The written workout as Rx was as follows:
7 Muscle Ups
7 Squat Snatch
70 Double Unders
Something annoyingly difficult for everyone in all three movements regardless of scale. It was one of those workouts that I looked forward to coaching while simultaneously dreading the gong show that could unfold in some classes. Being the documented OCD control freak I am I couldn’t bring myself to think about what was happening at the classes I wasn’t controlling. (This isn’t a comment on my coaches, this is a critique on my inability to put my mind at ease for even the most well put together situations I face in life. See “Aaron Flying Meltdown”. I know for a fact that classes I don’t coach are routinely better than mine all around, yet I still lose sleep and color in my hair over not being in control.)
Amazingly a class I had at Canal Park provided me with a moment of grace. A moment where so many wonderful things came together to provide a period of perfection when related to expectation. I had 8 members who mostly on their own all scaled the workout correctly with the focus being on improving on the movements beyond that class and sacrificing the for show parts like weight used, how much Rx if not completely, time. While I shook inside imagining what was going on in Woburn (sorry Jack, it isn’t you it’s me) I looked around and realized I was sitting in the middle of a perfect class. I had people using light weight (for them) on snatches so they could get depth, I had people working on their kip and stopping their swing anytime it got off kilter, people were actually listening to the time limit on double unders so they could work on them while not sacrificing their pursuit of fitness. What was most heartwarming was I had little to nothing to do with it. I gave them the speech about working on skills rather than ego, how this would help long term, then let them on their way. What I had was 8 people who truly got the concept of trusting the process for future rewards.
In a world where everyone knows each other by numbers, scores, and times, situations like Tuesday’s 6:00pm class at CP are harder and harder to come by in the every day CrossFit gym. I know it is driven by all aspects of the program, with front and center in both our locations the glitzy flat screen display that allows us all to publicize our accomplishments on the day, in some cases semi-permanently anointing the kings and queens with the top 3 for the given element. As an owner and coach it’s a catch 22. Tracking is such an integral part of the process that I ask you all to trust. Hopefully one day you all get the first of many eureka moments, if you haven’t already, where you realize you have lost weight while adding strength and love the way you look more than ever. If you don’t track your progress daily you never know just how much you improve every day. At the same time this display puts an emphasis on performance rather than progress.
Let’s be honest. Competition is in all of us. Anyone who says they don’t like competition misinterpret what competition is. It is understandable to not like forced or public competition like sports. Yet unless you have never strived for a promotion, or tried to be first in line, or hoped to get the best reaction from a teacher when giving them year end gifts, then you enjoy competition in some way. What I hope to get all of you to see is the best type of competition is that with yourself, and you are able to do it every day with our programs.
This is where the moment of grace from Tuesday comes in. The best thing about how we can compete with ourselves here is it has no standards, no floor or ceiling. It’s just about what you have that day. Being honest, of the 275+ of you members from both locations, theres 3-5 if we include coaches who are and ever will be serious competitors in the sport of CrossFit. The rest of us do this for a reason other than glory, money, or a sick need to destroy ourselves every day. That means there will be days where we are absolute dog shit from start to finish in the gym. Things like life happen which tend to derail the perfect amount of sleep, nutrition, and supplementation we need to perform at our best.
That doesn’t mean we can’t strive for improvement. What was so great about what was happening around me on Tuesday was everyone was performing below their usual ability level if you rated them on overall ability and fitness compared to where the given scale they were using ranked. Yet doing that scale was their best chance to improve that movement long term. No ego. Now, I know I could be completely wrong and not a single one of these people tried to go about the workout this way, but I need these moments of grace to stay sane.
When it comes down to it we scale life every day. Hitting snooze and sacrificing the Starbucks stop, going with the stretch pants over the tight suit just because, hitting the sandwich place with your work buddies because Brexit can f**k itself instead of hitting the gym, all are totally rational and needed exercises we do to help get us through the day, and hopefully in a better state at the end. I know in the walls of our boxes it seems it’s always about being the best, hardcore fitness and nutrition, never straying, going for greatness. You bet that is what I want out of myself and everyone, but reality is sometimes it just ain’t happening. What is important is we keep things in perspective so we can come back the next day and really f**k shit up. That is what scaling is all about.
Take a moment and make sure you scale your day properly, because tomorrow is ripe for a beat down.
1. 3 Rounds : Row 500m, rest 1:1
2. Partner Weighted Plank, increasing weight every 15s for 1 min. 3 rounds
3. 5m AMRAP
20 Jumping Pull-ups
6 Box Step Up and Over with KB 53/35
Strength : Thruster (from rack)
WOD : 12m AMRAP
200m single arm OH carry, 53/35, switch @ 100m
30 SDLHP 53/35