"When you know all the in's and out's of your goals, you are better prepared to tackle the challenges that might come against you and you remembering why you do CrossFit. Find your why, take one bite at a time, and become a nerd about it."
For most of us, the answer to the question "why do you CrossFit" is going to be different. Some of us started because we saw the CrossFit Games and want to compete, even if it is on the small, local competition level. Others, we saw ourselves and decided we were tired of not being satisfied with the way we look and feel, and wanted to make a change. So CrossFit seemed like the way to go. Even still, some others decided that there were things that we couldn't do physically that we wanted to be able to do, and we had heard of CrossFit doing so much for our friends so we gave it a shot. Other reasons might be peer pressure, or the fact that you don't like "meathead" gyms. The list goes on and on. But no matter the reason that we started, we all have a "why" we started and a "why" we still do it. And remembering that "why" is what keeps us going.
Losing our "why"
The first day you started CrossFit, it was exciting and slightly scary but you left motivated and ready to put in the work. Whatever reason you walked in the doors, was even more crystal clear when you walked out. But over time, we lose sight of why we started and why we do this. The PR's don't come as often, and the weight you were losing so fast comes to a halt. Your friend that you made in the 5:15PM class got a new job and moved away, and you don't feel like going as much anymore. Losing our "why" can be easy if we aren't careful. But it can be prevented.
Remind Yourself Why
Something I like to do each day is think to myself, or even write down "Why am I doing this?" Why do I put in all this work each day? My "why" started as wanting to prove to myself that there is nothing I can't do, and to compete. And a lot of days I still think about that and it helps me push in my workouts. But on other days, my answer is simply to stay healthy, to make myself feel better, or beat Matt McElroy in the workout. And that's okay! Why's can change from day to day. But as soon as we forget why we are doing CrossFit, it becomes a struggle and we start to always find something better to do that come workout.
Do Everything to Accomplish Your Why
One reason we forget our why, is because we don't see ourselves actually reaching our goal. Your goal was to lose 50lbs, but 5 months in and you've only lost 20. It's just taking too long so you lose motivation and quit. Or your goal might have been to get a muscle up. You thought surely you could have gotten one in your first year of CrossFit, but 1 year in and a muscle up is no where in sight for you. I get that this is frustrating, but I have to ask you. Are you actually pursuing your goal, or just wishing that it would happen? Do you really believe it can happen?
See losing weight is easy at first. Your body isn't use to the workouts, so as a adaptation it starts to shed some weight without you having to change your diet at all. So we change out diet and try to start eating better, but its hard and in a week we've actually gained 2lbs so obviously it isn't working! (I say this sarcastically.) So we go back to eating what we want, because we were doing that in the beginning anyway and losing weight then.
Coming in to the gym being able to do a pull up surely means that a muscle up is in the foreseeable future, right? Everyone says "give it time, it'll come" so if you are just patient that muscle up will happen... Yes, but no. Sure, having the strength to do just one strict pull up is great! And it's definitely a great start to accomplishing a muscle up. But time doesn't make you any better. Working on the necessary skills to get your muscle OVER TIME makes you better. And are you doing that? How are your hollow rocks? How are your kipping swings? Your ring dips? Can you even hold a false grip? What is a false grip? You see where I'm going with this?
How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time! Sometimes, focussing on your goal as a whole is deflating. It seems like such a huge task. Don't take on too much at one time. Enjoy the struggle a little bit, but be proud of yourself for even the smallest of victories. Choose one thing that you can accomplish that will help you work towards your overall "why" and get after it! Accomplishing small tasks gets your closer and closer to you goal, while providing a huge moral boost simultaneously.
Prioritize it and Understand it
If something is important to you, then you make it a priority. You set your sights on it, and set off on a the journey of accomplishing it. Yes, it's a journey, a hike even, with big hills, and obstacles of things that are going to get in your way. Understand this going in, and get to know what you are up against! When you start to struggle losing weight, don't bail. Don't go back to old habits. You've heard it said "If you always do what you always done, you'll always get what you always got." And it's no secret that going back to old habits will only get you back to your old un-satisified self.
Understand what it takes to lose weight.
- Trial and Error (You are going to mess up or get it wrong. Make an adjustment and get back on track)
- Time (Meal Prepping)
- Un-comfort (there is no easy way)
- Working hard in the gym
- Knowing your weaknesses (McDonalds, Doughnuts, etc... and stay away)
- Enjoy the process (make it fun, get an accountability partner, learn to love cooking, etc..)
Understand what it takes to get your muscle up or other skill
- Overall Strength (Get stronger)
- Break the movement down and work on the skills individually (for example: Muscle Ups = Pull Ups + Hollow Rocks + Levers + Transition + Ring Dip... Master all of them!)
- Lose weight (It's a lot easier to do a muscle up when you are 20lbs lighter)
- Gain weight (It's a lot easier to pull 300# on a clean if you don't weigh 140#)
- Time (Developing skills takes time)
- Enjoy the process (This makes it doable, do it with friends and do it to the best of your ability)
When you know all the in's and out's of your goals, you are better prepared to tackle the challenges that might come against you and you remembering why you do CrossFit. Find your why, take one bite at a time, and become a nerd about it.
John Mayfield - Owner of CrossFit Thelo