With the 2015 CrossFit Open only a few weeks away, I thought that this would be a good time to drive home a few points as we enter a five week season that can be either exciting and competitive or stressful and disengaging. Sometimes we have to refresh our memories as to why we chose CrossFit for our fitness journey. No, I do not intend to drop infinite bombs of knowledge here, but just a few tips on how to remain or become a happy CFer.
1. Be the best version of you. Stop the comparisons. It is easy to look around and liken ourselves to others and desire to have their physique or athletic prowess. Unfortunately, not all of us can look as if we have been chiseled from the rock of Gibralter or perform as if we are a member of the Anderson family (s/o to Lex)—and that is okay. No, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be a better, healthier version of yourself, but be realistic in your approach to achieve your goals. We have to be mindful in knowing that being healthy is not simply the absence of infirmity or having a six pack (you know, for hot tub season), but should be viewed holistically as a complete state of mental, physical, and social-well being. So stop being so hard on yourself because your results do not resemble that of someone else. God only made one version of that supermodel you yearn to look like, but most importantly He only made one version of you. So let’s refrain from this distraction and focus on the exciting and great things that are in store for the plan that has been set forth for the life in which we have been so blessed to live. No more trying so hard to be like someone else—they’re already taken.
2. Keep things in perspective, it is not that serious. In a world where tragedies are commonplace, allow CrossFit to be that safe haven for fellowship and fitness. We are all guilty of getting upset and feeling down because we missed a lift or did not get through a WOD as smoothly as we wanted. Who cares? Life goes on. Unless we seriously have hopes of being a contender at the CrossFit Games, I promise it is okay to have a “bad day” at the gym. And if missing a lift is the worst part of your day, then it is safe to say that you had a pretty awesome day.
3. It is okay to rest. Yes, we love seeing all of your sweet faces at the gym, but be smart. Many of us come from athletic backgrounds. Sometimes that is great, other times that athlete mentality can be to our detriment. We have been conditioned to push through the pain, and for many of us, that mindset has carried over to this sport of fitness. Last year around this time I found out that I had some serious issues with my blessed knees. The athlete in me wanted to still squat heavy and do other things that would subsequently cause me more pain. Then the blanket blank year-old (never ask a woman’s age because I’ll be 23 every time) woman in me realized that I would like to walk without assistance in ten years. If it is indeed our mission to become better at CrossFit, just remember that practice does not make perfect, but perfect practice makes perfect (or something close to perfect). So if you are working to improve your snatch, but you know that you have a bum shoulder—rest. Similarly, if you have a runny nose, a terrible cough, or just plain have the “nasties”—rest. Rest sometimes gets a bad rap and frequently viewed as pure laziness. Get that out of your head. None of us would have even considered CrossFit if we were truly lazy. Truth is, rest is an essential part of the CrossFit equation, so why not take advantage of it.
Like I said before, this post most certainly is not a phenomena to be marveled, but like with anything else it does not hurt to be reminded of the simple things we often neglect in search of the “big picture.” With that in mind, I will leave you with a quote from one of my favorite Civil Rights Activists, Marian Wright Eldeman: “We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.”