Go Weak in 2014: You’re Only as Strong as your Weakest Movement

 In News & Events, WOD
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I was never athletic—I played volleyball through eighth grade, but that was pretty much it. It was only natural that as I got older and was going through high school, I found excuses for getting out of anything that I wasn’t good at, which was pretty much anything fitness related, since I wasn’t playing sports or practicing anything in particular. I remember finding out from friends if we were running the mile that day in P.E. and then strategically writing and signing notes from my “mom” saying that I couldn’t run because ________________ (fill in the blank with random excuse). Sorry, mom. I feel bad about it now, but I was pretty good at making excuses and as I got older, it only got worse and sooner or later, I became conditioned to make excuses.

These excuses eventually lead me away from anything fitness related. Since I never worked on anything I didn’t feel I was “good” at, I never got better, and soon the number of things I was “good” at grew to be very limited. As time passed and I found myself at the gym because of my desire to lose weight, I naturally grew more confident in my athleticism. After starting CrossFit, I soon got over the intimidation factor and started PR-ing and competing. This caused me to grow even more confident, so much so that I grew to love WOD’s that emphasized my strengths and built up my self confidence. Afterall, who doesn’t like to feel like a rockstar after RX-ing a WOD and putting up the fastest time on the board? However, I started to notice that I preferred to do only the things that I was “good” at, and in recognizing this attitude in myself, I started to notice how much I whined about doing things in a WOD that I wasn’t good at, even worse, I started to notice that my efforts during WOD’s that contained movements I needed to work on was limited at best. In short, I put my best efforts into those WOD’s that emphasized my strengths and didn’t for WOD’s that I felt I would struggle with. This is embarrassing. When did my ego get so big that I couldn’t put in the effort into trying to get better?

Last week, Val, Alaira and I were talking in between lifts about new years resolutions and after a brief conversation on our beliefs about resolutions, I realized that this attitude I had needed to improve. I mean, let’s be honest, admitting what you aren’t good at doesn’t exactly make you feel great, and no one wants to feel crappy about themselves. But over the past week I started to realize that maybe my weaknesses didn’t need to make me feel crappy about myself. Maybe my weaknesses were exactly where I would find my motivation to work hard in 2014. With that in mind, I decided to set some fitness related goals for this year that didn’t focus on building on my strengths, but goals that really emphasized my weaknesses in attempts to improve them. I sat down and thought about what I really struggled with and it came down to this: body weight movements (pull ups, toes to bar, push ups, etc.) and anything gymnastic related (dips, handstands, etc.). With this in mind, I told my husband about the three things I want to work on and accomplish this year: Handstand Push-Ups (I have a huge fear of being suspended upside down, held up by my own arm strength), connecting my kipping pull ups, and connecting my double-unders. When I mentioned this to him, he suggested that I go to the Handstand Push Up and Double Under workshop on Saturday. 

Going to the workshop was not only helpful, but humbling. It opened me up to feeling more comfortable recognizing and admitting my weaknesses in front of others with the intention of working hard to improve. It also led me to realize that perhaps emphasizing our weaknesses can be something liberating because there’s so much less pressure when others know that you don’t have it all together. Now maybe I’m the only one, but I’d like to think that there may be others of you out there who tend to do the same thing I do. Perhaps you find yourself, subconsciously or not, putting in only half of your efforts during a WOD that you know you won’t do well at because you’d rather have others know you for your strengths and not your weaknesses, but I really encourage you to look at your situation differently. Instead of making excuses to stay stagnant in the things you aren’t good at, make every effort to let others know about the things you need to improve on and work at those things. Attend seminars, spend a few minutes before/after class working on those movements that you feel you need help with, and practice at home. 

So what do you want to work on this year? What do you struggle with? I mean, really struggle with. Write those things down, set some reasonable goals, share them, and set a plan to work towards making them happen for you this year. In the meantime don’t be afraid to call me out while I’m working at CFHB. I’m going to boast in my weaknesses, knowing that I’m working to get better and I hope you do too.

Cheers to 2014 being your best CrossFit year yet. 

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