Life is full as so many different obstacles, and it’s how we handle those obstacles that defines our life. Adversity is life’s way of testing our strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes everything can go better than ever and somedays you really have to dig your heels in. This boy I think is doing pretty good handling his obstacle. What obstacles do you have to overcome?
Everyone will still be working hard and improving their weaknesses because that’s what makes us better! I want to first off thank all of you for being the greatest FOCF members anyone could ask for. I’m and truly blessed to be able to sweat along side all of you, and am grateful for all of your support as we help to improve the fitness of the Tri-cities. Thank you to the coaches for holding down the fort while I’m off getting a sun burn in Mexico with my new soon to be wife Lisa. When we get back hopefully we can have a little party to celebrate at the gym, BBQ style & Brews! I’ll probably not be following paleo very strictly while I’m away so what’s one more day of fun. Let’s be honest I haven’t been the most punctual with the posts lately, and that wont change while I’m gone. But as I write I will be scheduling all the posts in here, scoreboard posting and pics I’m going to leave up to Tammy to update them. The posts will be every other day from here on out while I’m gone. I will have a link to an article that I think is an interesting read, or a motivational video of sorts. Please feel free to comment and start a discussion amongst yourselves, be social! 3-2-1 GO!
When and where do you find it? I venture to say it’s not in the middle of the day while you are trying to balance everything that live throws at you. So if not then, when? Generally it’s when you least expect it. I once read that the best time to get ideas out is first thing in the morning. Leave a note pad by your bed and jot down the ideas no matter oh ridiculous they sound as soon as you wake up. Some ideas may come when you are able to have time for your self. So be sure to make that time available. An early Sunday morning cup of coffee and the newspaper may be just the trick to spark some inspiration. What do you do when you need a breakthrough?
CrossFit is a sport now & maybe a very lucrative one based on some crazy rumors I’ve heard in regards to this next years games. So is this going to change people’s thinking as they plan their training. CrossFit is also very competitive and as athletes all of us have more then likely compared ourselves to another athlete. But is that the best thing? It’s always nice to have that rabbit to chase but sometime it can be destructive. It can be depressing to see someone always beating you and your pride will get in the way. This is why I always tell my athletes to keep record of all of their times and weights. So even though you might compare yourself to someone, you can still be positive and see your improvements! And it goes without saying, stay away from steroids. Our success are built my hard work, not pharmaceuticals. Here is a good article by Greg Everett on this topic.
It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others in a multitude of respects, from athletic abilities to hair styles. It’s also natural to rationalize away the source of our failures, inabilities or shortcomings in ways that mitigate the sting and comfort our delicate egos. These habits are reinforced by community behavior until they’re all but invisible. This process eventually transforms into a defeatist attitude, which only fuels the process further until failure is virtually guaranteed.
Before we continue, understand that this is not meant to suggest that competition or the evaluation of an athlete relative to others is inherently problematic. Comparison among athletes is what competition is, and the effects of competition on performance and mental fortitude are invaluable. This discussion is concerned specifically with excusing your own failure to achieve your goals by citing what others are doing or have done.
To put this in the context of athletic performance, we’ll use the sport of weightlifting. Not just because I’m a fan, but because it happens to involve exactly the circumstances to foster the above described attitude.
On a personal level, it’s easy to become discouraged with your own training when focusing on the performances of more advanced lifters. I’m frequently compelled to remind my lifters, particularly early on, that it’s important they compete with themselves, not the other lifters in the gym. It’s remarkable to me how discouraged lifters can become watching another lifter or looking at numbers on the record board when those lifters have made dramatic gains, often far greater than those of the lifter to whom they’re comparing themselves. This is simply a matter of maintaining perspective and reminding yourself that you started at a different time, a different initial level, have different strengths and weaknesses, and that the only performance you have control over is your own. You can get wrapped up in the abilities of others and get frustrated, or you can focus on your own abilities, watch them improve, and use your own progress as continued motivation.
This is not to say that it can’t be useful to have models or heroes. Having lifters whom you admire, whom you want to emulate, and who inspire you can be immensely helpful. However, this is different than becoming obsessed with the abilities or progress of such an individual and feeding feelings of inadequacy. This is far from productive and can have a profoundly limiting effect on your motivation, your commitment and your enthusiasm for training.
I’m not going to say that if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything, because that’s simply untrue. This is not cynicism or self-defeatism—it’s fact. The truth is that with enough hard work, commitment, and consistency, you can achieve your full potential; this is very different, and this detail trips up many athletes.
While there is inarguably a significant mental element to the sport of weightlifting, there is a more significant physical element. I tell my lifters that weightlifting is 90% mental—if you have 100% of the necessary strength. No amount of focus, determination or visualization of success will make up for inadequate physical capabilities; it will only aid in their development and recruitment. In this respect, these things are critical. But don’t make the mistake of believing they’re magic.
On a grander scale, US weightlifters have collectively stumbled into a rut. We don’t win and we’re way behind. There are some in the community who are optimistic and believe we will turn it around and make a comeback. And there are some who are convinced there is no way for us to compete internationally because of the circumstances in which we find ourselves: underfunded, unrecognized and out-drugged.
This is a topic about which I have some strong opinions, but the thought of putting them all down at this moment is a bit daunting. I will give them their due in another article. I addressed some of this in this article, but it deserves a more expansive treatment.
The short version is this: We are not on a level playing field, but that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless and we need to resign ourselves to poor performances. Even if every single non-US weightlifter were using drugs, it’s possible for us to become competitive again, but it will take dramatic changes to the way we recruit and develop athletes, and a significant increase in our athlete pool. None of these things is an easy or quick change, and all would take a coordinated effort by a great number of people over a considerable period of time.
At the same time, it needs to be acknowledged that with the current state of things, we will not be fielding world-caliber medalists with any regularity—the system is simply not in place. And the drug issue is very real. I honestly find it baffling that people even argue about whether or not top lifters in the sport are using or have used drugs. The tests and suspensions are right there to be seen by everyone, and it should be quite obvious that this is not nearly representative of the scope of use. If drug use adds 10-15% to an athlete’s lifts, it explains a large portion of the gap. Is this the only thing separating us from the rest of the world? Of course not. But it also can’t be ignored, just like no other elements can be ignored.
Without getting into those details, the take-home point is that there is no use in getting wrapped up in what the guy on the next platform or the rest of the world is doing. Focus on what you’re doing, what you can do, and what you can do better. Be ambitious; use your heroes as models without stripping yourself of merit unless you can duplicate their performances; let your competitors push you without demoralizing you; set goals that require a great deal of dedication and hard work; and then make the commitment and put in the work.
Every day I try to sit down and write something with the intentions that it will inspire one person to be better. Whether it’s in changing their diet or getting their butt into gear with their workouts. But some days are just bad one and you may find yourself in the middle of an all day “AMRAP of: Feel despair, (Scream) intermittently, Embrace anger, Smash something.” This taken from a recent CrossFit Journal article, “CrossFit Lessons Outside the Box” byMelissa Joulwan. Who is also the author of the blog “The Clothes Make The Girl“. She is a former roller derby blocker for the Texas Rollergirls, and like many as suffered through the trials and tribulations of the beginner CrossFit athlete. This stuff is something different. You must be comfortable being uncomfortable! CrossFitters aren’t your average individuals, we are surely cut from a different cloth. We don’t follow the masses and feel like we can take on the world. And then you do a workout and quickly realize that the world is pretty heavy. It’s a funny feeling though even has humbling as the WODs are, that as soon as you hear 3-2-1 Go! everything else just disappears. And the world as daunting as it is seems, becomes really simple, just finish the workout! There is a huge amount of commradere in CrossFit gyms and it’s there to support you. Use it! I always say CrossFit prepare you for the movements of Life, but it also prepares you for Life in general. Life is as unpredictable as the next workout you will be doing here at the gym, tackle it with the same focus you do with your workouts and you can’t fail. I didn’t say it would be easy though.