It’s hard to stay motivated when you suck.
Crossfit has a definitive way of reminding you just how much you suck on a pretty consistent basis. Obviously, like everything in life: diet, exercise, work, parenting – you will have your ups and downs, good weeks and bad weeks and working through the suck is just part of the ride.
For anyone that knows me, saying that I am negative might be a bit of an understatement. This is only because I have high expectations for myself and I say what everyone else is really thinking. So, my experience with Crossfit has lead me to having endless evenings of depression as I constantly compare myself to others and wish I was everything that I am not. Aka a tiny gymnast, a short limbed power house, strong, etc….
Crossfit is great, don’t get me wrong, it’s my favourite thing. It pushes you past your mental and physical limitations to achieving things you never thought possible. We see stories everyday about people making huge transformations, getting their first pull-ups and muscle ups, pr’ing their squat….BUT, what about all those shitty weeks and months, when your numbers are stagnant, your body aches, your diet is a struggle and you watch everyone around you accomplishing amazing feats of strength, while your just over here like “hey coach, can you lift me up?!”
We have to appreciate the suck, trust the plan and know that sucking means good things are around the corner…eventually. (It could also mean that your plan sucks, you don’t work hard enough, and maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your life, but lets go with the former.)
7 Steps to Appreciating the Suck –
Step 1 – Ignore the PR Board
“Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.”
Excuse the obvious cliché but this quote has it right.The PR board is a highlight reel of everyone’s greatest accomplishments, you don’t know how much hard work, dedication, time and failure has gone into those PR’s. Don’t get down on yourself because of other people’s success. “Comparison steals joy.” Check out this article written by Crossfit games athlete Emily Beers to put things into perspective.
Step 2 – Stop trying to be perfect
If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is hinder progress with perfectionist tendencies. Stop trying to be perfect, be willing to make mistakes, fall down, do what you can at your own pace and laugh at yourself. Eventually a trickle of perfection will gleam through, that trickle will become a stream and something will click. #bepatient #Iamimpatient #dontbelikeme
Step 3 – Reflect on the why
Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do. Why did you start Crossfit in the first place? Probably to get a hot bod, to become a better athlete, or to meet new people. It certainly wasn’t to PR your snatch…wtf is snatch anyway? Has your body changed? Are you a better athlete (albeit more sore and physically destroyed)? Did you meet new people? Then check mate my friend because you have achieved what you set out to achieve!
Step 4 – Plan the work, work the plan
When you set goals for yourself there will inevitably be peaks and valleys. A training plan, a healthy diet…these are not 21 day challenges, this shit is forever. You can’t set arbitrary goals without a plan in place to achieve them. You are not going to magically get a muscle up. You are going to have to work for it, take baby steps and know that things will go to shit before they get better. By successfully building all of the habits you need for success, the outcome will take care of itself.
Step 5 – Find joy in the process
“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.” —Zen Proverb
So much cliche, so little time. But it’s the truth. We are constantly chasing the next goal, the next PR and we spend very little time appreciating the present. This is true for all aspects of our life. It’s the hard work and struggles that make our accomplishments so rewarding. If everything came easy, well, it certainly wouldn’t feel as rewarding. Our struggles become our greatest accomplishments. Relish in the process because that really is what it is all about.
Step 6 – Appreciate the little things
I have said this in past posts and I will continue to say it, but it’s important to appreciate the little things. Even on your worst day, there is usually a small gem where you can find joy. Maybe you felt like shit and the bar felt heavy, but you did 50 chest to bar pull ups in a workout which you never thought possible. Maybe you connected 100 double unders even though you failed your hspu’s. Maybe your burpees felt fast, when normally they feel slow. Whatever the case, appreciate the small victories because some days it’s all there is!
Step 7 – Give less fucks
“In my life, I have given a fuck about many people and many things. I have also not given a fuck about many people and many things. And those fucks I have not given have made all the difference,” – Mark Manson.
If you haven’t read his article “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” then, you are missing out.
At the end of the day, its just competitive aggressive exercise, don’t let it ruin your day by giving too many fucks.
Oh and if all else fails…just remember, it could be worse, you could be Andrea Ager.