Wednesday, February 6

« | »
Rest Day
-active recovery.

Fitness Is…


Get comfortable with it.

Someone once said that nothing worth having comes easy.  While I tend to shy away from
superlatives when analyzing the real world, I think this is true more often
than not.  Maybe we unconsciously
categorize the things furthest from our grasp as “best,” fundamentally
requiring a great struggle to acquire them.  Or maybe in the course of a hard struggle we come to
appreciate things more for the effort it took to achieve them.  More than likely there are elements of both
at work, but the fact remains that we seem to value most those accomplishments
that nearly break us.  

Nowhere is this more evident than in the world of
fitness.  Because our bodies are
hard wired to survive rather than excel, we must consciously push past our
boundaries in order to improve. 
That means sweat, blood, and lactic acid.  It means sunburns and blisters, frustration and pain.  Try as you might to find your way
around it, there are no exceptions to this rule.  Embracing this truth is perhaps the most difficult task you
will ever face, but here it is, in plain English, so you can know it, and know
You might think that the more you train the less things
hurt, and in an absolute sense you’d be right.  The stronger you are at squatting, the less difficult 100
lbs is going to feel.  But in
relative terms, you’re no longer squatting the same weight.  If 100 lbs used to require 90% of your strength
to lift, and now only requires 50%, it is no longer a reliable standard for
your measuring your effort or workload. 
Remember, effort is everything. 
Unless we are pushing beyond what we can currently do, we will not
progress.  Perhaps now 150 lbs
feels the way 100 lbs used to, so that’s where you will need to train in order
to improve.  No matter how strong
or fast you become, you will never out pace this process. 

Take an example. 
Ask any football player, hockey player, boxer, or wrestler about the
rigors of their sport and hear what they tell you.  The hits taken never stopped hurting, they just got used to the
pain.  Ask Michael Jordan how he
felt before every game winning shot and he’ll say he was nervous, just like
every other human on the planet.  He
was just great at managing his emotions. 


The most impressive ability of these types of men and women is not their
physical strength or stamina, it’s their adaptation to pain and anxiety.  To them fear, pain, and discomfort are
part of the job description.  They
revel in the challenge to overcome them. 
For most of us these things are like the plague.  We cringe at the thought of putting
ourselves through any sort of awkward or embarrassing situation, let alone a
physically painful one.  It’s no
surprise that when the moment comes to put up or shut up we make like ants
running from a ground fire.  Watch
a class of people in the moments before Fran and you might not know a thing about
them because it’s all internalized. 
Watch that same class during the round of 15 and you’ll know all you
need to know.  The warriors commit
and the pretenders crumble.  Becoming
fitter requires you to go beyond your physical limits… Guess what?  This fucking sucks!  It really hurts and it’s always going
to.  Own it.  You’ll never be able to do what it
takes to get what you want unless you start accepting this as a cold, hard fact.  All the rational explanations you gave
yourself for working out don’t mean a thing without this most basic

The good news is that when you do, you’re in for a huge
payoff.  There’s the physical change—an
inevitable acceleration in your progress. 
Rather than merely getting through your workout and surviving, you will
be attacking each session and demanding the equivalent response from your body.  Things will look, feel, and perform
better.  MUCH BETTER.  Your body parts will shake where
they’re supposed to shake and your records will start breaking in bunches.  That is a promise.
Not only will your body change in both appearance and
ability, but there will be a psychological shift as well.  You’ll start tapping into that deep
satisfaction that only comes from overcoming something difficult. You’ll start
craving that feeling of total exhaustion, knowing what it will cost you to
achieve it, and craving it just the same. 
You’ll walk taller in the hallway at work, knowing that what you’re
about to do barely measures in comparison with what you’ve already done.  Your approach to everything will be
different because you know what it means to truly give it all; to be lying on
the ground withered and gasping, then to get up do it again.
This is why CrossFit is the optimal training environment, in
my opinion.  You know exactly what
you have to do, you know exactly how much it’s going to hurt, you’re surrounded
by a group of people that know all the same things as you. The only thing left
to do is go there.  The warriors of
the world accept these consequences knowingly.  They know that it’s hard and that it’s going to hurt, and
they do it anyway.  To continually
grow and improve, this is the outlook we must all have.   At 100% effort, Fran is always going to hurt.  Running 1 mile for time is always going to hurt.  Embrace this reality.  Know that it’s going to suck and don’t
back down.  Wear it like war paint
every time you train.  When you do,
you’re no longer the ant.  You are
the ground fire. 


  1. Made up last Friday’s WOD and Saturday’s snatches. Results posted on the respective days posts.

Speak Your Mind