(In-teg-ri-ty): the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
Here lies one of my favorite words. A person of integrity will succeed in everything they do for one simple reason, and it pertains to the first half of the definition; the quality of being honest. It speaks volumes to your character and demands respect from the most disciplined and morally strong individuals. More importantly, it grounds your actions with your perceptions and expectations. There are few things more important to carving your path to success than your perception and understanding of what your abilities are, and if you can't be honest with yourself, your foundation is cracked and unstable.
What does this mean for us in the CrossFit world? It's simple. The longer you continue to stretch the truth in your actions, the longer it will take for you to reach your desired results. When I say stretching the truth, I mean it in several aspects. It's easy to change your count a little during the workout, you know, 'one, two, skip a few, and I'm done.' Or maybe I'll just add a few reps to my count at the end so I get bumped up on the Whiteboard. Maybe you count perfectly, but the quality of your reps throughout the workout change. Those pullups really aren't getting over the bar or getting fully extended at the bottom. Your squats start to shallow out in order to keep the speed up. No matter what way you look at it you're giving others, but more importantly, yourself, a skewed sense of your abilities. You do this enough and you start to believe the lies you've been living. Then sooner or later the Open comes around and it hits you hard. There's a judge in your face the entire workout counting every single rep, and monitoring for proper mechanics and full range of motion on each movement. The no reps start adding up and you get angry. It's easy to place the blame on the coach, but really you're angry with yourself for cheating the last 11 months. The lack of integrity has turned into a wall of disappointment and embarrassment. Even worse, the respect you thought you had from others has gone out the window because they see what's been happening.
So, instead of going down that dark hole, let's turn the tide now. Make counting a priority in your workout. If you can't remember whether you were on 11 or 12, make it 11. If you were wrong, oh well. In the end you did an extra rep for the day. Forget the Whiteboard. IT DOESN'T MATTER! If you have trouble counting, grab a marker board to help keep track during your workout. Next, when the workout gets tough and your legs are burning from those cleans, tell yourself that form is more important than your time. Focus on being explosive through your pull and getting deep when you catch it, even if it slows you down. Don't start doing power cleans because it will make your time faster. Lastly, when you're pounding out those wall balls and there is a questionable rep, just call it a no rep and get that next one well over the line. Again, it will only help you in the long run and instill in your motor patterns the correct height and power combination you need to repeat the correct toss over and over.
As I stated in the beginning, integrity speaks volumes to who you are as a person. You are honest, trustworthy, respected, and virtuous. These are the qualities we look for in our athletes and the ones you should strive to emulate and surround yourself with. BE COACHABLE! When a coach calls you on a no rep or asks you to get deeper on your squat, recognize it's a sign of respect that they are making an attempt to help you become the best version of you. Don't take it as a personal attack or feel like you're being called out in front of everyone. CrossFit can be a challenging environment. We all struggle at times with getting through the workout. It's hard to ignore the attention that we are surrounded with, but realize that more people are watching you through the workout then you think. If you sacrifice your integrity for attention on the Whiteboard, you'll end up with negative attention in reality. Stay true to yourself and others. Give everything you have, do the right thing all the time, even when no one is watching. Be a living example of integrity!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!