What's Your Why?
Every year, around the third week of February, emotions at our gym seem to hit highs and lows not realized during the other 11 months. That's right, the CrossFit Games Open is upon is. It's time to face the facts of what you have or haven't accomplished since the last Open. I don't say this from a critical standpoint, but strictly a matter-of-fact perspective. You see, there are plenty of reasons that may drive that upcoming emotional rollercoaster, but knowing yourself, and more importantly, being honest with yourself, is the best way to keep the emotions in check.
Let's take a stroll back memory lane, a few weeks after the 2017 Open was complete, and you had time to mentally digest what just happened. You can probably hear yourself saying "I'm going to be more consistent this year", "I'm going to be more coachable, scale when I need to, and only compete with myself instead of the person next to me", and "I'm going to be more intense in my workouts, put in extra volume by completing the Competitor's programming and work more on gymnastics AND running :)". Then you start thinking about each time over the foregoing 11 months where your intentions fell apart. Sometimes we can absolutely look ourselves in the mirror and say "I just didn't get it done." Other times, and I would submit this is the more common barrier, we review a plethora of major life events that crushed our dreams. Whether it's the nagging injury, the unexpected baby, surgery, or that horrible case of mono, life just seems to get in the way every now and then. The one thing to remember is...THAT'S OK! I've never met a person that made a perfect prediction on every life occurrence that would happen to them in the future. We can't control these things, but we can throw them in our success toolbox. These are great opportunities to learn how are bodies react when they are injured, give birth, recover from sickness and surgery, and how much stress you can actually carry on those rock hard shoulders (because you've been using Crossover Symmetry).
But now what? Where do we go from here? When people ask me questions like these, I tend to revert to the basics. Why did you start CrossFit in the first place? I've seen very few (less than 3) people come through our gym having never done CrossFit before, that wanted to do it to reach stardom in the CrossFit Open and the community in general. Most of us have very different, simple and honest reasons why. "I want to be healthier and more active for my kids or grandkids", or "I used to be athletic in high school and just fell off the wagon for a bit I want to get back in shape", and "I've never been fit. I've been overweight and inactive my entire life, and I'm ready to make a change." There is beauty in the simplicity of these reasons for the fact they reflect a desire to make a life change. Remember, this is a journey, not a destination. It's natural to set new goals and desires throughout your journey. It also means you're making progress! But don't turn you new goal into self-crushing barrier. Understand that you will face unexpected challenges that will alter your course by days, weeks, and sometimes years! But as I said earlier, an altered course is not a bad course, just a different one. You can still learn an immense amount about yourself by dealing with a new trial. So when things aren't going your way, take peace in remembering why you started, and continue to make that your focus instead of anchoring on the latest goal you had set. Forget about your place in the Open and the Whiteboard. Go back to the basics, have fun, embrace the community of those around you who are all dealing with their own gremlins, and continue to move forward in life with a positive attitude!