CrossFit Blog Central: 7/20/11

Posted: July 20, 2011 in CrossFit, Media, Training
Tags: , , , ,

I know this post is a little longer than usual, but I ask that you all take the time to read through it.

I am going to feature another one of Lisbeth’s posts from last week because it really spoke to me. As a coach, I have SO MUCH faith and confidence in all of my athletes, and as I grow as a coach, I am learning more and more that thinking that way can be almost too intimidating to some people.

“Why does he think I can do this? There’s no way!”

“Yeah right, Tom.”

“I can’t.” ~ Ahhhh, I HATE that one!
(Please don’t say “can’t” or “hate” around me if you don’t mind. I’ll let Casey tell you all what to say instead.)

I can’t explain why exactly it is that I feel that way, but I just have seen so many people exceed even their WILDEST dreams (in the gym, in their health, at work, in their relationships, it doesn’t matter!) that I think I’ve stopped believing that some things are “impossible”. If the person puts in the hard work dedicated to their cause, whatever that cause may be, a huge part of me has simply switched to the mindset where I know the goal will be reached. That is my excuse.

I will rarely “call out” a specific athlete here on this blog when it comes to specific conversations that we have, but today is going to be an exception to that rule.

The reason I know that Heather Beck CAN get her elbows higher and nail that Front Squat is because I know she works her ass off EVERY SINGLE DAY she’s in the gym. The reason I KNEW that Casey Polk would get through an entire workout without bands for her pull-ups is because I’ve seen her spend HOURS before and after class just working on technique. She EARNED it.

So if I ever push you a little bit farther than you’re used to… or if I’ve ever scared you into thinking that you can lift more weight than you thought you could… I’m sorry for not being sorry. I don’t know how else to word this, so I’ll just say it.

It’s your fault.

I only say, think, and BELIEVE in you because at some point or another (or imagine this.. EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE YOU) you have proven to me that you CAN. And that you WILL. So, stop being so strong, and successful, and stop fighting so hard, and stop performing your reps with such incredible technique, and then I promise you I’ll try to stop believing in you so much. 🙂

Diamond in the Rough” ~ By Lisbeth

Some of us can see it in you — who you could be, with a little work — even if you can’t see it in yourself. And that fact will either thrill or frighten you. Or, maybe both.

Some coaches have technical skills, or fantastic eye for movement, or a phenomenal grasp of human mechanics. But some can kinda see under your skin. We watch you breathe and we notice your body posture and your interaction with the world and listen to your words. And it all sort of adds up.

We know who you are. Or at least, we have an idea.

For some people, that’s a seriously frightening prospect: that someone could really know who they are. Some folks have spent a lifetime building their walls. They don’t want anybody to see over their fences, or through their windows. They want to control everything: life feels safer that way. And along comes a coach or a person or a loved one who can really see them, even beyond the push jerk — and that diamond in the rough, and wants to help polish it up so the world sees it too. And that is scary.

It’s okay though. Be scared but let them look anyhow. Be brave. And maybe a little crazy. Many folks probably understand more than you give them credit for . . . and they’re probably kind of freaked out too. But you know what? Life doesn’t have to be so frightening — for all of us. I know a fella who says “The more people that know your intimate secrets, the safer you are.” Sounds totally wrong, but maybe he’s right? Whichever it is, and whatever happens, good or bad? You’ll get over it. That is the only certainty.

So just press on. Let your coach try to polish that diamond. Tell ‘em to back off when you need to, but let ‘em in when you can. Both your lives will be better for it.

  1. Heather Beck says:

    LOVE IT!! You can call me out anytime 🙂 CrossFit has been such a humbling experience for me…being in the typical gym for 24 years and then stepping foot into CFLW 3 months ago has been a night and day experience. At the “gym” I had trainers and even trainers that I think are great at what they do however, I’ve never been COACHED so this was a huge shift in thinking. Not only am I unlearning bad habits (like running heal to toe) but I am pushing myself more than I EVER have.

    I definatly get frustrated with things that I think should be easy, like getting my elbows up but this form is really something I have to work on. My black and white thinking gets in the way with CrossFit… I’ll never be perfect at it but I will always be improving my form, my speed, heavier weights and my ability to be coached.

    Thanks Tom 🙂

    • Smashby says:

      The best part of all, Heather, is that ALL of us who are willing to give our mental and physical selves to CrossFit while at the gym, feel the same way.

      Humble Pie – Served Daily. 🙂

      Congrats on everything you’ve already done, and everything I know you will CONTINUE to do!

  2. Casey says:

    I want to say thanks to you, Tom, because without your confidence in me, I woulnt believe in myself the way I do today. You are an amazing coach and you inspire me everyday, not only in the gym, but in my everyday life. Thank you to all the athletes at crossfit for being such an amazing family!

    Awesome does not mean perfect. I am awesome all the time. 🙂

    • Smashby says:

      Casey. Thank you so much for those incredible words. I need you to realize that YOU are the reason you are so awesome.

      I’m so proud to have been able to guide you in that direction, but even prouder that you’ve finally believed it! You ARE awesome, and that doesn’t mean perfect. But you, Casey Polk, are awesome ALL of the time!

  3. Alon says:

    CrossFit has become my anchor, a place of solace borne of all distractions and negativity incinerated and exhausted. Peace, pride, focus, camaraderie, confidence and a life source of motivation are but a few of the gifts I have received from a spartan gym and Spartan coaches.

    Thanks to Tom, Orion, Megan, Chrissy and the CrossFit Lakewood family for the past four months. They have changed my life.

    • Smashby says:

      Alon, you hear it daily at CF now, but you are an incredible inspiration to ALL of us at CrossFit Lakewood.

      In the last four months, you have undergone such an amazing transformation, and it’s not stopping anytime soon.

      PLEASE keep up the great work. It’s astonishing to watch! (and thank you for the kind words!)

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