Posts Tagged ‘Celebrate’

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Practice makes perfect? No, practice makes progress!

Too often, athletes approach their training in search of the moment when they’ll be “strong enough” or “fast enough.” Unless you’re training to compete in a specific event, consider viewing fitness as your own unique method for physical self-expression.

Adding 50 lbs to your back squat, shaving two minutes off of your 5K run time, or increasing your flexibility enough to touch your toes for the first time are all great goals. But if you only view “success” as the day you achieve that goal, you’ll miss out on all of the smaller, incremental gains you make along the way.

Instead of striving for perfection in your health and fitness endeavors, strive for improvement. The phrase “practice makes perfect” sets too many people up for failure. “Practice makes progress,” on the other hand, is a philosophy that encourages and acknowledges improvement in any capacity.

As with many things in life, fitness should be viewed as a marathon, not a sprint. Let me know if you need help setting goals for yourself. Finding something that excites you, and then creating a road map on how to get there is a really fun process.

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My philosophy on competitions of any kind is that once they’re done, a celebration should follow shortly thereafter. Win, lose, or draw. This is all well and good for most athletes who play on teams, or participate in long events, but sometimes people have a hard time seeing eye to eye with me because of the sports that I’ve competed in most. As a swimmer, I specialized in the sprint events, which means that on a good day most of my races were less than one minute long. At a typical meet, I’d swim a maximum of five events. If you’re as good at math as I am, you’ve already figured out that I’d train 20+ hours per week (oh hi, NCAA official… I mean to say I’d train just under 20 hours per week) in order to compete for less than five total minutes. Even worse, during big championship meets that last 2-3 days, I might swim a total of 10 minutes all weekend long! Swim a race in under 30 seconds. Wait a few hours. Repeat. For three full days!

Some of my friends who were endurance swimmers specialized in events that took anywhere from two to fifteen minutes EACH. That is a pretty big difference in total time spent actually throwing down. Those who played other sports like soccer and football had games that were hours long. Me, five minutes of total work. The worse part, is that even with that difference, I would still be completely exhausted at the end of each meet.

In CrossFit, it’s kind of the same situation for me. I’d sign up for a 2-day competition, compete in 5 or 6 total events, each typically falling in the 6-12 minute range, and feel absolutely crushed afterwards! Saying it out loud seems silly to me. How can my wife compete in Half IRONMAN triathlon where she’s moving for five HOURS straight and not even sore the next day, and I’m hobbling for the rest of the weekend after doing fifteen whole minutes of exercise racing?!

Regardless, when competition day comes and that huge flood of adrenaline kicks in, I find an extra gear that doesn’t ever show up during training. Pushing that hard for each those events takes just about everything out of me, so when I’m done, I feel like I deserve to celebrate surviving. Since so many of us are going to be “competing” in the same events for the next five weeks, I think we ALL deserve to celebrate! My celebration of choice usually involves beer (sometimes tequila) and pizza or burgers. What are your celebration treats to yourself after an accomplishment?

The 2018 CrossFit Games Open starts in a matter of hours. I hope you’re excited, and that you’ve got your post-workout or post-Open meals already planned out! Good luck out there, friends!