Posts Tagged ‘Weightlifting’

Unfortunately, I’m not close friends with any Professional Athletes. I say unfortunately because I think it would be sweet if one of my best friends was a Major League Baseball player who’d fly his crew all around the country to hang out and be obnoxious fans at his games. (Ok, I just wish I was in an entourage.) ANYWAYS, I bring that up because while most of us were never pro stars, a lot of us played sports throughout most of our childhood. Some of us were pretty good, too!

Now I’m not saying that it’s cool to act like Uncle Rico¬†and be stuck back in your glory days, but I do think that a lot of us have some really fun stories to share about our athletic accomplishments growing up. In fact, it’d probably be fun to share some of those stories with your friends over a beer (or a Kill Cliff…..) to give a bit more insight as to what your past was like. In a sport like CrossFit, I’ve also found that experience in certain sports can sometimes shed light onto a person’s ability to be more successful at exercise racing. For example, wrestlers, swimmers, and hockey players have a strange ability to almost “black out” during a workout and push harder than a lot of other people. Football and rugby players often times have residual freak strength from when they back squatted over 500lbs and cleaned well over 300lbs, even though it may have been over 10-15 years ago. Soccer and baseball players are frequently still fairly explosive and handle body-weight movements really well. Runners… well runners still only run well. (Just kidding, runners! You’re good at other things, too.)


I bring this up because as a coach I come in contact with people who join a CrossFit gym, and after a lifetime of being good at whatever sport they played, they’re humbled every single day. This usually leads to one of a few different paths for the athlete to take.

Some people are discouraged and don’t want to go back to the gym because they’re “embarrassed at how badly” they feel they did. They didn’t use a lot of weight, had to stop and rest a lot, felt like they were the worst athlete in the class, or woke up unbelievably sore. First of all, those people need to know that CrossFit is really hard. For everyone. Every day. That’s one of the first things I ever heard about the program. “It doesn’t ever get easier. You just get stronger or move faster.” Yet we all come back time and time again. The way to get better at this stuff is to keep showing up! Throw those athletic shoes in your bag and head back to the gym tomorrow. You’ve got this!

Others refuse to “accept” their current level of athletic ability and push too hard, too soon. Ok Frank, I understand you used to hit .400 and throw a 96 mile-per-hour fast-ball. News flash, sport… that was 25 years ago, you were 30 pounds lighter, and didn’t sit behind a desk for 10 hours every day. No matter how many times a coach tries to work with them, they always “have to go Rx,” even if it means finishing last in the workout every single day, or failing to meet full range of motion on barbell lifts. If this is you, take it easy. Go light on the barbell one day, reduce the number of reps to finish the workout a little faster, slow down your reps to make sure you’re doing them right. Your body, and your coach, will thank you.

Another group is overtly aware of their athletic past, yet realizes that while they may be more athletic than most, the brakes still need to be pumped a little bit to stay safe. Being able to lift something with bad technique and potentially getting hurt doesn’t outweigh the benefits of hitting a “CrossFit PR” for a given movement. They remember that in college they ran a 4:53 mile, but are plenty satisfied with the 6:04 they just ran last week. These individuals understand that most of use are working out to eat more of what we want, and to look better naked. Thanks for being smart!

Why would sharing your information about your athletic past (and history of injuries while you’re at it) benefit you in CrossFit? It’s not to brag about what you used to do or get upset that you’re no longer at the level you may have once been. It’s to equip your coaches with tools they can use to best help you. In a class of 20 people, I usually will have a different way of coaching each person. If one athlete has never played a sport in their life and the other is a former National Champion, the cues and encouragement given to each of them might be a little bit different. I certainly don’t think it’ll negatively impact your performance in the gym at all. So speak up, share your story, and be proud. Not even of where you’ve been, but of where you are right now. In the gym, trying to make yourself better. I know I’m proud of you!


Today’s Thought of the Day is simple:
Your excuse is invalid.

When I write that, I’m not talking at you, the reader of my blog. I’m talking to myself and sharing that inner monologue with you.

I will tell you what, when I want to, I can create some pretty big excuses. Why DID I do that? Why did I NOT to that? Why haven’t taken a step in the right direction? Why am I putting off STARTING that project for another day, week…. month? It’s something I’m constantly working on trying to improve, but I’m not there yet.

There are certainly plenty of times where a desired outcome is simply unrealistic. However, for the sake of this post, I’m referring to times where I can make a change, and choose not to instead. When these situations come up, I often think of the image below.

CrossFit, Smashby Training, Your Excuse is Invalid

Meanwhile, sometimes I complain about being too tired to work out.

When I have so much to be thankful and appreciative for, I feel as though sometimes I am being wasteful of my abilities and talents, and don’t like that feeling at all. If I’m healthy enough to work out, work out. If I have the physical ability and mental strength to accomplish a goal, why have I not accomplished it or made strides towards it yet? I have been working diligently towards trying to have that conversation with myself less and less often and instead just making the most of my time and living with fewer regrets.

I am not saying I haven’t accomplished anything positive, just acknowledging that I have so much more I want to do, in so many areas of my life! Does that make sense?

Well stories like the one in the video below are the types of stories that keep me motivated. Here’s a brief summary from the hourlyupdates YouTube page:
“Ali McWeeny of Ellensburg was once a force to be reckoned with in the world of weighlifting, but that all changed three years ago when she lost her left leg in a boating accident.

Doctors said she would never lift weights again, but McWeeny had other ideas. She’s now competing again, and her inspirational story was enough to bring her former coach out of retirement.”

Yep. One-legged weightlifter.

So, that brings me back to my initial point. My excuse is invalid. Time to buckle down and do some work.

How do you feel about this topic?