In just about a month it’ll be eight years since my first CrossFit workout.
I remember enjoying the community aspect of that first workout a whole lot after having spent several months flying solo with a video workout program in my basement six days a week.
I remember the feeling that CrossFit was a seriously kick-butt workout and how much I enjoyed that too. Today, I recognize that it was really just a tiny introduction to the expansive world of strength, conditioning, and skill that CrossFit opens up.
I remember that I had never really been coached as an adult in an athletic context before, except by my martial arts sensei several years prior but the type of coaching there was very different.
I remember the wonder of what I might learn from this “CrossFit thing” if I made the financial and time investment to try it out…
I was a member of one CrossFit for five years prior to us establishing Five Plus, and for all of those years, I was learning. I was learning something every time I showed up to a class. I was learning from every trainer I had, even those who hadn’t been in CrossFit as long as I had. Learning was a giant factor in keeping me showing up and growing.
Today, there are times that I “know” and can perform all of the movements in a workout, and demonstrate a number of modifications or substitutions thereof; and there are the rare occasions when my results for the workout of the day somehow stay at the top of the leader board for the day (which means several people who regularly show up above my score stayed home); nevertheless, I am always looking for something to learn in the classes I attend. I attribute much of my longevity in this training system to a child-like wonder that I might learn something really cool or helpful in each class. Even when I wasn’t training people, I was looking for ways I could be helpful to my fellow members. It hasn’t failed me. I still love the pursuit of correct and efficient movement.
As we approach our workouts in weeks, months, and even years ahead, let’s look to learn something in every class. It could be a small tweak to a movement we already “have” that increases our efficiency in it. It could be a brand new skill – sometimes we don’t know what we can achieve because we don’t know what there is to be achieved. It could be a tip that someone else may find helpful that we store in the back of our minds until just the right moment when that tip will change someone’s understanding of a movement forever and help it finally “click”.
Even in the workouts that seem rudimentary, or the ones that we’ve done time and time again when the only goal seems to be a faster time or higher rep count, let’s keep our eyes out for something to learn. Maybe it’s strategy, maybe it’s a coaching cue, maybe it’s a modification or substitution that we’ve never seen before, maybe it’s what to think about to help us generate power. Someday, someone may call upon us to share what we’ve learned in that moment and it may make all the difference in the world for someone else.
Let’s make it a point to do these two things in every class (really everything we do) and enjoy the experience of growth for years to come: