Pride: The Drawbacks

by Whitney Dean

I once heard a story about robins and how they love to dine on juniper berries this time of year. The same juniper berries used to flavor gin. And when the robins get a belly full, they begin to strut around the yard, their chests distended with pride. You can almost here them calling, “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.”

It’s not as obvious on the gym mats, the doggedness with which I ignore a pain in my bones. Not the pain of fatigue but the pain of misuse, overuse—the body’s plea with the mind, “Are you *#%*! kidding me?!?” But the clock is running, and what will it say about me, my character, my fortitude, if I lighten the load on my barbell, exchange one movement for a modified one, let someone get ahead of me in the workout?

Then there’s the fear of performing poorly: loading too much weight on the bar, not loading enough. Dropping to the knees, refusing to drop to the knees. Over-issuing ourselves a “no rep,” under-issuing ourselves a “no rep.” Being hard on ourselves, not challenging ourselves enough. What will the white board read at the end of the day? What record will the white board reflect?

And there’s the barrage of expectations, some reasonable, most not. “I’ve been CrossFitting for this long, and I should be…” Fill in the ellipses; we all have something for that space.

It’s worth examining what drives us and what holds us back. More often than not, the origins of a pain in my back or shoulder can be traced to some abnormal function far below that, maybe in my feet, calve muscles, or IT bands. An imbalance or an ill distribution of strength or stress on one side of my body has any number of consequences, many of which manifest where I least expect them. It seems the mind works in similar ways: a blow to my ego or a failed expectation manifests in self-doubt, denial, and frustration. Our attention is directed to the symptom rather than the source.

Sometimes I forget why I’m here, why I’m working as hard as I do to stay fit, but the mat is an opportunity for introspection, to look at what motivates me beyond what I wish to see in the mirror. I’m learning that fitness is larger than just performing well in the flesh. It’s a testament to how willing I am to make room for patience, forgiveness, and honesty in the space I consider my sanctuary. How much bull#@!* do I allow to enter this space with me?

The further I examine these areas of my life, the less likely I am to invite emotional or physical injury to the table. If I don’t buy into the hype, the white board and the tally I’m keeping in my mind matter less. And if I don’t indulge in the berries, I don’t call the enemy into my yard, chirping “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty."

A1. 3 x 30 second hold at the top of ring dip
-rest 30 seconds-
A2. 3 x 10 hollow body rocks
-rest 30seconds-

For time:

Deadlifts 185/135#
Box jump overs 24/20"

Rest until 10 minutes on the clock then complete:
27 Deadlifts 185/135#
27 Box jump overs 24/20"