Here's a weekly micro essay from Coach Whitney. She doesn't want to be hogging all the space on the blog, so remember, we'd love for you all to contribute. Read a cool article? Find some interesting research? Write something yourself? Share it with a coach or Big Al (Alysia), and we'll share it with the interwebs!
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.”
10 single arm strict press R arm
10 single arm bent over row R arm
15 PVC pass through
10 single arm strict press L arm
10 single arm bent over row L arm
20 PVC good mornings
Rest 30s (then start back at the beginning for one more round
2 Position Squat Snatch
High Hang (bar remains on hip) + hang from above knee
250m Banded Row Intervals
Alternating Sets With a Partner