We talk a lot about goals when we meet with athletes one-on-one. What do you want to work on? What do we need to accomplish in the next 6 months to be successful? Where are the weak areas that we can shore up? What do you really enjoy doing in the gym or outside of it? These questions give us important insight into what motivates you to do the work day in and day out and really why you are here. It is important to attach meaning to the work we do in the gym because motivation will eventually and inevitably fail us.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about some of my own goals and talking with athletes that are similar to me in age, family status, and professional engagement. I find that I have much more in common with you than I do with many of my peers in the CrossFit gym owner world. Many of them are competitive CrossFitters who opened their gyms to serve their training objectives. There is nothing wrong with that scenario, but that has never been me. Like you, my workouts have to fit in between professional obligations, work schedules, school pickups and grocery shopping. And too many days in a row of kipping or squatting or pulling or pushing will leave some joint or muscle group begging for mercy. That doesn’t mean however, that I am exempt from goals. They just look a little different these days.
Recently, I recommitted to attending 4 group classes per week. I love working out with all of you so this was by no means a reluctant commitment. It’s great to be coached consistently and be forced to show up for some workouts that I might otherwise not be able to “fit in”. (It’s much harder to cherry pick workouts when you have to hit 4 out of 5 days.) It’s a good push and there are no finer folks to spend an hour sweating with than all of you.
There have also been some unintended consequences from this commitment. I’ve spent a few workouts in the back of the pack remembering again that often the person finishing last suffers just as much (maybe more?) than those finishing first. And more days than not, I find myself choosing to scale one or more movements in the workout, never once doubting that sometimes a scaled or modified option can yield a harder workout than attempting the prescribed version. I enjoy a quiet word of encouragement from another athlete feeling just as bad as I do at minute 18. In that moment, I’m no longer the gym owner noticing a cracked plate or burned out light bulb, I’m just another sweaty athlete feeding off the shared suffering of the group; working to be a little better than the day before.
But the best part is that I am once again making consistent progress. I’ve been doing CrossFit in one form or another for 10 years now. I will likely never again come anywhere close to the personal bests of my younger years. However, the slow incremental gains of my late 40s that come only from showing up day in and day out and committing to the process are even sweeter. I’m talking about the progress that happens when you do the workout of the day whether or not it looks sexy and even if it has all of my weaknesses in it. I’m talking about the feeling of putting together a solid day or week or few weeks of training and knowing that I’m physically and mentally better for it.
So what are your goals? Feel free to take mine as your own and join me on the journey toward consistent progress.