As I was doing some stretching the other day and floating around Instagram, like you all know I love to do, I ran across a quote from one of my favorite coaches.
“At some point, you’re not going to be the strongest in the room. You can’t be. Why? Because you’re 40, you’ve got kids, your tissues are different, and there’s a 19 year old mutant in the room. But you can always be ‘the most skilled mover.'” – Kelly Starrett
When I read this I instantly thought of the demographics of our gym, which are probably very similar to most CrossFit boxes around the world, and who our clients really are.
Most of our athletes are exactly this, middle-aged parents who just want to be more fit so that they can live a longer and healthier life, filled with fun physical activities, that they enjoy participating in because of the fitness level they’ve earned by attending our classes.
I also thought about one of our Gym Rules, “Leave your ego at the door”, and one of my old blog posts The Whiteboard & Your Ego (If you’ve got a couple extra minutes I encourage you to click the link and read that post too).
I also thought about my own training and how being a competitive CrossFitter is a challenge that can be overwhelming at times because it always seems like there’s someone new coming up that is younger, faster, stronger and better with less time spent in the sport.
But what I realized through all of this is that none of it matters because none of that is under our control.
We need to take a step back, take a look in the mirror, and truly think about WHY we do CrossFit.
The answer for most of us (I’d venture to guess 99% of us) is exactly what I highlighted about our “middle-aged” members, we just want to live a better life.
And by doing CrossFit and constantly improving we not only boost our physical abilities, but we improve our mental capacity, our pain tolerance, our self confidence and because of all these we get to live better outside the box.
On top of all of this, when we focus on our movement in our warm up, during movement instruction, and in the WOD, we are setting ourselves up to move better outside the box, which allows us to avoid many of the “injuries” that we see the people around us suffer who still want to go out and have some fun playing basketball or soccer or skiing or hiking, but don’t put the time in that we are in the box.
So here’s my challenge to you this week:
Don’t worry about what the others around you are lifting or how many reps their doing.
Don’t concern yourself with the new guy in the corner that is absolutely smashing the butterfly pull-ups even though he just started CrossFit 2 months ago.
Don’t be annoyed that you finished last in the class on a given day.
Focus on how you’re moving and what you’re doing to make yourself better.
And enjoy the fact that by doing so you’re setting yourself up for future success and you’ll get there with time and effort.
We’ve all got our strength and weaknesses.
Your job is to take advantage of the places you are proficient and improve in the areas that you need work.
And by being the most skilled mover you’re setting yourself up for long term success and health inside and outside the box.