3-2-1 GO! The clock is moving and you’re cruising through a repeat WOD. You got this in the bag, and nothing can stop you. All of a sudden in a blink of an eye time seems to move faster and coach yells “time”. You lay out on the floor glad it’s over. And then it happens…it’s that unpleasant feeling of disappointment or frustration when you perform a movement or workout and you don’t see your progress moving forward. For some, it makes you want to yell/scream/curse the barbell or jump rope. For others, it makes you upset and frustrated, bringing up those feelings of being vulnerable. Any way you shake it, it’s not fun.
The first thing to happen, once the burn dissipates, and the fog over your head lifts, is you start to question yourself. You question your abilities as someone who’s been training real hard. You ask yourself, how did I mess up and why did I perform poorly? We start to beat ourselves up and when you turn and hear that Sally hit a 20 second PR, it makes your blood boil that you didn’t do better.
So now what? We didn’t PR. Ultimately, this will happen to everyone at some point. We’ll miss a lift or a heavy weight we’ve been eye balling for a while. We end up adding time on our workout instead of shaving off time. Pissed. Upset. Just to name a few verbs are probably all feelings that start to fester inside.
Well, I’m here to tell you, suck it up buttercup. The ultimate goal of why we train is for continued progress and any one who’s shooting to become better or trying to achieve a new goal will tell you the path to progress is NEVER a straight line. Maybe it is for a while in the beginning, and perhaps that’s why we get so accustomed to the feeling of “winning”. However, the longer you’re involved in a sport or shooting for a promotion, or some other personal goal, there will be bumps and detours along the way. Hitting PRS is NOT the main goal of training. It’s overcoming obstacles that denote progress. Sound familiar – yea that thing we do, Bright Spots Fridays. They may seem like tiny gains, but over the course of time, it will lead you to where you want to go..that is making progress.
So what do we do when you don’t PR? First – don’t cry, throw a tantrum, cop an attitude with your friends who are trying to tell you, you did a good job. You do realize you’re the one imposing this negative reaction right? Believe me, I’ve been there. Cried after workouts. Cried to my boyfriend, who just looked at me and said, it’s workout. Tomorrow is a new day. Take a step back and look at what happened. Did we choose the wrong strategy? Was our technique off? Did we forget to breathe? Shift your focus towards what can be changed, and not thinking your doomed to fail. It’s a temporary situation.
Repeat this to yourself “Respond, do NOT React”. These are two very different things. Reacting is visceral. It’s emotional and quick. Responding is calculated, thoughtful and represents a way to address an issue or what has happened. I recently heard this on a podcast with Ben Bergeron and it’s changed my mindset completely.
Failure comes with the territory. And it’s ok. Be ok with it. Many times athletes will avoid failure. Unless they’re injured, they’ll say “I’m just going to stay light today”. But are you just avoiding being vulnerable and the possibility of failing? Are you stopping yourself short because in your mind, you’ve already claimed a mental defeat so you won’t even bother. Avoiding failure, is taking away the opportunity to really see how awesome you are. You might be secretly holding yourself back because you THINK it might be difficult or don’t want it to hurt. Failure teaches us how to become stronger, tougher and more resilient. In CrossFit, we celebrate PRs with high fives and fist bumps, and sometimes it can seem like failures are the worst thing that could possible occur. However it’s time to shift that mentality. Failure is an opportunity to light a fire under each of us to strive to become better. It’s a reminder that adversity will get in the way, ONLY if we let it. There’s never one way to get to a destination. There are detours and side roads, but ultimately if we keep moving forward, your succeeding already. So pick yourself up. Stand tall, and “live to fight another day”