One might assume that someone having lived over four decades would be full of wisdom. One might also be wrong. Some of my best and VERY worst lessons learned have been due to mistakes, failed attempts and plain bad choices. So to put it bluntly…Stupid Hurts. I have brought a bar down on my head and on my ankle. I have almost passed out …twice… because I didn’t regulate my breathing. I have chosen to work out when what I really should have done was rested or at least mobilized. I’ve let my ego make some unwise decisions for me which lead to further injury. Yup, Stupid hurts and for the sake of my sanity we will just stick with my Gym stupid because again…four decades! Sure, Coaches and friends would balance me out and encourage some wiser thinking, but some lessons just have to be experienced firsthand.
So let’s talk about learning lessons the hard way. There have been a lot of lessons in my last five years of CrossFit. For example: Don’t go out to hot, pick a pace you can maintain, pursue the holes in your training, and Preserve the stimulus. We have all heard these things repeatedly and yet we all can most likely think of workouts that we missed the mark on one or all of these examples. These are lessons we learned while trying not to puke or maybe wishing we had put more weight on the bar because we missed the challenge. We continuously physically challenge ourselves in the gym to make our life outside of the gym easier. Maybe these important lessons we have learned could also make other areas of our life outside of the gym better.
Don’t go out to too hot and pick a pace you can maintain. This one gets me often right now. We are quarantining and the sameness of the days are wearing on my last nerve and SOMEONE ate all the ice cream (Shit, I live alone and I ate it all). This is a really long AMRAP people! The timer is set until April 30 but the universe can be a fickle Coach and s/he likes to say “one more round” just when you think you are done. I think the important lesson we can take from this is pace. You have all heard “dress like you are going to work if you are working from home”. You have also heard “set a schedule”. Those are all good things. I am going to add another thing. Focus on what you can control! THAT is your pace and YOU are deciding it. No one else decides where you put your energy (except small Bipeds demanding attention). Take time to really think “what’s important to you?” Not just in Crossfit training but in other areas. If you could pick one book, one project or one priority for you to schedule for YOURSELF make the time, even if it is just five minutes before bed.
Also, put more ice cream on the grocery list, someone keeps eating it.
Pursue the holes in your training and preserve the stimulus What if your stimulus in this particular WOD (World on Delay) is just to hold onto bits of normalcy because everything else has been turned upside down? Sounds about right! The way I see it I don’t have to Pursue the holes in my life training right now because they are literally being launched at my front door! These holes are my routine-GONE, my regular work schedule-PBBBT, my Training- totally altered, and my personal life- umm YA NOPE. So with this WOD (see above), I have had days where the holes in my training are exhausting and I have had to ask for help to find the Stimulus for forward momentum. I have had days where I have felt defeated, angry and &$#@!(insert Samuel L. Jackson here). Asking for help isn’t easy and it takes losing the Ego (Dammit, another important thing). Maybe the holes in life can be filled with the resources available online or maybe it’s reaching out to another person, pursue it.
This is starting to sound like another lesson I learned at the Gym. Bad days at the Gym are the ones that you learn the most from. We learn so much more from challenging days than from days when the training comes easy. These are challenging days and I will make bad choices and Stupid will hurt. But I guess my point in all of this is I’ll choose this WOD again tomorrow because my firsthand experience is finally paying off.