Guest Post by Coach Travis Woods:
I have found that at some points in my Crossfit career I stagnate. I feel like I sit at the same weight, never really progressing to harder and heavier weight. I get comfortable, which if Brian’s Barbell class has taught me anything is exactly the opposite of how I need to approach my movements. I don’t think being comfortable for a WOD here or there is a bad thing. But staying in that comfort is disastrous, at least for me. When I first started I was making huge jumps in ability, I was setting PRs, I was getting faster. I started to get to the Rx weights. I was approaching Landmark WODs and finishing them… not fast, but getting them done. I hit the level of weights I had told myself I needed to get to at the start of my career! I did it! I finally succeeded at my goal! BOOM!
Then I stopped getting hungry for improvement. That is not to say I stopped wanting improvement. But I felt a sense of achievement and competency, which replaced that strive for the next step. I am sure many of you thought my evil twin came coaching during and after the Open. You’d be right in a way. I wasn’t myself and I wasn’t happy about my progress. The Open allowed me the opportunity to see just how my complacency affected me. I was almost exactly as strong as I was last year. No worse, Yay! But no better either. What did I do with that year? Looking back I feel like I just moved things I knew I could do. I lost the drive to push the boundaries. I lost the inspiration to see something and put my heart and sweat into achieving it.
Now the Open is past. My attitude has been set straight. And I’m HUNGRY again. Watch out Muscle Up! This is all do to our box and our community…. and maybe a little self realization. I was unable to find myself and get my focus and drive back. Then Sham gave me Open gym. For two weeks I watched Mike and Shanielle stay and do 45 minutes to an hour of extra skill work and strength work. Mike brings an intensity that is awesome to watch, even if as a coach I clinch my cheeks when I see him hit any type of exhaustion. He just fights the fatigue and lifts or jumps or throws or pulls, and sometimes he fails… some times spectacularly. But I push when next to him. I remembered it is okay to fail. Mike reminded me that failing a lift is not a wall. It is an obstacle. The next item on the To Do list. Shanielle embodies that philosophy. She works her weakness every day. Hurt, tired, sick… well she does take the contagion period off, she is in there working those drills over and over. Her diligence is amazing! After watching those two I started to get the itch again. But how do I start? If I could just do it, I wouldn’t be writing this… I found a training partner.
Russ probably wouldn’t say I was his “training partner”. But I totally use the dude as mine. For the last couple of weeks I found my love for the WOD again. And it’s Russ’ fault. So thanks buddy. Twice a week I get to WOD with Russ. We show up, a little stretch and chat, then we get into it. I have to be focused, I have to be ready. We all know Russ throws weight around pretty easy, so I get to watch a top lifter lift. This is great for me because I am not a top lifter. I get to see the breathing, the set up, the approach. Watching Russ lift taught me how far ahead of the actual lift I want to start prepping. When that guy gets to the bar he is ready to lift. I’m trying to learn that. He is also a great friend that I enjoy spending time with, so the pain is easier to manage.
Those two things were the start for me getting back on track. I found inspiration in all their attitudes and attacking approach to the WODs and the supplemental work, be it skill or strength, they need to keep getting better. But that change keeps going and I find myself just getting the positives out of people now. My attitude has changed, I’ve recommitted to THE WORK not the goal. I love watching everyone hit 1 rep maxes. But I’ll take Elmer fighting exhaustion and still throwing wall balls weak handed. Or Melissa staying after a particularly tough WOD and doing a second competition WOD for prep. I’ll take Katy no longer angry when there is rowing and instead smiling. These little things you all do make me come back over and over. And when the WOD is tough and it beats you down, I know I can look up at anyone of you and find my inspiration again. So thank you all. And if you find yourself in a little progress rut, look across the room at the person standing there ready for the WOD, it’s probably your Russ… try to keep up! 🙂