As we watch the best guys and girls compete this weekend at The CrossFit Games, it is difficult not to get swept up in all of the hype and excitement of fitness. And by fitness I mean (to summarise Greg Glassman), creative workouts that vary in movement: heavy barbells, light barbells, bodyweight gymnastics and endurance events. These all seem like they could be quite fun to tackle one by one at some stage of your CrossFit journey; However, these guys at the top are doing them back to back with little rest in between and still somehow manage to make “fitness” look relatively easy. Oh, and they look pretty darn good doing it too.
While watching the CrossFit games I find myself going through different (distinctly two) stages of emotions and if you’ve been bitten by the CrossFit bug (the need to keep getting fitter, stronger, faster) then you might even be able to relate.
- “Wow, these guys are super inspiring. They put in so much work to get to where they are, so I’m even more motivated to try and put in the hard yards to keep improving. Honey, grab your gear, I’m keen to go to the gym and do another session today – we could even try doing that thruster wod from the games!”
- “Wow, I feel like I work pretty hard at the gym every day and I’m never, ever, going to look and perform like those guys. How is that even possible? I definitely feel like I’m getting fitter and stronger but there are just so many levels to this CrossFit thing. I’m feeling tired just thinking about it. I might as well just stay in bed today because ‘that’s’ not going to happen anytime soon.”
Ok Ok – but now you say, “don’t be silly! Those guys are paid athletes and have time to train 24/7! Of course they’re going to be good! You definitely shouldn’t feel like you’re not doing well”.
Well, I think sometimes we all feel like that. The reason doesn’t have to be because of the athletes who train 24/7; Sometimes it’s the girl that just started CrossFit and already has a bigger clean and jerk than you do. It can be that guy who seems to have no weakness for chocolate and ice cream and therefore has abs for days.
So how do we make sure that our fitness motivation does not become detrimental to our progress? Here are a few tips that I use quite often:
- Goals – not necessarily gym goals. These could be career goals, family goals, travel goals – you name it. We need to remember that the goals we set for ourselves, also dictate our priorities in life. We can’t excel at all things at once, so we balance them. What have you really been putting your time into lately? If you’re not progressing as quickly as you’d like in the gym, chances are, you are kicking ass somewhere else on a daily basis. Be proud of that.
- Small pictures – we only see of people what they want us to see. Everyone has their ups and downs but we choose to walk around with an Instagram filter on. Think about your own filter – how do you want others to see you? Sometimes you really do have to ‘fake it till you make it’. I don’t mean be an insincere person or create a fictitious life. Try little things daily: tell yourself you are enthusiastic about doing a workout, about staying an hour extra later to help your boss, that you look hot in that black dress!
- Find a rock – someone to keep you grounded. Someone who knows when you hit a PR and to celebrate with you, to remind you that the work you put in to that presentation to your manager is going to pay off. And sometimes even to justify your reality: to remind you of the fact that you likely didn’t PR your snatch this time because you’ve been doing tough wods every day this week and maybe it’s time to rest.
“Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out”
Think about your own small efforts and the efforts of those around you and you’ll find that motivation comes pretty easily.