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“Just Keep Swimming”

“Just Keep Swimming”

If you’ve read my past posts or are a Crossfit fan, you’ll know that the Crossfit Games recently took place. I watched as much of it as I could (streaming at work, ESPN at home, etc), and I loved every minute of it. The programming this year was ridiculously hard – some of the workouts made me sore just watching! But what an inspiration – these men and women (encompassing all age groups – from teens up to masters and teams) were absolutely fantastic. My dog got a bit confused when I was loudly cheering for people.

You don’t make it to the Games by being a wimp – you have proven that you are an incredible athlete; you’ve honed your skills in the gym, committed to nutrition programs, and you are ready.

13 workouts.

4 days.

Just so crazily amazing.

The final two workouts were called “Pedal to the Metal 1 & 2” – #1 consisted of peg board climbs, rowing, air assault bike, and dumbbell snatches. Peg board climbs, while something that some of us may have seen in elementary school gym class, seemed like it was drawn straight from the set of “American Ninja Warrior.” More importantly, it was a brand new event that the athletes had never seen before or trained on. While the men were definitely challenged, it was the women that were thrown for the biggest loop – nearly every woman could not complete the peg board climbs. After a few attempts, most gave up and decided to wait out the time cap. Strategically, this made sense: if you’re close in points to someone and they aren’t completing the workout, you don’t lose any ground, plus you save your body a bit for the next half of the workout. But not everyone did this – Margaux Alvarez did not. Sitting in 10th place going into this event, she certainly had nothing to lose by giving this workout everything she had.

While everyone else decided to save it for the next half of the workout, Margaux kept going. She pushed with everything she had … and it was awesome.

At the end, she finished in 9th place overall. A phenomenal achievement.

Her intense push in that particular workout, while may not have paid off in the sense that she didn’t catapult past everybody else onto the podium, did serve to illustrate something to me.

Sometimes you’re not going to see immediate, quantifiable results from giving something your all. You may not get that move in the class the first day even though you try a move so often you bruise immediately, or the skin gets so raw you can’t stand it. You may bust your butt lifting, but you’re still so far down on your gym’s leaderboard, you wonder if it’s worth it. You try so hard to improve your numbers (be it lifting or running, etc), but on certain moves, they just don’t move. Does that mean you’ve failed?

(Spoiler alert: it does not!)

No, you have not failed. My overhead strength lifts (overhead squats, jerks, presses) are never going to be my strong suits. Some days 55# is giving it my all with overhead squats, and  I might never really see a lot of improvement in my numbers. But moves with legs? Oh baby – MY JAM. I have my sights set on achieving a 300# deadlift – I just PR’d at 245#, so I know it’s not far off! Squats? Boom, yes. (as long as they’re not overhead squats)

For pole – handspring based moves? Sure thing. The Janiero? Took me AGES to get for the first time, and it’s not one that I hit consistently. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to give it my all every single time I try it. Just because you don’t get a move, maybe not the first time, maybe not for forever, don’t quit and sit there. Just because the WOD contains moves that aren’t your strengths, don’t skip that workout (caveat: if you’re injured and that move will cause you pain or further injury, then modify or adjust the movement or weight).

DoryI guess my whole mantra when writing this post was – don’t give up. Some days are going to feel amazing – you’re going to love everything your instructor has planned – you’re going to PR your lifts or your time for a workout. But, some days aren’t. And you know what? That’s OK – just keep swimming.

Lindsey Love
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