Thomas and I were discussing last week over way, way too many cups of coffee a bit about training, namely, purpose and our commonalities surrounding how we internally view training and the outcomes we're experiencing because of it. Sort of peeling back the curtain with each other on why we are so enthralled to be here and what keeps us coming back.
There seemed to be an agreement between the both of us that the good days in the gym are really easy to celebrate. Of course they are. Get good sleep, show up 4-5 times a week, and you're bound to PR something at some point in time. But bad days, when we feel like crap, are physically exhausted or lack sleep, emotionally drained, and haven't had nearly enough coffee, well, the excuses are so rampant it's hard to admit and pathetic at best.
Let's face it. This shit can be very scary.
A 2000m row is scary. Learning how to do your first pull-up is scary. Admitting to a coach that you are carbohydrate addicted and need help is scary. And training in a large group of semi-strangers is scary, too.
The first CrossFit workout I ever did left me sitting in the California sun for the better part of two hours barely functioning and wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into. My brother pulled out every motivational phrase he had to get me out of our rental. I remember sitting in the parking lot, watching from afar, thinking to myself "I don't have to workout, I can just introduce myself and watch others, that'll still tell me what I need to know". To this day, getting out of that car and joining that group class was one of the best things I've ever done for myself. Hands down.
So 10 years and thousands of hours coached later, I'm caffeinated, sitting in my gym, talking with Thomas about getting out of my comfort zone, and he shares a story that brought me back to workout number 1 in Santa Cruz, California, when I was 19 years old:
Four kids share the summer going to the city pool each day. They leave in the morning, swim all day, and return late in the afternoon. To shorten their trip home, they decide to climb over the chain link fences they come across instead of walking around them.
Each day their routine is the same: walk, swim, climb, walk. Each fence becomes easier, and eventually, it's routine, and the days drone on the same all summer.
On one hot afternoon, one of the boys decides to take a different route home. This time however, there is no chest high fence: they're confronted with an enormous 12 foot high home plate backside on the diamond of a nearby baseball field.
Another boy says to the group "this one is too high, let's just walk around." Another one whispers, "my mom will get real mad at me if I hurt myself." The last boy says confidently, "this is stupid, I don't like climbing fences anyhow."
And so, to the response of his friends, the first boy takes his ball cap off, throws it over the 12 foot fence, and shouts, "I guess I gotta climb now!".
Oh you're not good at pull-ups?
You don't like to run?
Did you only sleep three hours last night?
Afraid you'll be the last to finish?
Didn't eat enough today?
Sucks to be you. Step through the door, crack your knuckles, and throw your hat over the wall. You just might like what's on the other side.