Warning: this post is a continuation of yesterday’s and may be taken as insulting or offensive by some. If you are extremely thin skinned, please skip this post and check back tomorrow.
You hear a lot of excuses around the box. In fact, some CrossFit affiliates have an excuse board where all the great excuses are written. You know, all the classic ones: too tired, hung over, ate too much, ate too little, sore, etc. I heard a new one today. An athlete didn’t make it to class because he was “writing code and just lost track of the time.” I have used a lot of the former ones, but I don’t think I will ever be able to use the latter.
One excuse I hear often is in comparison to other CrossFitters. The excuse is that some people will just never be good as others at CrossFit because those people have better genetics. Without a doubt there are some monsters roaming the CrossFit landscape. Some of these monsters may possess some pretty hotshot genetic potential, but I bet the majority of them don’t. Of course, we need to be realistic and understand that a 45 year old newbie is going to be at a disadvantage with a 20 year old newbie, but I don’t compare myself to 20 year olds in anything, with the exception of wisdom and good looks of course.
But, and this is the bitter pill to swallow folks, most of the people who have faster times and bigger numbers than you just work harder. And this is the simple truth. You may hit the gym all the time, but how is your nutrition? Are you Zoning? Do you get enough fat? Are you too lean? Your nutrition may be dialed, but how are your recovery techniques? Do you get enough sleep? Do you foam or ball roll? Maybe the people better at CrossFit (better by way of numbers and times) are more disciplined. Maybe they work harder.
Let me give you an example. And it’s not an example known by many. Greg Amundson. The name brings to mind fast times, big numbers, incredible videos. Greg is probably the most famous of the early CrossFit monsters and was the standard by which early CrossFit was measured and tested. Greg, no doubt, must have awesome genetics to perform and look the way he does. Maybe, who knows, but I what I do know is that Greg trained hard, really hard. And he is incredibly disciplined.
I have known Greg a long time, pre-CrossFit. We both lifted weights and played college water polo together in the 90s. Greg was always a fairly strong guy, but nothing to write home about. He wasn’t a starter on the polo team or any kind of hotshot. Greg was interested in martial arts, but he wasn’t particularly fast or fluid. He had wrestled in high school, but he wasn’t a champion.
Then he started CrossFit. He didn’t pick up anything any easier than the next guy, but he worked at it, really hard. He hit the 6am classes like clockwork and trained on his own later in the day. His running and wind needed work, so he ran up hills dragging a tire. Greg heard about the Zone diet, so he started weighing and measuring and he didn’t cheat. He learned about foam rolling and other kinds of myofascial release and I rarely saw him without a tennis ball or foam roller. His breathing was off when doing WODs, so he started to train with a mouth guard.
And slowly he became the best. For a long time no one could touch his all around scores.
What’s the point here? It’s that Greg wasn’t born with anything that all of us don’t have. He was just incredibly disciplined and he worked a hell of a lot harder than just about everyone else. And he still does. And his performance reflects it.
Think about that the next time an excuse starts to slip past your tongue.
Work your way up to a 1RM back squat. Then back off a little and do 5 more singles.
1/2 GI Jane
50 Burpee Pullups
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