Let Go

Greta Mitchell of the CF West Santa Cruz Orange Kangaroos soccer team.

Sometimes, when you no longer see yourself as the hero of your own drama, expecting victory after victory…I’ve found that things became a lot easier when I no longer expected to win. –Leonard Cohen

You have to just let go.  Let go of your preconceived notions of what you should be able to do and what you shouldn’t be able to do.  Let go of your predetermined ability and your predetermined lack of ability.  Just let go of all it.

All the time I see people start CrossFit and they have a preconceived idea of what they can and can’t do.  They drag these preconceptions around with them like a ball and chain, and it slows down their progress.  All the time I see people who have been doing CrossFit for a while and they develop ideas of what they should be able and what they never will be able to do.

It’s easy to be frustrated and even angry at yourself when you can’t get something that you think you should be able to.  Or do it as well as you think you should be doing it.  It’s not that CrossFit is hard, it is, but so are martial arts, surfing, water polo, and legions of other activities, it’s that you have to give up your ego and your lack of ego to learn.  If half your mind and spirit are focused on how well you should be doing something or how you are never going to get it, then there is not a lot left over to learn the movement.

Let go of it all.  You aren’t going to be able to master everything (do we ever really master anything?), sometimes not even that which you really want to.  Let’s face it, you might not be able to snatch like Jocelyn no matter how much you want to, or even how much you try.  That doesn’t mean that you stop snatching, stop learning, stop training, stop trying to be better than yesterday, it just means that the snatch might always be your goat.  It’s not that you can’t win at everything, or that you shouldn’t try, it’s just that you shouldn’t expect to, because that very expectation will hurt your ability to do it.

And the flip side is that you might become very good at something you never thought you would be.  So don’t ever not try something just because you don’t think you will be able to do it.

So what am I telling you?  You have to try really hard at everything, but you can’t expect to do well or do poorly?  Yes, that’s it exactly.  Yeah, I know it’s a little esoteric.  Or here is another way of saying it: always believe in yourself, but never let that belief get in the way of learning something.  A lot of CrossFit boxes have a sign at the front that says “leave your ego at the door.”  I say leave it all at the door, and don’t pick it back up on your way out.

Please post your thoughts to Comments.


Front Squat

10×3 @ 65% 1RM on the 1 minute interval.

Work on speed out of the hole.


6 Rounds

5 Hang Power Snatch 125/80#

(use a weight you don’t have to drop after each rep)

4 Broad Jumps for Speed and Distance