What CrossFit teaches you about success

November 2010

As anyone who’s spent much time around me knows, I’ve been doing CrossFit for the last six months or so and I’m a huge fan for lots of reasons.

Take today’s workout for example.

Air Force WOD

For time:

  • 20 Thrusters
  • 20 Sumo deadlift high pulls
  • 20 Push jerks
  • 20 Overhead squats
  • 20 Front squats

By the way, for every minute you have the audacity to not be finished yet, you have to stop and do four burpees. So the more you slow down, the more total work you have to do.

At first I was convinced this was too hard for me to finish, even scaling down from the prescribed weight of 95 lbs. With the start timer counting down its final seconds I pictured how I would handle the embarrassment of DNF’ing. But with three seconds to go I decided picturing failure was only making it worse, picturing success felt like lying to myself, so I went with the only remaining option: clear my mind, take it one rep at a time and whatever happens, happens.

Astonishingly, less than 14 minutes later I completed the final rep. Not even close to a world class time, but infinitely better than the DNF I was stressing about a handful of minutes ago.

But here’s the really cool part: the biggest threat to success wasn’t a lack of muscular strength or endurance, it was lacking the willpower to keep going when the work got hard, or worse - not even having the courage to try.

I thought about this for a while as I was laying on the floor waiting for my legs to stop burning.

CrossFit can make you leaner, faster, stronger and all that, but it also teaches you that 9 times out of 10 the battle between success and failure is fought in your own head. And winning that battle is a trainable skill that you can develop through practice. It’s true in sports, business, and life in general.

So next time you think something is impossible, don’t give up. Clear your mind, take it one step at a time and whatever happpens, happens. You’re capable of more than you think.

blog comments powered by Disqus