You won’t recognize the moment that you start to slide backwards. You won’t be able to put your finger on the exact second that you stopped making forward progress. Because momentum is not easily defined by status quo or a negative. And regression is often insidious.
What you will feel is a tad cranky, a bit out of sorts, a feeling that the world is not treating you well.
Your deadlift? Not improved in months. Your pull-up progress? Stagnant. That bodyweight clean? Still elusive.
You’ve stopped making progress. You are no longer moving forward in CrossFit, at least in strength. Metcons might still be okay, but you feel like in everything else you’re moving backwards, like you’re swimming against an endless current and making no progess. One step up, two steps back. And, when you really think about things, it feels that way in the rest of your life as well.
But, before you start blaming your technique, CrossFit, or your coaches, or the world, or even your dog Thruster, just stop. Chill. Stop and assess.
Are you eating properly? Getting enough sleep? Are you hitting the gym enough? Are you resting enough?
And, are you happy? Really, truly happy. Not lampshade on your head happy. Not power clean PR happy. Not “My team won today!” happy. But deeply, soulfully happy with yourself and the direction of your life.
Because, until you can answer “Yes” to all the questions above, you will feel that the world is not treating you properly — or CrossFit is not treating you right. When, in reality, it might be that you are not treating yourself or the world properly. And your deadlift and your squat are just symptoms of a bigger disease.
Take a month. A full month. Really. Keep CrossFitting, but get your house in order, one thing at a time. Food. Sleep. Exercise. People. Get your head right. Stop the backward slide. Then, in thirty days, slam your foot back on the gas pedal. Rev the engine hard again. Tackle that deadlift PR again, and that squat. See what happens. Ha! Doing things the right way can change everything!