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Are You Going to Bounce?

Would it be better if I said I didn’t care? If I let you do what you want, how you want, and held you only loosely to the rules of the CrossFit game? Your ego would certainly love it.

But is that why you’re here? Is that why I’m here? So I can pat you on the head, and rub your back, and say “Nice try” — is that really how we forge elite fitness? How we forge the achieving person?

The thought occurred to me the other day as another CrossFit coach and I watched an athlete performing a set of three heavy cleans. She nailed the first two . . . and then ended up on her rear. The other coach instantly said, “Well, at least you got two” as I was saying, “You could have HAD that third one!”

And, that, in a nutshell is the difference of two coaching styles and two outlooks on life. One is fixed on what was gained, while the other is centered on what could be gained — what you’re capable of, what you could achieve with some learning and effort. And, somewhere in the middle of those two viewpoints, is likely where the best coach stands. Praise but with correction and direction for the future. Kind of like what you hear out of the CrossFit L1 Training Staff, or Coach Mike Burgener, or if you’re lucky enough to work or talk with him — Coach Greg Glassman.

So many people are scared to find out what they’re really made of. Terrified to discover that they don’t measure up. Hesitant to discover that their best just isn’t good enough; scared because their ego is tied to their effort. But, really, who cares? Only you. Like Greg Amundson talks about in this video from the CrossFit Journal, limitations are only in your own head; they don’t live anywhere else.

Still, you can’t walk around with a crushed heart every day, so you have to find your own bounce, your own way to deal with assessment of where you succeeded and where you failed. Because successful people bounce, no matter what. (Matthew Syed calls this “irrational optimism” in his book about how champions are made: Bounce.)

So, aim for the stars, but don’t kick the sh** out of yourself if you don’t make it this time. Outcome is not you. Performance is not you. You are you. Those things are just measuring sticks. And they change all the time, with effort and dedication. So, try. Because you could have HAD that one.

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2 comments
Ali Donlan
Ali Donlan

It took me a long time to understand my coach. He used to crush me and I would leave crying. Then I realized I had been babied all my life and never tried hard enough to fail. But to be praised when it's truly deserved is the best feeling on earth. Your blog is amazing. Thanks.

Brian Y
Brian Y

Timely Lis. Thanks. Also, good stuff on the Ablog CF sister!!! (especially today)