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Confessions of a Cherry Picker

I confess: I used to be a cherry picker. A bad one, for a time. This workout here, that workout there, never that one.

I picked. Often. I didn’t go in on the days my gym posted something running-ish or gymnastics-ish or just not barbell-ish. (Although I never fled after reading the whiteboard. I do know people who’ve done that, though. One look and poof! They were gone.)

Sometimes I did it because I was tired, or scared. And sometimes I was just tired of sucking at things. When I was an affiliate owner, it wasn’t so bad — I controlled the programming, right? As a member though, I was at the mercy of another coach. Gulp. Beads of sweat. Control issues …

I’ve cherry picked my way across three continents and most of the fifty states. But it’s over.

I don’t cherry pick anymore. I’m reformed. I show up at the 6am class, four days a week. If we’re squatting, I squat. If we’re double-undering, I’m in. If we’re tossing back bourbon, I’m grabbing a glass. Okay, maybe that was a dream, but you get it. My coach writes it, I’m doing it.

How did this change occur? I’d like to spew a lot of words about how I matured, how my fitness improved, how with mental training and razor-like focus I willed myself into a warrior like those at Valhalla.

The truth might be different.

I actually just found the right fit: a class time that fits (6am) with a coach that fits, at an affiliate where a main focus (barbell movements) is something that thrills me and forces my feet into sneakers at a dark hour when most people are still dreaming about riding dinosaurs or having sex. The routine allows me (psychologically) to deal with the unexpected.

It’s not a big, sexy answer. But, sometimes, that’s exactly how we find what works. This feels right. Safe, I can embrace the opportunity to feel unsafe. (Sort of. In a way. You know what I mean.)


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  1. [...] ‘Confessions Of A Cherry Picker’, by Lisbeth Darsh on Words With Lisbeth.  I can think of a few ‘cherry-pickers’ at CF7M (Yes, I’m talking to you, Onassia! ).  It usually happens with newbies and these people decide whether or not they are working out based on the WOD.  If it has movements that they don’t know, don’t like, or aren’t good at, they skip the WOD.  Tsk tsk!  Just accept that there will be exercises programmed that are not your favourites.  And sometimes, if you’re unlucky, your three most hated movements will be put together in a workout (ask Coach what his is – I’ll give you a hint: it’s a Hero WOD).  But try not to avoid these workouts because you’ll never get better at the ’hated’ movement if you do. [...]

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  4. [...]  During winter months, we tell you to come prepared for anything outside- running, flipping tires, prowler pushes, etc. We used to post our WODs the night before for the following day but we experienced too many people picking and choosing what days they want to come to because of what WOD was posted the evening prior to coming to the box, aka – “cherry picker.” This ended because  we want to prepare you for life… you can’t tell an armed robber to pause because there is 3″ of snow on the ground, right?  Thus, your workout shouldn’t have to pause either! So, now we post the WOD the evening of.  We figured it’s better to surprise you when you enter the box… plus if you still decide you don’t like the movements and leave, we just might poke fun of you! Are you a Cherry Picker? [...]

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  7. [...] still decide you don’t like the movements and leave, we just might poke fun of you! Are you a Cherry Picker? This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the [...]

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  10. […] a few years ago I publicly swore off cherry-picking.  Why? Because the CrossFit community talks a lot about how you have to do the things you […]

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