Drive, Passion, Commitment – What Else is New?
Written by Amanda Garces - 2017 CrossFit Season Individual Regional Competitor South Central
Seriously, what else is new? Pretty sure the overwhelming majority of competitive CrossFit athletes (let’s define that as any athlete who works their ass off at a box on a regular bases) have realized that the primary differentiators separating places on the CrossFit Leaderboard or local podium has very little to do with passion, commitment, or drive. These attributes are too common; the days of showing up in shape and gutting through the Open are long gone. To become and sustain a competitive existence, it simply takes more than that.
Of the items an athlete can control which excludes height, lever proportions, and overall genetic talent, what seems to matter most has become being smart & disciplined!!! Believe it or not, the sport of fitness is about finesse. Point blank, the winners are thinking through every piece of their day from the perspective of recovery.
Now I’m always pushing myself, focused on earning that next spot on the leaderboard, whereas I’m slowly learning that the mass majority of us that feel this way have this habit of ALWAYS pushing the limits; Turning small issues into big, small injuries into large, progressing fatigued muscles into strains, exciting inflamed tendons into full blown tendonitis. Truth is, the best athletes in this sport are the best at taking care of themselves. If reading this, you feel this doesn’t pertain to you, well the funny thing about time is, it always catches up to you, so it will!
So after years of fighting injury, forcing a specific workout program, treating a coach’s word as gospel, its become time to take the dialog around my training to the next level. It’s time to be Smart & Disciplined. All this said, there are some amazing coaches & programs out there that take care of a lot of this without you even knowing it. To name 2 specifically if interested, I have much respect for – Misfit Athletics & Black Magic Training.
In the event you’re wondering what being smart and disciplined is all about, I captured some of my thoughts around prehab, accessory work, and acknowledging the small wins. Important to note; there are no “one size fits all” or “universal” solutions, these are just some of the ideas that worked for me so I thought sharing may be useful!!!
Prehab - Trying to prevent injury is way easier than trying to fix an injury, so whether it be an extra 10-15 minutes of warmup or activation exercises I’d do it. This not only prevents injury but ensures all pistons are firing. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve realized I was recruiting or firing the wrong muscles.
Weaknesses/Accessory - Regardless the injury there is always something you can do to become a better athlete. The beautiful thing about Crossfit is there’s always a scaling option or always a movement that can be worked on. With injury, we tend to be more focused on the stuff we can’t do than the stuff we can. Changing that thought process helped me improve my weaknesses. Not being able to squat for almost 8 months helped with strengthening my upper body for gymnastics.
Victories - However severe and however long it takes to recover, know that with patience and persistence you’ll become a better athlete both mentally and physically. I can’t remember a single injury that I’ve experienced that once healed, prevented me from coming back stronger or faster. From a slow painful process that is healing from injury, remember there is a lot of opportunity to gain in terms of knowledge of your body, you simply need to listen! Knowledge of preventative care and knowledge of confidence knowing you overcame your injury. Little victories of progress lead to the bigger victory in the end.
So in closing – Before you start today’s session, ask yourself or your coach a couple questions!!
- What is the purpose of today’s workout, what muscles, what mobility is needed, what’s the best warm up?
- What kind of new injuries can happen today, and what am I going to do to mitigate?
- What potential injuries do I have currently and how am I protecting them
Good Luck and stay healthy!!!!
P.S. for more info on CrossFit, especially for beginners - Crossfit for Beginners