You walk into the box, a bit stressed from your day, ready to work hard. You chat with your friend, slip on your knee sleeves, and casually walk over to the board where the coach is getting ready to begin. You are tired, with a hundred things on your mind – a big project at work, stress at home, and a laundry list of things to do that seems never-ending. You try to put those things out of your mind for an hour and begin to focus on the words your coach is speaking.
“Today’s WOD is heavy on cardio…,” you hear.
Shoot. You hate cardio. Your knees can’t handle all that running so you glance at the board to see if you heard correctly.
Yep. Running, followed by wall balls and burpees. Cardio overload. You can sense the failure before you even start. Maybe you can slip out and just head home…
Have any of those thoughts raced through your mind before?
It is our instinct to look at the board and immediately react with angst. We aren’t good at everything. We don’t love every lift. Our skills may be lacking in some areas. The WOD’s may stretch our efforts.
That’s okay! You don’t have to like everything, but you have to choose to give it your best effort.
Let’s talk about that.
Effort looks different on everyone, and honestly, you are probably the only one who will ever truly know the effort you are putting forth. If you don’t like something in the workout, it is a natural reaction to press auto-pilot and just cruise through, without really trying. Negativity runs rampant in these moments. It is easy to think, “I will never use this.” and “This is stupid.”
But we would suggest a different attitude.
Attitude is Everything
All of our workouts are specifically designed with purpose. We don’t haphazardly throw things together. We want to develop you as an athlete and that means working on lots of muscles, expanding your skills, and stretching your abilities.
You can choose to simply go through the motions with exercise you see as useless, but you would only be hurting yourself. A better way to handle those situations is to change your attitude and put forth more effort. Sound eerily similar to what your parents told you when you were a teenager? Turns out they weren’t so silly after all!
You can always recognize when you are working in your weak areas. Be honest about that. But instead of just getting it done in a lazy fashion, you can choose to work hard and recognize that in doing so, it will help you grow and become a better athlete.
If you do not see the point of a particular exercise, ask your coach why you are doing it. They will always have a reason and can help you understand how working on that skill will help you in the long run. For instance, the classic Farmer’s Carry doesn’t seem too useful, but is helping you develop a firm grip. Your core engages to stabilize your body as you move. Your back helps your shoulders and chest stay upright and in good posture. It’s a great, full body exercise that will help you grip strong and lift heavy. You’ll see the benefits of your efforts when you are rocking out multiple pull-ups and going heavier on your snatches.
Work Hard…Without Exception
You are not going to love every workout. If you consistently did all the things you loved, you’d never really get better. When you encounter a workout or a skill you just aren’t very good at, be diligent and push yourself. You are allowed to dislike things. Geez, we don’t know many people who enjoy every minute of every workout. There has to be a certain level of suck, you know? But try to think about how much better you will be as a result and immerse yourself in the process. Who knows? Maybe one day you will come to like it that thing you hate right now…
What exercises do you struggle with? How will you think differently about those moves and work harder to become better?