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January 25, 2018

Stop Comparing Yourself: Get Over That Plateau and Yourself

   At the beginning of our own Crossfit journey the PR's come quick usually, the learning curve is steep (except for Snatch maybe;P), and our conditioning improves by noticeable leaps and bounds (if consistent). There is a certain mental struggle that goes with adjusting to your new lifestyle. The bravery to try new movements and learning your "pacing" and limits. But what happens when the PR's become fewer and far between, and you've discovered your "limits"?

   Discouraged is the feeling we experience. Maybe we aren't as good as we feel we should be? We have hit that plateau that is inevitable after a drastic learning curve. We have gotten too greedy, put our expectations at unrealistic levels and started comparing our Crossfit journey to others. 

"Sally got that 200lb Back Squat, she has been doing this 3 months less than me, it's not fair, I SHOULD be better than her." 

   We realize our weaknesses, but instead of being rational about it, we play the blame game or refuse to put ourselves in a situation (WOD) where those weaknesses are shown.

   Crossfit is an amazing sport for the competitive person. We all want to get better, some want to be the best. But I am telling you to be realistic about it! That competitive push is awesome, but be aware that .0025% of all Crossfitters go to Regionals. The other .9975% are essentially training for LIFE! We are training to be a better self and bitching about the fact that you can't be first isn’t doing you any favors. 

   This is where I tell you to stop comparing your fitness journey to someone else's! It is completely unfair to yourself and completely unproductive if your want to get better. We all move at different speeds. Maybe "Sally" squats less often than you, but you naturally run faster - "Sally" is probably a bit envious that running WODs are speedier for you. Focusing on how much better "Sally's" squat is than yours is not going to get you a heavier squat.

   Basically, by comparing and worrying about what others are doing in comparison to yourself is totally counterproductive. Training in fear that someone is going to be better than you instead of training because you want to get better for yourself is not healthy. After a while, you will not enjoy training or see the results you want. We all have our strengths, weaknesses and limitations. Recognizing where we are, where we want to be, and then formulating a plan to get there is how you get over that plateau. Also include a huge dose of humility, patience, and enjoy the journey! 

   Crossfit is not a job, it is fun! So stop saying you "have to" practice…in reality you don’t have to do anything, but you CHOOSE to because you enjoy it! At least that is the mindset I have found to work after years of being a competitive athlete. It is OK to want to be better, be first in a WOD, but placing unrealistic expectations on yourself will not get you there. It will just make you angry and bitter. 

   So celebrate what you CAN do and eagerly accept the challenges! It all comes down to mindset and how you talk to yourself. We are training for life! You are never "too old", "too slow" or "not good enough" to improve. Comparison to others is the robber of joy. Remember, there is always going to be someone better than you, so why pout about it?!