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cherry picking

Found this online and couldn’t help myself . . . it’s brilliant.

Cherry picking you say? What? Have I gone off my rocker?? Most certainly not. When I refer to cherry picking I am definitely not referring to those delicious little nuggets of fruit that grow on trees. I’m referring to the term that no one likes to hear or even admit that they tend to do. Let me explain. . . . Like when going to pick cherries, or anything else for that matter, you always looks for the best ones. The pieces that appeal most to you and that you know you will enjoy better than the other not so fortunate ones left behind. Some are easy to find, others may be hidden gems. However no matter what any of them may actually look like, in the end each one picked still holds the same value. One magically isn’t going to give you super powers and the other one won’t suddenly turn into a completely different fruit. (If this does happen to you and you gain super powers, let me know because we need to talk! Lol)

Take the same premise explained for cherry picking – now apply it to your workouts. Yea I know I’m the big meanie that just went there. In all seriousness, REALLY think about it. From time to time we all have a tendency to cherry pick our workouts. Now you’re probably going to say, “But Jen, I never cherry pick. I simply don’t go to class when my body tells me it needs a rest day.” That’s great! You should be doing that to keep yourself safe and give your body time to recover. I’m more so referring to looking at the programmed WOD, seeing something that you HATE doing (or one of your weaknesses) and suddenly deciding that you’re not going to go just because. THAT is cherry picking.

The reason why I bring this up is because I recently caught myself cherry picking. I know I cannot be the only person who is guilty of this. If I’m going to pep talk myself out of this, might as well for everyone else too right?? One good way to help prevent this is to pick a schedule and stick with it. Most of us have a pretty good idea of what our bodies are capable of and know when we need rest days. Use that when picking a schedule. If you can only go 3 days a week, select those 3 days and be consistent. Even something like switching around your days because of what you see is programmed I still consider to be cherry picking. Not going to class on heavy cardio days will never make cardio any easier. OR only going on heavy lifting days won’t help us when gymnastics are programmed.

Like cherries, every one (workout) still holds the same value as the rest. Just because we may not like how one “looks” it doesn’t mean it’s not as beneficial as the rest. For those participating in The Opens, you haven’t had the option to cherry pick a programmed WOD. If Dave Castro says you are going to do burpees, guess what . . . you do the burpees (he’s evil I know). If we only ever do the WODs that we like, we will never get any better at the WODs that we hate.

When it comes to our training it’s not all about the PR’s and the successes that shape us as athletes. It is easy to forget that our failures have just as big of an impact on us and from time to time it’s important to reach failure. Sure no one likes to fail at a lift but it’s part of the process and the journey. A necessary evil if you will. That being said, here’s a good article from Catalyst Athletics on how to mentally handle failure . . . Happy Reading!

bobby

Our fearless leader getting the troops ready to battle 17.3

Mentally Handling Failed Attempts in the Heat of the Moment
By: Matt Foreman

Let me tell you a quick story. I was coaching a lifter at the American Open once, and we were in the back getting him warmed up for the snatch. This was his first Open, and we were planning to start him with 113 kg (his PR was 120).

Even with 70 kg, his nerves were starting to get to him. The bar looked a little shakier than usual, positions were tight and hesitant, etc., but he still made his warmup snatches up to 95 kg fairly solid.

Then he missed 100 badly, out in front. We repeated and he held on for a good lift. Then he missed 105 a couple minutes later, big overpull that went behind. At this point, the meet was moving quickly and we didn’t have time to repeat the 105, so we went straight to 110 (his last warm up). He missed this one too. Now the bar was already at 113 out on the competition platform, and we only had about 3-4 minutes before we had to go out there. I couldn’t move his opener down to anything lighter. He was crapping his pants, obviously.

Want to know what I did? I took the bar down to 70 kg and told him, “Snatch it.” He snatched it easily, then looked at me. I could see his eyes settling down a bit. So I said, “Snatch it again.” He snatched it easily again, and I literally saw him take a deep breath and exhale calmly after he made it. I looked at him and smiled and said, “Okay, now you’re fine. Just go out there and do the same thing.”

He made his opener with 113, made his second attempt at 118, and came extremely close with a big 123, which would have been a 3 kg PR. Pretty good day, considering the debacle that led up to it.

Sometimes athletes just lose their rhythm. They lose the feel of the lift. It’s got nothing to do with strength, or even technique. It’s about timing and composure. After they’ve screwed up a few lifts, their movements are rattled. Panic often sets in when this happens, especially if it happens in competition.

If you’re an athlete, one of the best weapons you can ever have is the psychological ability to stay cool in these situations. When you mess up a lift, you don’t piss down your leg and start getting excuses lined up in your head, planning out what you’re going to tell your family and friends when they ask why you blew it. You simply think about what you did wrong, think about what you need to do to fix it, and move on to the next one without blowing a gasket.

Most athletes aren’t born with this ability. It has to be developed through experience. This is why you rarely see veteran competitors having mental meltdowns. They’ve been there before. They’ve stepped into big holes and had to dig themselves out. Once you’ve done this multiple times, you simply develop the confidence that you’ll be able to do it again if you need to.

I once lifted in the National Championship and opened with a 180 kg C&J. I missed the jerk on my first attempt, repeated and missed the clean on my second, and then jumped to 185 kg (which was a PR at the time) and made it on my last attempt. If I made that last lift, I set a new PR and won the bronze medal. If I missed it, I bombed at the Nationals. I got the job done and showed a lot of mental strength that day, but this meet happened after I had been competing for almost 10 years. I don’t know if I could have done this when I was a beginner. Probably not.

I once heard actor Al Pacino say, “Pressure is a funny thing. You squeeze some people, and they focus. You squeeze other people, and they fold.” Those words have stuck with me for a long time, more than some of the other great quotes I’ve heard.

Are we all going to pull it off and work miracles every time? Hell no. Naim Suleymanoglu, the greatest lifter of all time, bombed out at his last Olympics. So did Vasily Alexeev and David Rigert. These guys were the ultimate veteran miracle workers in the game, and even they got melted down to nothing at some point. It can happen, no matter how good you are.

But the reason we remember Suleymanoglu, Alexeev, and Rigert so well is because they won the battle a lot more than they lost it. They might have failed at times, but their successes completely overshadowed it.

You can become the same kind of athlete if you hang in there and keep trying long enough. You might never have the ability to win an Olympic gold medal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become a great competitor who rattles off your own list of successes.

A lot of things go into the building of a tough fighter. But the main one is always going to be the willingness to simply…keep fighting. You can’t get experience without time, and you can’t accumulate time if you quit and walk away. You have to pay your dues.

Remember that.

For those of you who have not seen it yet – Crossfit Factory Square is proudly celebrating another year and what better way to do it than with all of the Factory Square community! Join us for some Food, Fun and Fitness. This year’s celebration with include a 2 or 4 person partner WOD (your choice) followed by a potluck brunch around 11 AM. We hope that everyone can join us for both but please feel free to come to one or the other.

Now that you know about the event, how about some of those important details . . . .

WHEN: Saturday, April 1st – Doors open at 9:30 AM, WOD at 10:00 AM

WHO: All are invited!

WOD: 4 Person Team WOD

40 Handstand Push Ups (mod:pike)

60 Burpees

800 meter Run

100 Kettlebell Swings 53/35

120 Hand Release Push Ups

140 Abmat Situps

160 Wall Balls 20/14

180 Hurdle Hops

All movements must be completed in order and only one athlete working at a time. Team must also complete a 2 mile run (sub will be a 4k row). This can be broken up however you wish with one working at a time and can be done at any time while other team members are working on the reps of each exercise. The run can also be done as a buy in or cash out (if done as a two person team the reps/mileage will be cut in half).

Hope to see everyone there!

For me, part of progressing in Crossfit (or even in life for that matter) is to constantly be on the search to learn new things, read more articles, and in the process be able to share my knowledge and experience with others. Sometimes I come across articles that seem to be exactly something that I would write or tell others . . . I just so happened to come across one this week. Although every single key is crucial,  here are the 5 out of 10 that speak to me the most. If you’re interested in seeing all 10, you can view the original blog post here. Enjoy 🙂

“Keys to (Crossfit) Happiness”

You’ll often hear athletes and coaches talk about their ‘relationship’ with CrossFit. It’s likely you’ve used that term before as well. Trying to explain this relationship to an outsider can be tricky. After all, it’s far more than just a fitness program—it’s a sport, a community and a lifestyle. And as is the case with any relationship, there are ups and there are downs. So when times get tough, step back and reflect on these 10 tips to make sure your relationship with CrossFit is a happy one.

1. Get involved with the community
You’ve heard it before—CrossFit is founded on the affiliate community. When you get to know the people that attend class with you (and those who attend other class times too), you gain a good group of workout partners—people who will hold you accountable to your goals, who will progress with you, support you and challenge you to become a better athlete. Moreover, they’ll make your experience in CrossFit more fun! No one wants to celebrate PRs by themselves, and misery loves company. The relationships you build at your box can transcend the walls of your affiliate. It’s more than likely that some of the friends you make at the gym will become friends for life. Lastly, don’t discount the value of dropping in at other gyms and attending local throwdowns, or even competing in them yourself. It’s always good to get a reminder that you’re part of this giant, worldwide family that is committed to health, personal growth and CrossFit. There’s a communal sense of “all for one and one for all”, typified by the support that each and every athlete—regardless of age, creed, sex, shape or ability—receives at the box. So don’t ignore the community—embrace it and be a happier CrossFitter for it.

2. Celebrate the small victories
You can’t achieve a major goal in every class. That first unassisted pull-up or 10lb PR on your back squat comes after months of effort and failure. Indeed, many times you’ll have a workout where nothing seems to go right at all. Your numbers were lower than normal, and the WOD just beats you down—both physically and mentally. But even on the worst days, there’s something to be proud of. Yes, the WOD may have won, but you should be proud that you didn’t quit and you persevered through the pain. OK, your numbers might be far lower on the strength work, but perhaps your form was much improved, your bar path far more efficient. Trust that there always be small victories to be had in every class, and you’ll be far less resentful about those terrible workouts.

4. Appreciate your progress
CrossFitters have a tendency to obsess over the present and future—rarely do we take the time to truly appreciate where we started, and how much progress we’ve made over the months and years. It’s hard to recognize major developments on a day-to-day basis, but when you think about your first month of CrossFit—what weight you could move, how well you could move it and how often—and compare it to your present performance, you’ll surely be astounded. It’s good to get a dose of perspective now and again in order to remind yourself that you are indeed moving in the right direction. It’s just another reason to track your numbers—it’s the best way to measure your progress from month to month (or year to year) and compare your past PRs against your current ones.

7. Get outside the box
News flash—there is more to life than CrossFit. Shocking, I know, but it’s the truth. We should all strive to be well-rounded individuals, both in our fitness and character. That means doing other activities outside of the gym, like playing other sports, going to concerts and traveling to new destinations. In addition to providing you with active recovery, mixing things up away from the box can help you to avoid burning out. It’s also great to see what you can do with your newfound fitness and mental strength by testing yourself with new and exciting challenges. Finally, if you spend enough time away from CrossFit, you’ll likely realize how much you miss training and hanging out with your friends at the gym—absence makes the heart grow fonder!

9. Enjoy the journey
The great American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” This is also true for CrossFit. What is the value in getting upset with yourself when you’ve had a bad workout? If anything, leaving the box with a negative mindset will likely impact your performance (for worse) the next time you work out—not to mention affect your life outside of CrossFit. So you’ve had a disastrous workout. But before you turn into the Hulk and crush everything in your path, first remember there are always small victories to be had (see above). Second, take a moment to think about what went wrong, and pick out the things you can learn from. Finally, take comfort in the fact that both the box and CrossFit isn’t going anywhere—tomorrow’s a new day and with it comes the opportunity to smash a PR. So give yourself a break and enjoy the journey!

 

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Mark B., CFS Member

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Greg Glassman, CrossFit Founder

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If you told me I would be able to deadlift 200lbs, do 65lb thrusters, jump onto the 20in box, make my mile time the fastest it has ever been or buddy carry my best friend over my shoulders, I would have told you, you’re nuts!

Noddie, CFS Member

As a woman, I’ve never felt more empowered or beautiful! I can’t wait to see what this upcoming year will bring! Thank you CrossFit Factory Square! ♥

Leah, CFS Member