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!