Spock was a CrossFitter!

Posted: August 3, 2012 by Admin in Random Thoughts

Live long and prosper my fellow Unbreakable CrossFitters.

Yes, I went there.

I can remember it like yesterday; the day my CrossFit trainer said, “let’s try this one prescribed, Jim.”

Mama say what????

“But I…but…don’t you….hmmm.” So I decided to suck it up and just try. Please note that my first 18 months of CrossFit was not text book. It wasn’t pretty. Honestly, I didn’t enjoy it all that much…most of the time.

Nevertheless, I embarked on the following workout:

5 Rounds for time of:

3 Tire Flips

400 meter Run

10 Push Press (95#)

20 Box Jumps

For the better part of 18 months, I had become well acquainted with bringing up the rear of the group. That’s right: I was dead last. Every. Single. Time.

“This day, however, would be different,” I told myself. And I think I really believed it.

After round two, I was actually in the top half of the group of 8 athletes embarking on this WOD. By round 4, however, the wheels started to fly off for me. Those dang box jumps!!! I loathe box jumps. And this was my first experience on the 20” box. Round 5 began and I was now in the bottom 3 of the group. Determined not to allow the 65 year-old semi-retired female teacher to beat me as we both approached our last set of box jumps, I decided to try and find another gear.

Vaguely I recall the voice of my trainer yelling out first, “Jim, keep your shoulders up,” and then, “Jim, you may want to slow down.”

Then, on rep 5, my toe caught the box. Has this every happened to you? If not, let me give you a lovely and vivid description. I would think it’s akin to walking through a meadow and, out of the blue, being shot in the head by a sniper. You just….fall….down. And when I fall, graceful is never part of the description.

First, I recall the feeling of my head being thrown forward as my center of gravity was completely lost. This was a pretty helpless experience as I could find no way to could possibly brace for impact.

“Impact you say?” Yes, friend…as in my face-to-the-box type of impact. As the thought, “did I just break my neck,” flashed through my head, I felt my body turn and knew I wasn’t finished with the fun. Next my body came to an unceremonious THUD on the unforgiving concrete floor. Have you ever heard someone expel air on impact? That kind of sick, “I don’t want to sound like this but I can’t help it” sound? Yeah…that was me.

A rainbow of emotions washed over me as I rested on the floor. The first was embarrassment. This prompted me to jump up with an “all is fine…I’m fine…I’m good…get the $%# away from me I’M JUST FINE” look in my eyes. Despair came next as I realized that, yet again, I would be last given that I still had 15 box jumps left. Then I wanted to cry. Once I started again, then the pain set in. I just knew something had to be broken.

Then something strange happened. The other 7 athletes in class gathered around me and started cheering and shouting encouragement.

Honestly, this really pissed me off at first and I nearly started to cry again. “How dare these people patronize me in such a way!! Don’t they know where I’ve come from and what I’ve been through? Bunch of jerks!!!” Every last cheer set my blood boiling.

Once I definitely finished my last box jump, every one of them came up to me and gave me a high five. One of my idols in the group, Bart, said, “man, that pumped me up just watching.” It then dawned on me that these people were genuine. They REALLY meant those cheers and words of encouragement. Only much later did I learn that it’s because with CrossFit, we all share a common suffering that is tangible and understandable to every one of us. We never “arrive” in CrossFit.

My trainer simply said, “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” And you people thought I was mean!

That night, however, as the pain and head-to-toe bruising set in, I had a major argument with myself.

“What in the heck are you doing?”

“Who are you kidding?”

“This is a waste of time.”

“You’re going to really get hurt.”

One of my current workout partners, Dwayne, told me once that he believes we all have a traitor that lives inside of us. We may truly want to get in shape, change our lives, be good employees, good parents, good spouses, etc., but this traitor wants no part of any of that. My traitor, the traitor of emotion, wants me to have a pity party under the covers of my bed, preferable with a pack of Swiss Cake Rolls. My traitors wanted me to quit CrossFit that night. And I nearly gave in.

I believe that some emotions are wonderful things. Others, however, are a product of diseased thinking. When it comes to life change and a program such as CrossFit, we need to channel our inner Mr. Spock. Let’s take a look at some of these traitorous and diseased thoughts…

“I’ll never get double-unders.”

“She is so much faster than I am, why should I try?”

“What if I miss that 95 pound snatch?”

“I have taken a bad fall on box jumps. What if it happens again?”

“I can never win my battle with food. There is no point in trying.”

These are just a few, and I am sure you can come up with a thousand more. Ask yourself this…if you were teaching a sweet, innocent child to do something they found difficult, would you talk to them in the same way you talk to yourself during the workout?

I’m trying the master the art of the quiet mind while I work out. When I played tennis in high school, I was a classic head case. After many attempts to teach me to quiet my mind, my coach decided that I had preoccupy my mind with something that really doesn’t matter. She had me read a book called The Inner Game of Tennis and I learned to simply say to myself, “bounce…hit….bounce….hit.” Just today during my workout, when I heard the voices starting to whisper to me, I busied my mind on the mechanics of my deadlift….”hamstrings, not back….hamstrings, not back…chest up…chest up.”

Mr. Spock was not burdened by stinkin’ thinkin’. Let’s start getting jiggy with our Vulcan roots!!!! Know that the voices in your mind are NOT YOU. Don’t even try to resist them. Just ignore them like you would something very annoying. I know some of you are really good at that when I give you feedback during a workout. If you can’t quiet your mind, busy it with a focus on the mechanics of your movement.

Now, let’s suit up and finish this week RIGHT.

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