Yesterdays trip down to San Jose to hang with Neal Maddox and crew was the first time I didn't do the workout. Having scored a respectable score on the Sectionals Workout, I was satisfied enough and had no intention of trying it again. Plus, with Lindsey and me leaving late tomorrow night for our adventure, I wanted to hit the 6th and final workout tomorrow (totally need to rest up the shoulders and legs as it will be BRUTAL!).
It was fun to judge and watch all these beasts get after it. I have been around "fire-breather" CrossFit for a while now and I only yesterday realized that watching while also being a competitor is totally different than watching for the sake of watching. As a competitor I tend to analyze what is going on. I watch for things athletes are doing to make the movements more efficient. I watch how they react to transitions, where they take breaks and how they feel and approach the beginning, middle, and end of the workout. I feed off the energy as adrenaline for my own effort but am always a bit introverted, focusing on my personal routine. More on this in a sec.
As a non-competitor, things become WAY more exciting. You can just sit back and soak in the absolute impressiveness of human beings challenging every aspect of their make up. They push themselves physically and mentally, they sometimes burst through barriers, and sometimes get crushed. But no matter what happens, it is more suspenseful, motivating, emotional and powerful then almost any other watchable event I have been to. For those of you out there who have yet to see a bunch of CrossFitters getting after it, go online, find an event, and go check it out. Your life will change (even if it's just a little, it will change).
So here's how it changed for me! It made me sit back and think about my approach to CrossFit and training in general. I personally like CrossFit less for the actual workouts (believe me, I LOVE the workouts), but more for the need to better understand oneslef. Let's take this last Sectionals Workout as an example. The thing was 20 minutes of three tough exercises, and what happens when these show up on the board is either a bunch of groaning about how tough this will be, and/or a whole slew of strategizing. CrossFit workouts have allowed the ability for people to figure out the best way for themSELVES to get through a workout the most efficiently and effectively. As an example, Neal Maddox broke this one down like crazy, and ultimately made the mistake of over-transitioning. He went in with the goal of taking his time and mis-judged how much time to take between exercises. Normally his strategy to to go balls to the wall from the start, but he chose to change it up here and it came back to bite him in the butt a little (just as a side: Neal is sitting around 4th or 6th in the world right now. The guy get's it done about 99% of the time, and when he hits that 100%, it's going to be scary). I picked my strategy: to rest mostly between the cleans and the toes to bar (to allow my grip a break), then try to keep the transition time down between all others. I also focused on NOT breaking the cleans and the wall balls as I knew it would devastate me to have to pick the bar and ball back up once it fell. For me, this style of workout is one that I excel in. I think my marathoning a few years back helps me understand how to pace longer workouts. But with workouts in the 5-10 minute domains, I am still pretty rusty as to what works best for me. It's all about knowing what you as an individual can and can't do, and then basing how you approach the workout accordingly. If you are a strong finisher but struggle to get warm, why would you go 100% at the start? If you function better in on-and-off bursts of energy, why would you plan to do things unbroken? In training it would be smart to work on this stuff as well. It's not just about training physical weaknesses, but when you move up in the CrossFit world, it's about figuring out so much more, and training it all!
This next workout is one I feel I should do well with, but I have to spend some time figuring out how to approach it. It's a 7 minute all-out effort, and I struggle with the mental side of that. Upon a bit of thought, I think my best bet is to Neal Maddox it, or Prefontane it: when I hear go, I GO! All out, rest only when I need to and as quickly as possible. You can do anything for 7 minutes...
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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