Today I am writing about some take aways from this year. Some were already known and some were new. In no particular order:
1. Putting your eggs in one basket is a bad idea. This year many of our athletes competed more than ever. From CrossFit, to running, to Olympic Weightlifting, to obstacle racing, we as a whole engaged in more competitions than ever. Personally I raced 4 times in 2013. In previous years I would train really hard for one event and then be surprised when it didn’t go my way. I learned that failure can and will occur and that by competing more you increase the odds of having the performance you are looking for. Even more important is that you get better through competition. Competition allows you to learn how to compete, which is very different from training. Competition is also the be best training you can do for the next event. You get volume and intensity that can rarely be replicated in normal training. While I would caution you to not overdo it, having a well stocked competition calendar could very well be thing that takes you to the next level.
2. Injuries can and do happen. Some is preventable and some is part of the game. CrossFit has gotten much attention of late concerning injury. Main stream television and internet blogs have run countless stories about injury in CrossFit. I have formed a rather rigid opinion on the subject. CrossFit done as exercise (which is most who come to our gym) is realitivly safe and can be done injury free. To do this, you must listen you to your coach, you must exercise some self control when it comes to weight selection and you must be smart in your recovery and rest days. I sustained not one injury in 5 years of CrossFit when it was used primarlly as exercise and not as training. If you leave your ego at the door and work towards health, longevity, and incremental gains you will likely go injury free. Training to be the best is another story entirely. ALL sports done at the highest level produce injury. To be the best you have to walk a fine line of pushing the uppermost boundries and staying away from injury. Some times we step over that line. We saw some very debiliating injuries at Regionals this year and in my own personal world I have walked around with more pain than in my previous 34 years. Why? Because the pursuit of excellence and victory is full of peaks and valleys. Basketball, baseball, football, running and Crossfit are all full of high level athletes who get injured. By contrast very few injuries occur in beer league softball and pick up basketball. So my warning is to know which side you are on. Are you exercising or training. And then make your decisions and be aware of the consequences based on your choice.
3. Getting old sucks. Somewhat related to #2, if you have broached into middle age then know that recovery, less volume, punctuated training and smart intensity should be lurking in your brain. This does not mean that you cant be as fast and strong as the younger guys and girls…you just have to be be smarter.
4. Arrogance and ego will get you few places, but you MUST believe that you will reach your goal and that nothing will stand in your way. When you toe the line at a race, or wrap your hands around the bar as the countdown goes to 1, you must have an inner confidence that you will succeed at what ever your given objective is. Self doubt and being OK with middle of the pack will only ensure that you wind up right in the middle or worse. Your mind is your best and worst enemy. If you believe that you will win, you at least have a chance. If you believe that you are going to be beaten I promise that you will be.
5. Last one. We are nothing without each other. Success is not created in a vacuum. We are the sum of our experiecne and we are the sum of who is around us. Friends, coaches, training partners and family are critical to our success. We feed off of others energy, enthusiasm and effort. Dont forget to take the time to thanks those that push us everyday and those that give us support and pick us up when we are down. All in all I had a very good competition year. Much was do to the support of my family and wife, all of you at the gym and my friends that supported me during my races and those that toed the line with me. This is my thanks, dont forget to thank those that have helped you in your success.