EGO VS INTEGRITYposted January 18
Disclaimer: The following post is in response to multiple recent occurrences at CFHW, and is meant mostly to athletes who want the “Rx” next to their scores, are interested in competing, or want their scores posted on our leader board. It is not directed at any one individual.
I love my job. I love seeing people make incredible transformations. I love seeing people hit PR’s. I love helping people achieve things they never thought possible. I love the fact that our athletes are great at fundamentals and that that greatness gives CFHW a solid reputation around the Crossfit community. What I don’t love is when someone’s ego gets in the way of me loving my job. Your ego has no place inside a Crossfit gym, and definitely not inside CFHW. No matter how bad-ass you think you are, there will come a time where you will have your ass handed to you by someone far superior to you. What sense, then, does it make to let your ego get in the way of your training? The whole reason you are at the gym should be to improve yourself, not to have bragging rights. Here are some ways that your ego gets in the way of improving yourself:
-Cutting corners to improve your score. There are a lot of ways to cut corners. Range of motion is one of them. If you are not completing full range of motion on every rep, you are cutting corners. You are not doing the same workout as the person next to you. Remember, we can always scale the load of a movement, but range of motion (barring special circumstances such as injury) is not negotiable. Another way to cut corners is by not completing the prescribed amount of reps. This has become a problem recently (you think we don’t notice, but we do). This is cheating. There is no place in Crossfit for cheaters. Now every so often, mid-workout, your mind might slip and you may not know whether you’re on rep 43 or rep 53. In that case, you have to suck it up and assume it’s 43. That way you know your score is legit. Cutting reps is extremely disrespectful to me, the other coaches, your fellow athletes, and the entire Crossfit community. For those of you interested in competing and being on the leader board, you have to get serious about it. Pretend Coach Glassman himself is watching every single rep. You must leave no doubt that you are completing each rep as prescribed. If it wouldn’t fly in competition, redo it. If you’re not sure you did it as prescribed, then you probably didn’t. Redo it. Make yourself better. Your training should be as difficult as possible in order to make you perform better in competition. If we find you cutting corners, we will not include your scores on the leadboard unless they are verified by a coach, which means we have to count every rep.
-Neglecting your weaknesses. Just because you’re not good at something doesn’t mean you should avoid doing it. Quite the opposite, in fact. You should be concerned with working on your weaknesses to improve your game. In 2010, Rich Froning lost the final event, and therefore 1st place, because he couldn’t properly climb a rope. 2009 Games Champion Mikko Salo got slowed down by double-unders. Do you think they ignored those movements the following year during their training? Absolutely not. They fixed the holes in their games, and Froning went on to win in 2011. Last weekend Ron Mathews competed in the O.C Throwdown. He made a great post on our FB page about it. This was one of his points: “Work your weaknesses! Better to struggle in your own box in front of people who know and like/support you than struggle in front of a crowd of strangers. If you have a weakness it will be exposed!” Thanks, Ron. Well said.
-Getting personally offended by a “no rep” call. Just because a coach calls a no rep on you doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, or aren’t working hard enough. Everybody gets no-reps called on them. It’s part of Crossfit. Watch any Games competition video from last year. Do you see any of those athletes throwing a fit about no reps? No. They just redo it and move on. This is the integrity of a champion. And make no mistake, if you’re fit enough to make the Games, you’re already a champion. When you see people throw a fit from a no rep, they have way too much ego. These are the people who cut corners in the gym on a regular basis. These are the people who post incredible scores on their own but bonk when it comes time to do it for real. Don’t be one of those people.
-Neglecting technique and fundamentals. When I first began Crossfit I would repeat over and over something Glassman said while suffering through a WOD: “Proper form is more efficient.” More efficient means less wasted energy. This is a good thing. The fact that you can muscle clean 95# with poor form won’t matter when going for a 1RM or when the prescribed weight is double that. Technique is everything. Been Crossfitting for a couple years and still can’t do overhead squats? This is your fault for not working your weaknesses, which probably means mobility. (I see this one all the time). Neglecting technique and fundamentals will lead to injury and will ultimately cause you to plateau in your training.
Like I said, I love my job. I love working with you guys on improving yourselves and your quality of life. Please don’t let your egos get in the way of that. Have some integrity and take your training seriously. You’ll thank me for it later.
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