Career, CrossFit

A Few Life Lessons Re-Learned from CrossFit Class

A variation of this post was originally published in a personal log. As I thought about it, I realized the story might be beneficial to others.

Below is who this might relate to:
  • CrossFitters (maybe some of us are)
  • Those who are pursuing a challenging hobby (more of us)
  • Those who have experienced a setback (all of us)
Last night I headed to the Olympic Lifting class at my CrossFit gym. It is my favorite part of the week and the movement we were focusing on, the snatch, happens to be my favorite.


The Story:


We started with 155 which was a weight I was completely comfortable with. Then the person with me went up to 175 for heavy singles. 175 is a weight I have never done before but at the time I thought I could handle it for the 6 reps after all, the most I had done was 165 over 3 months ago. “I have been snatching a ton over the last 12+ months,” I thought to myself, “I can do 175 no problem.”


I got the first one; however, everything fell apart after that. I tried it again when someone next to me was also in motion for his snatch, and it totally threw me off. Then, I tried it again and someone who rarely queues me on olympic lifts came over and said “your starting position is throwing everything off.”


After that, I was totally thrown off!


All of the sudden a situation and movement that felt comfortable; felt uncomfortable, which is the reason I think more than just those who CrossFit can relate to this story. In this moment, I did not really want to be at the gym anymore and the fear that overcame me did not want me trying 175 again.


I didn’t. I went back down to 155 for a few sets and then finished at 165.


I am calling this a setback and there just happens to be some lessons from it:


  • Never let where other people are in their journey influence yours – I let someone else I was working with dictate what I do. This relates so much to the consequences of worrying about what others are doing, what they know, where they are in their career, etc. Worry about yourself and where you are, not others.
  • Acknowledging a setback when it occurs will only help hit long term goals – I have a long term goal of hitting a 205 snatch. Going into last night I sort of thought it was on the horizon (maybe a couple months out). After last night’s setback, I got a nice reality check that it is a year+ out with lots of work to go. That is okay with me; now I have more to work for.
  • Overcoming a fear takes some character – I have to admit that I was scared of 175 during those two failed attempts (it was why I didn’t hit the lifts). The real question, though is how do I overcome the fear of 175 for the future? My answer to that is practice and some character.


Hope these points help the next time a comfortable situation turns uncomfortable.