By: Coach Maranatha Chapman
Sometimes we have this idea in our minds that one day “we will arrive.” When we do, we will sit back with a contented smile on our face because we have achieved it all… No more working, learning, and growing. We’ve finally got it!
But this isn’t reality. And this philosophy will leave you frustrated and coming up short in your life and in your workouts. It can often creep in subtly, without detection. You may think you don’t have this belief, but it’s easier than we often realize to become set in our ways and just stop learning. And that’s a dangerous place to be.
Having a thirst for learning isn’t just a the hallmark of a 3-year-old or a tech geek.
Being curious, inquisitive, and wanting to probe deeper into the “why” behind the things we are passionate about is in ALL of us. But more often than not, many of us allow this inner drive become squelched, somewhere along the way we stop or we settle.
The problem occurs when we become too proud to keep asking questions, too busy to practice and work on something, or we simply quit challenging ourselves. For any of us, especially those of us who are older or good at what we do, it’s very tempting to just stop growing. But life is supposed to be fully experienced! It’s my firm belief that none of us ever fully arrive or “get there.” There SO much more for us! There are always ways to evolve, grow, learn, and improve. It’s the beauty of life.
There are so many life application for this idea that we could spend all day talking about, but let’s apply this to the world of CrossFit and fitness. Obviously, through training you can get stronger, faster, more flexible, and have more endurance and stamina. Bu did you know that you can also strengthen your brain’s connections through it? Neurological changes occur when we practice things over and over. What are some of the things that come to mind when you think of CrossFit movements that we repetitively practice? You might automatically think of double-unders or Turkish get-ups. Right? But this can actually be applied to anything where you work on your agility, coordination, agility, accuracy, or balance. There are no limits to what all can be learned. But here’s the key: To move forward you have to be stretched, not just stay content with what you already have or know. In order to grow, we all have to be willing to do things over and over and over and over again.
Growth is uncomfortable. But it’s part of the process of moving forward. Being uncomfortable is actually good thing. But how often do we avoid it and even order our lives so that we don’t have to bump into anything too difficult? Think of the tight, immobile athletes that come in to begin CrossFit… It’s painful for them to get more depth or flexibility. In order to move forward in their fitness, they will have to push past that comfortable place. It’s going to hurt a little bit, but they will have to continue to push. Otherwise, this athlete will continue to face issues like not being able to squat to depth or struggling with overhead positions forever. There will always be the choice to either to just make peace with “this-is-as-good-as-its-going-
So, just like it’s hard to get Mr. Non-Flexible to take to the time to stretch, take off some weight to get more range of motion, or even being willing to hurt some – it’s the same with all of us in other areas. We all have an area where we are faced with the choice to just sit back or do the necessary work to move forward and improve.
So what if we approached each day with an open mind and an eager, humble willingness to grow? What if challenged ourselves to learn something or improve in something every single day? What if we were willing to work on something we already know how to do but seek to get even better in?
In the area of CrossFit, what if you were to break things down and seek to understand more about the movement in general or more about how the body moves, you might be surprised at how you will get better or be able to increase your intensity. If you listen to the details and points of performance when a movement is explained by the coach, even if you’ve done it a hundred times, you might see or hear some new nugget.
Ask questions, seek to find out more, and you WILL learn something new!