A Little Perspective

It’s common that for those of us who CrossFit or lift weights to get caught up in the crazy beast mode side of it that we lose perspective a bit. I’ve seen people (and have been in this scenario myself) where we poo poo a PR or instead of acknowledging what we did well, we focus on what we want to do better. I’m not saying we should not work on what needs improvement but before you get up your own ass about it, stop and take a minute to register your successes and your strengths.

Here are a few reminders to keep your hard work in perspective.

We get pissed that we “only” deadlifted 200 lbs and failed on 210. We get pissed that we are stuck on a 150 lb back squat. We get pissed that we can’t front squat more than our body weight. We forget that most likely, even if we don’t “feel” like we are lifting heavy, we probably are. We get sucked into the CrossFit mentality of always wanting to lift heavier that we forget to take stock and realize that we are throwing around and throwing down heavy weight.

We also tend to benchmark ourselves against other people, but are we benchmarking ourselves against the appropriate people? Are we factoring in the duration that we have been doing CrossFit compared to the person we are comparing ourselves to? Are we factoring in the volume and frequency of how often we workout compared to our benchmarks? Are we comparing ourselves to someone of comparative size? There are plenty of blogs and inspirational posts that say things like “You can’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’ chapter 20.”  These are excellent reminders to focus on you. The point of all this is to think about who you pick as your benchmark because if you are not picking the right person, you are bound to be disappointed by your own success. If you have thoughts like “I cleaned 100 lbs in the workout. while Strong Sally was cleaning 120 lbs. I am so weak.” This is bs if say Strong Sally weighs 40 pounds more than you or say Strong Sally has been CrossFitting for 5 years and you have been CrossFitting for 1 year.

I get caught up quite often feeling I “should” be lifting more. I will see someone else lifting heavier and I think damn I wish I could do that. And I can. One day. I have to factor in I am 5 foot tall and weigh less than a lot of people I train with and around. I am not saying weight is an excuse, I am saying though that I may have to work harder and take longer to get to where some of my box mates are. I want a 200 lb back squat. I am slowly working my way there. I got a 9 lb PR the other day at 184 lbs. It’s not 200 but when I did a calculation, I realized that’s 184 lbbs is 55% more than my body weight. That is a shit load of weight for someone of my size to be carrying. That’s impressive and I should (and am) take pride in it. Just because someone else may be back squatting heavier, if I look at it pound for pound, it’s possible my back squat is actually stronger than the next lady. I am not meaning this to sound smug or competitive. What I do mean to say is keep perspective. Don’t let the number of pounds dictate what you define as heavy or strong. Look at what you are lifting in relation to your own weight and size.

Also look at how far you have come. I didn’t walk into CrossFit Day 1 and back squat 184 lbs. If I had journaled in my early days, chances are I was squatting less than 100 lbs…a lot less (and that was 3 years ago). Keep perspective.

Remember too a PR is a PR. Whether it’s 1 pound more or 10 pounds more. This is a journey and each pound is helping us in getting that next pound and the one after that and so on and so on.

Keep on working out. Keep on setting goals. Keep pushing yourself. But never lose perspective.

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