Failure is Part of the Progress - Thoughts on CrossFit

Failure is part of the Progress

Originally published on Medium

My journey as an athlete is mine alone.

I am quickly learning that failure is part of the progress. Failure is part of the progress. The higher I climb, the greater the barriers will be. Bigger barriers require more — More skill, technique, mental toughness and immense amounts of patience. The victories may be seemingly fewer and farther between, but I find that they are more filling and sustaining the harder I have to work for them.

I wrote this note for myself a while ago (Yes I leave myself notes):

This journey is a process, enjoy it. Take moments to step out of yourself and realize what you are doing. You are on a mission to discover a better you. This is not something that will be handed to you on a silver platter. This is something you will have to fight for … Something you may miss the mark on for weeks, months, maybe years until you have that one moment … The one instant that you break through and discover that you are just a little bit stronger on paper but substantially better in every other way.

I experienced a perfect application of this:

I hit 260-lb. snatch early last year in my chucks. I was pretty pumped … I didn’t realize that would be my last snatch PR for quite some time. Since completing that lift I have struggled, maybe even regressed a little bit. There were days where I would miss attempts at 205-lb. and even some at 185 lb. Since I was used to those lifts being automatic it became one of the more frustrating parts on my day.

But I had a reality check. Progressing up the lift ladder requires strength but it also demands consistency … and recently I had not been consistent with my workouts. My lifts had become a reflection of that. I was not respecting the process. With that realization I went back to work with a new mentality. Yes, there were days when I would miss everything and other days where I would be on and off, but I remained consistent. Whether it was a great day in the gym or an hour of “this sucks,” I made it my mission to just show up the next day ready to work. The consistency taught me things about myself that PRs could never teach. In reality my progression was never halted, only redirected and focused on my area of deficiency. Staying at 260 lb. has afforded me more knowledge and skill than if I would have kept progressing up the ladder without a hiccup.

A few weeks ago I completed 4 snatches in a row at 245-lb. snatches. A huge moment for me. Probably bigger than the 260-lb. snatch.

It’s important to understand what you are doing. Training is a process —Enjoy it. It holds many different lessons in various avenues. Instead of getting lost in comparisons or rushing it. Respect it. See the “ruts” as lessons that will provide you long term keys to success. CrossFit is kind enough to reveal your weaknesses and invite you test them. Accept the challenge. If you fail just smile and say, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”