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Finding Your Silver Lining

By Sean | In Health & Lifestyle, Psychology | on March 10, 2014

We find ourselves in the second week of the 2014 CrossFit Open, and the workout 14.2 has been, you might say, humbling for most Intrepid competitors. The overhead squats and chest to bar pull-ups add up quickly and push us to our limits. Personally I had no idea how I was going to do with this workout when I did it on Friday night, but I had high hopes. My 113 reps left me more mentally beaten than physically and I felt I should have posted a much better score. The harsh truth is that I didn’t. As we drove to dinner, Ruth could tell I was down on myself and quickly reminded me how far I’ve come, especially with overhead squats. If I would have attempted this workout only a few months ago, I honestly don’t think I would have made it past the first round because my mobility and stability severely limited my overhead squat position. She helped me see the silver lining in what I felt was a rather dismal performance.

I later came across Lisbeth Darsh’s post on the CrossFit Games site entitled, “I Only Got 306 Fewer Reps than Talayna” and her message really appealed to my situation and I’m sure how many of you feel after 14.2. In a nutshell:

Part of CrossFit is admitting where we are, not just where we would like to be. The road to better starts with the truth.

If you’ve demanded the most and more of yourself, there is no reason to hang your head. So you are not as good as others on a workout. Fine. They are not as good as you in other ways. Celebrate their success and move on. Celebrate your commitment to effort and move on. Your score is not you. It’s a reflection of who you are at this one moment in time. That’s all it ever was.

Sometimes the silver lining in a disappointing performance is being made aware of areas of improvement. From my 14.2 experience, I have decided to address my grip strength and chest to bar pull-ups. Also, ensuring I eat real food and enough of it is what I need to do behind the scenes to make sure I perform well. Sometimes what was lacking is more on the mental front. There is a distinct point in 14.2 where you have to decide to coast the rest of the round, or dig deep and push to close out the round only to be rewarded with more reps and more pain. I saw it happen in myself and I saw it happen for many others. I know that I need find a sense of urgency that if it really mattered I could find the extra push to perform.

For others, the silver lining is more apparent like how Kathy did 4 chest to bar pull-ups…the most she’s ever done in a workout ever! Josh improving his score by double digits on his second 14.2 attempt by modifying his overhead squat grip and pushing through every set unbroken. In general I can’t fault anyone’s effort, and sometimes at the end of they day, that in and of itself is worthy of appreciation. Your silver lining often is giving it all you had on that workout, on that day. So I encourage you to recognize the harsh truth when it reveals itself, but also to find your silver lining and keep on, keepin’ on. Get your butt back in the gym the next day and get back to work.


WOD 3.10.13

Back Squat 5-5-5

5 Rounds for Time (6 minute cap):
10 Thrusters (95/65)
10 Burpees

One Comment to "Finding Your Silver Lining"

  • Katie M says:

    March 10, 2014 at 11:12 PM -

    Great post, Sean!

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