I have to admit it. I really don’t like double-unders. If you’re not “in the know,” a double-under is a jump rope technique where you spin the rope under your feet twice in one jump. For some people it comes relatively naturally; other people need to work at it. When I first started CrossFit I was squarely in that second camp. I would tell everyone around me at Club One to “watch out, I’m about to do something crazy,” and then perform one wild karate kick jump, one double-under complete! I was the man, I could do a double-under – and then two in a row, and then five in a row, and then fifty. I checked that box in my list of CrossFit skills to add to my repertoire, and moved on – I had bigger, barbell-shaped fish to fry.
But I still wasn’t very efficient at double-unders, and I shudder every time a workout comes up on my plan that includes them. “Not again, we just did these two weeks ago!” A real whiny, victim-mentality attitude takes over and I resign myself to completing the workout but then once again swearing them off forever as “dumb, pointless”.
The thing is, this is a perfect opportunity for development, and I see it in others that I train all the time. If you have a real negative attitude about a certain movement in your training plan, it’s probably because it’s one of those things that you are not very good at, and that is leaning up against your ego. So you really have two choices – flag this movement as something that you can’t do because of a physical limit (maybe an injury prevents that range of motion), or work hard to get better at it! I’ve been choosing option three: an integrity violation.
An integrity violation in the military is a big deal. You have trained with a team and earned their trust, and then you do something that is in direct contrast to what the team expects of you, and will damage their trust in you and set the whole team back. I witnessed an integrity violation during my SEALFIT training, as one of my teammates started shaving reps on the Murph workout, in front of several Navy SEAL instructors. That didn’t go well for him. One minute he was a SEAL candidate himself, the next minute he was not. In academics or the business world, an integrity violation is straight-up cheating. In my example, it is me telling someone else that they absolutely should do something, and then in the same circumstance, I fail to take that positive step myself.
What I am committing to now is 15 minutes of double-under practice every day, until I am satisfied that they are now a strength, no longer a weakness. It’s what I should have been doing all along, and it also will be a reminder for me when I don’t really want to do them anymore that avoiding or bashing something because you don’t like it is not an acceptable response toward something you’re not yet good at. Work hard, be patient, and the results will come. I’ve told you all that before, now I have to believe it myself.