Step Up to the Challenge

You may have noticed that since we started our new CrossFit Affiliate Programming workout plan this week, we have posted the full week of workouts on the gym whiteboard for everyone to see.  This week’s workout schedule is also available in your Wodify app – if you change the date to a future date (in this week) you should now be able to look ahead.

This is a bit of a departure from our previous policy of releasing the workouts one at a time, at 8pm the night before.  Why did we do it?  The simple answer is that we want you to be able to see all the good stuff coming to you throughout the week, to get a sense for the overall scope of the week.  As a side note, you can plan out any extra work you’re going to do, for all you firebreathers that like to push beyond the daily prescribed CrossFit workout.

The more nuanced answer is that this is a question to each of you.  You don’t need to respond to a survey for this one, or reply to this email by a certain time.  You just need to contemplate this question, and respond with your actions.  “How do I react to a challenge?”

In basketball, “cherry-picking” is when you don’t play defense but just hang out at the opponent’s basket, waiting to get an easy pass from a teammate for a easy lay-up (or huge dunk if you have hops).  It’s not a good look.
In CrossFit, we talk about people cherry-picking workouts in a very similar way.  These are the folks that hang back and wait for the workout that seems easiest to them and then show up on that day with a clever grin, waiting to crush everyone because the movements play to their strengths.  Then when the workout that exposes their weakness comes up, they conveniently can’t make it.

CrossFit, and especially being a member of CrossFit Kent Island, is about constantly developing yourself to be the most complete athlete – and person – you can be.  Does “cherry-picking” meet that standard?  I would say no, and I have myself as proof.
When I first started CrossFit, I came at it from an endurance background, running and swimming for distance every week with my buddy.  I was tired and ready for a change, and decided that I would start doing the CrossFit workout-of-the-day every day, no matter what it was.  Good plan!  Bad execution:  the first WOD was a 10K run.  Thinking I was already a strong runner, I subbed in a heavy power clean workout that had come up earlier in the week.  No big deal, right?  Once again, I was tired of running, so every time running – or a long workout for that matter – came up, I was keen to sub in some heavy weightlifting.  What I was doing was the worst version of cherry-picking there is – trading out movements I didn’t want to do for ones I did.
What happened over a year was that I became a very strong lifter… and my endurance completely tanked.  Whereas I used to be able to run forever, a 5K run was now trashing my lungs.  I actually turned a strength into a weakness, and while I was telling people I was doing CrossFit, I really wasn’t!  It wasn’t until I joined a CrossFit gym and recommitted myself to following a constantly varied program of real CrossFit that I became a well-rounded athlete again, which is where I now always want to be.  I’ll always enjoy certain things more than others (still don’t like to run!), but I need to lean into those workouts that I don’t want to do, because that’s where I’ll improve.

Step up to the challenge.  You know the workout schedule of the week.  Don’t let the workout dictate when you show up.  If anything, LEAN IN to your weaknesses and improve them just a little bit.  Not going to be near the top of the leaderboard?  GOOD.  We all love to see people posting scores that reflect honest effort when it was really hard.  We cheer for and admire and look up to the athletes that are GRINDING on a running workout when weight loss is their major goal.  People that add another 10 lbs to the barbell even though they know it will slow them down in a long conditioning workout because they want to STEP UP to the challenge of the day, and GET STRONGER.

So, now you know what tomorrow’s workout is, and Friday’s.  Next week you’ll know the whole schedule as soon as you want to.  What are you going to do with that information?  What fork in the road will you take?  The one with sunshine and lollipops lining the downhill path?  Or the uphill route that looks rough and overgrown, that you’ll have to use every tool in your belt to get through?  Which one will create more personal growth?

Will you step up to the challenge?


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