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The CrossFit Highs and Lows

So this doesn't really relate to the post, but this picture is just too good to not post!

The world of CrossFit is known for its catch phrase-the unknown and unknowable.  This ideas brings us variety, new challenges, and sometimes frustration.  The nature of CrossFit is that there are things thrown at us in a class or workout that we excel at and then there are the things that we are just not good at, can’t do, and just fail rather miserably.  This is CrossFit.

You’ve probably had plenty of your own experience now with these ups and downs.  One day you just kill the WOD thrilled with your time, your weights, and your overall fire-breatherness! Shortly after that you finish class discouraged and frustrated with your work.  What happened?  Why was it so hard?  How frustrating!

Each and every one of us has to learn to manage the ups and downs of CrossFit.  You need to find and embrace those things in the CF world that you are good at, that come easier than others, and that you love to do. Everyone who gives CrossFit a try will find what they love.  Everyone, even if you are new, even if you feel overwhelmed with all of the technicalities of the Olympic lifts, if you worry that you are too slow, or if you have to sub exercises due to injury will have things that are “your thing” in the world of CrossFit.  That’s one of the great things about what we do here.  It even happened for me, way back almost 3 years ago.  I came to CFWest as a very non-athletic, de-conditioned, significantly overweight and out of shape (and very scared) client.  I found the things that I was “good” at within weeks, and that was certainly a key element to keeping me coming back in those very, very hard and overwhelming first weeks and months.

It would be great to say that over the last three years, I just became the best at everything (but that it Cliff’s claim to fame!), and that I now just show up happy with what is programmed and how I perform every day.  Everyone knows this is not the case.  I think I might have let it slip every now and then that I still get frustrated and that there are still many things I cannot do or do not like to do.

In this world of the unknown and unknowable, we can become overwhelmed or discouraged looking at all of the things that we can’t do yet.  For all of us, this list of things we hope to do is different and sometimes it gets long-it might be pull ups or a  muscle up,  completing a WOD rx’d, beating your friend in a workout, going overhead without that nagging shoulder pain or squatting below parallel.  For some it is now snatching that weight you just couldn’t get this past weekend!

Instead of being discouraged or overwhelmed by the things you can’t yet do, those things that you hope to do someday, set yourself some goals.  You can make a plan, talk to a trainer, and figure out how to improve!  We are starting a new strength cycle, and we’ll have plenty of skill work included in our classes in the days ahead, so this is a great time to reflect on Chris’s post on goals, to stay a few minutes after class to practice, and conquer something.

And in the meantime, don’t forget to enjoy and practice the things you love!  We all have our thing-running, Annie, GHD sit ups, power cleans, farmers’ walks…When all else fails, and I feel like a total CrossFit failure, I just come in and back squat.


What do you love to do in CF and what elusive goal are you working on?


Back Squat

5, 5, 5, 5, 5


400m Run, 50 KB swings (70/53), 500m Row


  1. Love front squats… WOULD love to snatch above bodyweight!

  2. Great post Leah. The good and the not so good days are something we all experience in athletics. The cool thing about Crossfit is that “the sport” has so many skills and endless permutations of each, that we are bound to find our favorite and our feared; and these change over time as we hone our talents.
    Kipping pull-ups has been on my ” wish list” to master, so today was totally a gift. As the saying goes, “be careful what you wish for!” Now I need to stay on it and master the kipping, I can’t just wait for another kipping pull up class to roll around. No excuses for laziness…

  3. Dave D

    What I love about CROSSFIT is how I feel accomplished after a workout . Favorite movement , front squats . And I love your great big smile Leah and that your heart is bigger than the whole gym. My goals are to crush my nephew

  4. Great post, Leah. It really helps me sometimes after a “bad” workout to look back and remember the point I started at. For example, I’ll get mad at myself for getting psyched out and not being able to conquer my highest box jump…then I remember that I used to be afraid of barking my shins on the littlest box. Stuff like that.
    I love Sam’s burpee/sprint/clean/sprint workout. I am not a huge fan of thrusters or pushups. I am also jump rope challenged.

  5. Great post Leah! ONe of my goals is to become more technically proficient at the Snatch. I know I have the strength, but my technique sucks so I haven’t gotten very far with that lift in comparison to other lifts.

    And then there are double-unders. I have avoided them due to neuroma pain in my right foot (unfortunately, surgery didn’t seem to help). I’ve been attempting them more of late, even though it hurts like a mo-fo! And why do I get the sinking feeling they are going to manifest in one of the remaining Open WODs??

  6. Ah, thanks Dave! You are very kind. :)
    And I hope you crush your nephew.


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