So it’s been awhile since I last posted. The objective behind this little project was to keep a steady blog going that would detail my training happenings from a mediocre/everyday athlete to elite Crossfitter. The last time I posted was during the 2014 Crossfit Open Season. Time goes by quickly and much has happened since.
Honestly, my goal for the training wasn’t specific. It was specific in certain numbers for lifts and benchmark WODs for Fran, Grace, etc, but not specific in what level I wanted to reach. It was along the lines of, “Well I want to see how good I can get.” But how “good” you can get is vague and rather half-ass. I entered the 2014 Hyperfit training with pretty much one foot in the door. Being non-committed and without a gameplan to reaching a certain level, I didn’t force myself to focus on what I needed to improve and what mechanism (which forms of training) I needed to partake in to make those improvements.
If you want to be a games level athlete, you need to commit at least 15 hours of training per week, which doesn’t count all the effort spent for diet/recovery. I define a games level athlete as someone who has at least Team Regionals aspirations. Mentally/physically I didn’t make that commitment, as a result who knows what my fitness peak could have been.
With that being said, I wasn’t a total disincentivized Planet Fitness member. I trained 4-5 times a week, doing the GPP WOD usually followed by the olympic lifting programming. Weekends I would sprinkle in the additional accessory/conditioning/lifting/gymnastic WODs. A dabble here and dabble was the approach, concerning extra games training.
Now with the start of 2015, I have to reset my goals, or more like reset my expectations. Yeah, it would be great to have my shirt off on ESPN with thousands of screaming kool-aid fans at my back, but that’s just not going to happen. And if that was my dream, then I should have at least taken action to chase those pipe dreams. This is rather cliche’d but there are many who say they want something, but don’t put in the actual effort to give themselves that .00001% shot.
After 3 years of training, I would say it’s 99.9999% physically impossible to be a games level athlete. If I’m not on the cusp of qualifying right now, then I’ll never be. An athlete shows the most potential during that first year, when he/she hasn’t yet explored that fitness max. Once that theoretical max (plateau) has been hit, the strength/conditioning gains become smaller and smaller. My PRs aren’t going to be in the 10 lbs week to week, they become 10 lbs every 6 mos, if not longer. A potential games level athlete quickly starts hitting those competitive lifting numbers within the first year then fine tunes the skills/conditioning to compete.
In addition, the athletes are getting younger, while the qualifications to the games is more rigorous. Last year, we were lucky to sneak into the top 30 in the Central East Region . This year, we’ll have to get top 20. When I went to watch our team compete in Cincinnati, the weights and skill work required (handstand walk, strict HSPUs) just didn’t seem realistic for me. That games level is becoming increasingly harder and harder to obtain.
Enough with the negativity. So back to what my goals/expectations are for the coming year. First, I need to be physically healthy. I need to get to a level of training pain-free. It’s unfortunate the goal used to be, “I want to snatch over 185 lbs”, to now, “well I just want to overhead squat without wincing.” I have to accept the fact I’m not 19 any more and that I can skip a WOD in order to recover. For the past 2 months, I haven’t been training the way I want to be. But training the way I want to be is likely what got me injured in the first place. If there is a positive, I’ve had to re-evaluate my training and pinpoint the cause of my injury. Do I have a mobility issue? Is my form wrong? Am I overtraining? Injuries are setbacks, but also opportunities to wipe the slate clean – in a way reformat your fitness.
Hopefully, this rehab will allow me to compete and Rx the Open. In +30 days, I don’t have enough time to build up exceptional motor capacity. A more realistic goal would be to get some DUs in, string some Chest-to-Bar pull-ups, or actually complete that muscle up during the WOD. Now, it’s all about the small wins and I’m perfectly content with that.