Guest Blog by: Alyson

Check your pride at the door
OWN your fitness level and get to work. I’ll say it again. OWN YOUR FITNESS LEVEL. Do not increase your weight until you can do the movement consistently with PROPER form. Be meticulous about this. Make proper form instinctual. Scaling doesn’t mean you’re weak. It will prevent you from forming bad habits. Bad habits lead to injuries. And you will definitely go nuts if you have to sideline yourself due to an injury. Being the last one to finish a WOD doesn’t mean you’re the worst. Being the first doesn’t mean you’re the best. I’d rather pay big money for Crossfit in order to prolong my life and maintain my health. It’s called being proactive. It beats a $50k hospital bill from a heart attack. Remember the big picture. We are all here for the same reason.

Stop the comparisons
This is SUCH an easy trap to fall into. After all, it’s human nature. But true nobility consists NOT in being better than anyone else, but rather, being better than what you used to be. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely think it’s good to find someone who has similar abilities and strength and push yourself to keep up with them. More times than none I see us trying to compare ourselves to someone who is way out of our league. They may lift more weight than you, but what per cent of their bodyweight are they lifting? These mismatched comparisons just set us up for failure. To be honest, Crossfit is more of a mental game than it is a physical one. So why continue to beat yourself up about something that’s far beyond your current ability? Seems like a waste of energy to me. Instead, put that energy into creating a realistic goal for yourself. A perfect segue into my next topic……

Set two goals
Small and big. We need small goals and also BIG goals. The small ones teach us how to be more patient, more disciplined and to make us aware of the fact the future comes one day at a time. It also helps to reduce the feeling of being stuck and frustrated. Goal setting is a big part of Crossfit but it’s difficult to stay focused amongst the 25 different goals we may have. Keep it simple. One goal at a time. Goal setting involves establishing specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-targeted goals. Commit to whatever extra work you need to do in order to get it done. Don’t give up on it. Celebrate when you achieve it…because you will. It’s empowering!!

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you will never get it done. Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal.” ~Bruce Lee

Never underestimate the power of mobility
Your muscles are designed to work in unison. By working synergistically, muscles reduce the amount of work they need to do, which can improve endurance. Work a movement using FULL range of motion with a weight that is appropriate for you to be successful with the movement. This is imperative for improvement. Think of it this way. If one of the tires on your car is flatter than the other three, it creates more work for the other ones, and in turn, lessens your gas mileage. No thanks. It’s about working smarter, not harder. Mobility is one of the most underemphasized aspects of Crossfit. Good resources are easy to find. We are creatures of habit, so do yourself a favor and find a way to consistently work on it every day.

Your core can never be too strong
This one is pretty straightforward. Every single movement in Crossfit requires the use of core. Once you can figure out how to zone in on it and use it properly, your lifting will improve. Hollow rocks are your friend.

Crossfit doesn’t define you
Gasp!!! Oh sh*t…..I said it. Because it’s the truth. When we exercise, our brain releases endorphins. They resemble opiates in their ability to produce pain relief and a general feeling of well being. You know….the same ones that are released during sex or when we eat bacon. So it’s no surprise to me when I see more and more people taking that leap into Crossfit. It’s addicting. In the beginning we are consumed with the novelty of our newfound strength and newfound friends. We want to share our passion for it with anyone we come in contact with. Fact is, it’s just not for everyone. Respect that. Do not eat, breathe, and sleep Crossfit. Sure it’s fun but there’s definitely more to life than that whiteboard. Crossfit is merely a catalyst to improve your overall quality of life. It makes you better at the other things you love in life. It is NOT who you are but merely a small piece. If you find yourself getting caught up in the crazy, don’t be afraid to take a break and recalibrate.

PRs will eventually plateau
What a buzzkill. EVERYTHING is a PR when you start and boy oh boy does it kill your steamroll when you start failing those PR attempts. EXPECT this and embrace it. For you cannot have success without failure. The yin and yang of Crossfit. Let me tell you how much more fulfilling a PR becomes after working at it for two years. So quit crying on Facebook about failed PRs. No one feels sorry for you.

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” ~Bruce Lee