Pushed out of a comfort zone perhaps? It's not just CrossFit you know, it's life as well. Things didn't go as planned last night. No, it didn't have anything to do with CrossFit or anything in the box, cause things actually went really well there. Just stuff, not anything I care to mention, but suffice it to say that it affected me enough to cause a disturbance in my pattern. . .
So what on earth does this have to with CrossFit?
Interestingly enough, last night was all about Bench Press. You know, the big gym type of bench press that normally leaves the guy panting after ten reps. The one that Planet Fitness says you shouldn't grunt while doing. The athlete's I coached grunted, the athlete's I coached fought, and the athlete's I coached succeeded. 10lb PR, 15lb PR, 20lb PR. . . . it went on and on all night. A mixture of athlete's who dedicated Sunday's to improving their Bench Press via the Wendler Program and athlete's who did other lifts - but all the lifts bleed together.
You see, to say that the Strict Press only helps the shoulders is a fallacy, almost like saying the Back Squat only helps your legs. If performed correctly, the body must stay rigid, you utilize your entire body in the movement. Similar to the Bench Press, you use your entire body in the movement. Your other movements will get stronger if you lift heavy weight. You may not PR every time, but you will get in/around the ballpark of your prior PR if you are moving weight around. Therefore, for some athletes, what started out as 50lbs is now 80lbs - so congratulations!
After the bench, it was the workout that pushed people out of their comfort zone. It's been doing that for the past week or so. Last night was all about explosion, quick hips, and the athlete's ability to keep moving. Every rep counted, so we as coaches kept pushing, quietly and very deafeningly. At times I thought I was bringing people back from Cloud Nine, there faces a different expression than I had seen for quite some time. I am acutely aware of one athlete who jumped at the sound of my voice, as she rested for one too many breaths, head bowed down, hair matted against her neck, heaving oxygen into lungs that could not hold air, fingers lacking the strength to grip the bar. All of a sudden the Energizer Battery had new life, new meaning, new purpose, the cue "Every Rep Counts!", set off a firestorm in a her mind as she got back on the bar, finished the round and started another one.
It is the push out of the comfort zone that I want to talk about. If my friend hadn't been there last night, I would have come home, wrote the blog, read some articles and watched some videos. Instead, I made light of the situation I was given, that and I had a friend there who supported me either way - if things had gone as planned or went south quick.
So the correlation to CrossFit.
Here is a lesson I hope you take to heart - you never know what's coming. Take for example a WOD. Unless your gym posts it in advance, you have no idea - it adds to our gym's intrigue - some athlete's even come down on their day off (3 days on, 1 day off) just to find out what was done - or they find out through facebook. Either way, sometimes this can get a little bit uncomfortable. But as uncomfortable as it may seem or as uncomfortable as it may be - you've done it before, you can do it again. You have support. Some have family, some have friends, coaches, peers, and if all else fails, I can't remember the last time I coached a class of 1 - so there will always be a fellow athlete.
Getting out of your comfort zone pushes you to new heights. I want you to experience that, it's not a CrossFit thing, it's a life thing. Go take dancing lessons or watch an improv show. Be different and see if you can find something to do in Barkhamsted, Connecticut (if you find something, tell me). Stop doing what you normally do if it doesn't push you to better yourself and be better.
A big thank you to all the athlete's who didn't stop at the first PR tonight on the bench press - exceptional showing and a big move out of your comfort zone.
"One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again."