Encouraging Words from Jonas to You

Lessons from the whiteboard… aka life not so Rx’d.

Posted on April 18, 2013 by
Flat back, elbows up!

Flat back, elbows up!

This past week I have started going to my box regularly again, which has felt awesome and sore at the same time… the only thing is I have had to scale the weights of every lift I have done so far. So, that has been a tad bit, well a lot bit, frustrating…

I tend to scale the weights back in my lifts, some not all, because there are two things I keep in mind why I scale or modify: virtuosity and meeting the movement standards safely. That last word, safely, means everything in CrossFit as lifts should be done safely, with minimal harm potential and with all the various lifts or pulls being executed in succession.

Firstly, I have had to have a long journey with my mind battling my heart over the thought that scaling a weight equates to weakness or, “You aren’t strong.” When I first started doing the WODs at my current affiliate (box), CrossFit Flagstaff, we used to put FORM on the board when we thought the weights weren’t up to par with what we mentally thought they should be. That in itself was damaging and our owner, Lisa Ray began erasing the word form from the board as she said, “You did the best you could do and putting form on the board leaves you with the thought you are weak or that you didn’t give it your all. When in fact you did.”

Secondly, scaling or modifying does not mean you didn’t give it your all. It just means you are in your head not the beast your heart views you as, one thing I have seen and felt in my WODs is the constant battle between the heart (the fire) and the mind (the fear) when doing a lift be it something heavier than you are used to or be it a more complex movement in a traditional WOD. When I just have a strength day where I am finding a 1RM or just trying to find a litmus for future lifts, I go heavy… when I am doing a lift in fast succession or volume in a traditional CrossFit style WOD, I assess the lift being done, if I can do the Rx’d weight safely and still turn around the reps on the board and the virtuosity of the movement as a whole. If I can do it, I do as Rx’d, if not I scale the weight down to a place where standards are being met safely. I still will hit the WOD hard and do the movement at a weight that is heavy for me but not too heavy where I fail on form and am getting injured.

During the Open this year, even though I didn’t register. I still participated. The lifts were heavy but being I wasn’t being judged per se, I still went virtuously heavy on them. I wasn’t thinking, “Okay, I have to do the rx’d, and that is a heavy weight I haven’t lifted before.” I was thinking, “Okay, do what you know you can do but make sure it is heavy, this WOD isn’t supposed to feel like a walk in the park. It is supposed to suck, it is making you stronger.” When I approached the WODs in that manner, it freed me to hit them hard and gave me the intensity I needed, it also took the mindset of failure out of the equation and the WODs were fun instead of frightening.

The thing is by scaling now, I am setting myself up for stronger and solid Rx’d lifts in the future. It is investing in staying injury free so I can consistently build strength and WOD. I  know it sucks not seeing Rx’d next to my times or my reps on the whiteboard more days than not, but it is part of the journey in fitness. I was injured before I came to CFF so that is always in the back of my mind when doing a lift as something I don’t ever want to feel again.

I did Fight Gone Bad this past Tuesday, sure I could have done the Rx’d but I would have struggled with reps and wouldn’t have nearly racked up the rep numbers but I stuck with virtuosity instead of ego. Ultimately, it comes down to ego. I have a philosophy for that, “Ego gets you injured. Turn it off. Especially, when lifting heavy things above your head. As both your head and your ego will get crushed as it undoubtedly will fall.”

The end result, leaves you on your knees or on your back... sweating.

The end result, leaves you on your knees or on your back… sweating.