Sunday Free Form Gym

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Figuring Out What NOT to Do  By: CrossFit Lisbeth

Figuring out what not to do: that’s a skill too. Something we forget about the importance of focus selection in our rush to do so much. And sometimes, that lesson takes a lifetime to learn.

I remember, soon after college, excitedly telling my sister about some saying like “Life is decided by what you do, not what you don’t.” I expected some big smile and nod of agreement. Instead, she turned to me with that special look — you know the one reserved for wayward puppies, or Grandpa when he has food on on his chin at Sunday dinner. “Lis,” she said, doling out the words like medicine crushed up with applesauce on a spoon, “That’s not you. You will try to do everything. The key to life, for you, is going to be deciding what not to do.”

As much as I hate to admit it, my sister was right. Have to guard against that Pacman attitude daily. Have to figure out what I should not do today, and what I should focus on instead. This is hard because, you see, all the candy in the store looks good. Whether I’m in the gym or the bookstore or at work, everything looks fantastic and I want to try it all, do it all, be it all.

Maybe that’s you too. Everything in the gym looks like fun, everything needs work, and you’re going to get stronger, faster, more agile all in one day. Or you’re the coach and you’re going to fix all 14 things wrong with that squat in 15 minutes.

Whoops. No, you’re not. Refocus. What to do. What not to do.

Stop. Think about it. Pick one thing to improve today. Work on it.


The gym will be there tomorrow. Improvement is a multi-step, multi-day, often multi-year process. And so it will be for your entire life, if you’re lucky.

Decide: What to do. What not to do. At least for today.

CrossFIt Lisbeth