When You Can’t Do The Thing

I love the Open. I think we can all agree it makes us try a lot of new things.
But what about when you can’t do the thing?
It can be a bummer. Totally. But it’s not that you CAN’T do the thing, you just maybe can’t do it YET. You haven’t yet learned that skill. That’s cool. Frustrating, but cool.
Having goals and things to strive for is the reason CrossFit will push you forever. No one ever “finishes” CrossFit. It’s also the reason people rarely move on from CrossFit once they’re hooked – you’re never done! The new challenges come in just as hot as your successes.
It’s important that we take a minute to appreciate progress. One of my least favourite conversations goes like this:
Coach / Friend: “OMG you did a (insert any movement they have never done before)!!!”
Amazing, successful member: “Well it was only one, I can’t link them together / lift one million / some other ridiculous skill that is far more advanced than the one I just achieved”
Sometimes it’s a knee-jerk reaction to compliments and we panic and look for ways out – but stop yourself and at least enjoy a quick “heck yeah” moment about the success you have today, that you didn’t have yesterday.
So, what if we REALLY can’t do the thing? What if we’re actually trying really hard to get pullups / handstands / a new PR and it’s just not happening for us?
Ask for help!
In this situation we generally require one of two things: usually, new techniques and drills to practice. After that, patience.
What you’re doing now obviously isn’t working, at least not as fast and effectively as you want it to. So ask for help. Your coaches want to see you succeed and we hate seeing you throw your heart and soul into something with a low level understanding of what you’re actually doing or how to achieve that thing and wasting your efforts.
Maybe all you need is a couple quick tips, maybe it’s more like a couple one-on-one sessions to drill through your roadblocks. Maybe its a quick extras program to knuckle down on those pesky movements that need practice.
My point is, don’t just shoot in the dark, frustrated, working hard but ill equipped and hoping for the best. Ask us. If you’re willing to work for it, we’ll have the answers.
Once you know you have the right tools, patience is still necessary. A lot of what we learn in CrossFit is SKILLS. Fitness, strength, and other aspects of fitness increase steadily with any range of practice. Skills on the other hand need specific drills and HOURS of your life. Just because you know what you’re supposed to do, doesn’t mean your body is gonna play ball right away. Stuff takes time.
A few examples of how long things can take to make you feel human:
I have had more than one client take an entire year of specific training to get their first pullup. And I’m talking week after week, pullup training. No giving up.
It took me 2 years to increase my (squat) snatch to more than 65#’s.
It took me  4 years of CrossFit to get 1 ring muscle up.
I once “lost” my bar muscle up for a while.  Yep, I had them and then didn’t practice and they went away. I had to start all over again. When I got my first one the second time around, I almost cried. I promise working for that one was a way bigger achievement than the first time.
LaMonte is still working on his handstand walk.
It took Coach Billie over a year to get a chest to bar pull up – then she had to take time off due to an injury and she is still fighting her way back to regain them consistently.
It took Coach Kelly a month of being deployed to Poland with not much to do except practice his Double Unders to finally get multiple strung together.
I didn’t lift my own bodyweight in the deadlift until a good 2+ years into CrossFit…and I could go on and on about the pace of my progress. But so many people see where we are NOW and decide that they need to be there NOW or something is wrong with them. And so I wanted to show you that that is simply not true.

The glory of CrossFit is that you PR always – in tiny ways and big ways. Some of them just turn up and you’re like “eh, I can only do one”. Some you work 2 years for and you shed a flippin’ tear when it finally happens. Sometimes the PR is packing your lunch. Appreciate those ones. And then appreciate the process on the tough ones because they are gonna be SO sweet when that PR comes.

Ask for help. Get the right tools first. Then be patient and be consistent. There is nothing worse than getting frustrated and giving up (then losing your stinkin’ muscle ups for months!!). Keep at it.
Email me if you need help, I want to know!
Big love and happy Opens, team – you’re all amazing.


Coach Julie


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