Remember the "I am Tiger Woods" Nike commercials that showed a bunch of kids inspired by a champion?
The older he gets, the more I think it's true. He kind of inspires. (No, not that way.)
I don't always follow Woods, but he caught my attention when he withdrew March 2 during the final round of a tournament in Doral, Fla., because of back pain. Within just a few days, he announced plans to play in the following weekend's tournament, the Honda Classic.
Woods has hasn't won the Master's since 2005 and has been stuck at 14 major championships as he chases Jack Nicklaus' record of 18. Augusta National looms April 10-13. It's starting to look like Woods' body may not be up to the challenge.
I love sports because pros have a lot to teach us about approach and tenacity. Even a limping Tiger.
Eye on the prize: It has always been about catching Nicklaus, even through injuries and a personal meltdown.
Your move: Know what you're aiming for. Tune out the critics.
Play hurt. Maybe.: As Nicklaus said recently, every athlete plays while injured at certain times. However, he said, "if (the injury is) sustained, then you start adjusting your golf swing and so forth to accommodate it. That's when I think it's time to get away from it. There's when you cause yourself a lot of permanent damage."
Your move: If something hurts at the box, speak up about it.
Adjust, don't quit: Woods has tweaked his schedule and sought more aggressive therapies to deal with aches and pains.
Your move: Adjust your schedule, not your commitment. Try the "if, then" approach. "If I can't run today, then I'll practice lifts instead.”
Balance: Woods hasn't always had a stellar personal life. It seems that Nicklaus spent lots of time with his wife and kids during his career, was careful about his schedule, and almost never dropped out of tournaments he did enter.
Your move: CrossFit makes it possible for regular people to live full, balanced, rich, active lives. Live like that. W
Clean & Jerk
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Do you have a "speed wobble"? A point where you're trying for high volumes, high loads and high speeds but your form breaks down and you miss a lift?
Sometimes, to fix problems upstream, you have to revisit foundational movements downstream. If you're having trouble with taking weight overhead, one possible culprit is poor midline stability.
Kelly Starrett and Carl Paoli, rock stars of form and function, call midline stability "the position."
It's a "straight-up-and-down" alignment we should camp out in, get comfortable with and learn to maintain or return to quickly, especially as we reach fatigue:
- Head in line with spine.
- Butt squeezed.
- Ribcage in and down. (The position you'd hold if someone were about to punch you in the stomach.)
- Hip and spine move as one unit.
We can train for this position by focusing on good jumping posture.
Jumping with good mechanics trains you for the proper triple extension of feet, knees and hips that is required in Olympic lifts.
Jumping with good posture should be the focus each time we try to perfect our double-unders. (Yes, it really does matter how you learn to do them.)
Remember that technique is most important at CrossFit and that reinforcing bad form will eventually limit your progress and may cause injury.
Starrett and Paoli talk more about midline stability, why it's important and how to train for it here: The Position Part 1 - The Double Under Wendy
Is there one thing that you could change that would improve your life? More sleep. Less TV. More water. Less sugar. More hobbies. Less work. More people. Less iPhone.
It's the season to talk sacrifices. Make adjustments. Set goals. Find fish fries.
Here are four things on my to-change list.
- Breaking up with chips and salsa. The salsa is a keeper. Alas, the chips are not. I'm considering a relationship with hummus and vegetables. Or at least have them in the house for a healthier option. I'm a little sad about this.
- Riding a motorcycle: I think this would be cool and fun and I don't know why I don't just get my license, already. Well, actually, I do. I doubt I could really pull it off. Being scared to fail is a really silly reason not to try and yet I can't even count how many ways I've let it limit me. Is there some magic age where you get over that? Still waiting ... .
- Weight gains: On the bar, of course. Once again, I completely psyched myself out of a lift I probably could have nailed. I knew the number in my head, knew it was more than ever before, and was basically doomed to failure at that point. I actually have some strategies to try to improve my mental approach to weightlifting. Stay tuned.
- Getting up half an hour earlier: I've actually done this for about a week already, and it's been very helpful. I have time to enjoy a cup of coffee and read something spiritual before the day gets rolling. Considering I think nothing should ever start before noon, this is monumental for me.
So far, so good. What are you wishing you could do or do better? Big dreams, crazy schemes, or tiny tweaks, it's as good a time as any to go for it! Wendy
All limits are self imposed. Icarus
5 AMRAP 4
You are what you eat, but you’re also what you think.
So what kind of “food” are you feeding your brain? Is what you’re paying attention to or who you’re hanging out with doing anything to motivate or inspire?
For me, CrossFit is more than just a physical challenge. Refusing to quit on a WOD and committing to a consistent workout schedule has made me more aware of ways I could be more mentally fit, too.
Here is some of what I’ve been focusing on to be more productive and positive. How about you?
Social media: I deactivated my Facebook account weeks ago. There is something calming and freeing about ending the compulsive need to check my timeline to see if I’m “missing something.” I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten essential information via a wall post. My life is going on.
What I’m doing instead: Writing. Choosing online content that teaches me something, preferably about CrossFit. Investing more in people, less in avatars.
TV: If it’s not “reality” shows about people and their bizarre problems, it’s news about the “crisis” of the day. In “The Art of Thinking Clearly,” author Rolf Dobelli says the way news is presented today is to the mind what sugar is to the body – addictive, easy to digest, superficial, pointless. Hard to argue.
What I’m doing instead: Turning off the TV more often. Consuming enough news to stay culturally literate, not enough to be on overload. Choosing to invest in what I can actually change or control.
Cool people: Some people you're totally stuck with. Choose the rest wisely, based on their good ideas, habits, personality, positive influence, etc.
What I’m doing instead: Choosing wisely. Realizing I can give a lot, but I need to refuel, too. So do you.
Inchworm / Kettlebells / Duck-walk / Sit-ups / Dead-lifts / Handstand Push-ups
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Why Rest? to avoid over training!
Two types of over training
- Localized: working the same body part too often over successive days (sometimes that is my fault)
- Systemic: the whole body enters into a catabolic state (destructive rather than constructive). As a result the body increases production of Cortisol.
What is bad about Cortisol? "This is a hormone that your body releases in response to stress. Cortisol impedes muscular repair and function, decreases testosterone production, inhibits protein synthesis, accelerates proteolysis (protein breakdown) and inhibits muscular growth. Making matters worse it also reduces the body's ability to use fat as an energy source, increasing the amount of stored fat within the body."
Resulting emotional and behavioral symtpoms that can occur: Irritability, Mood swings, Insomnia, Depression read more
Partners: Power Cleans and Wall Balls
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- 30 double-unders
- 75-lb. power snatches, 15 reps
The 2014 Reebok CrossFit Open
workouts are here. Each week for the next month, an estimated 200,000 or more athletes around the world will complete an identical WOD in hopes of qualifying for Regionals and then the CrossFit Games this summer. We're doing the Open WODs at CrossFit Latrobe, too.
Here are three reasons why doing Open WODs is great for your overall progress, official competitor or not.
- A rep isn't always a rep: Yes, this sucks. Such is life. Hips not below parallel? No rep. Dropped the bar before controlling a lift? No rep. Wall balls not high enough? No rep. Chin not over the bar? No rep. Technique is everything, Open or not. We could all benefit by thinking, "Do it right, or do it again." You might benefit by dropping weight in favor of technique.
- Strategy and pacing: There's an art to crushing a WOD. How will you break down reps? What weight? How fast? Under the pressure of the Open, these issues are magnified, but they exist with the WODs we do every day, too. Learn how to push yourself throughout a workout but have enough left to finish strong.
- You're better than you think: To Rx something for the Open might mean you discover you can do what you previously thought impossible. Don't be afraid to use the Open guidelines and results to push yourself. No more 10-pound medicine balls for you! That's awesome. That's the Open. Visit: 2014 Reebok CrossFit Open
One of the most important decisions you must make about CrossFit is whether you are in it for the long haul. Do you have, or can you develop, the mindset to choose slow, steady gains over short bursts of more drastic improvements that may not be sustainable?
I hear doubts and impatience from more of you than you might think, especially with weightlifting: I can't lift very heavy, or I can't lift as much as she can. Here is my encouragement to you: Slow and steady is better than fast, hard and perhaps hurt or burned out. This article
nails it. Most of us could add one pound to our lifts every week. Easily. If you did, you'd be up 52 pounds in a year. (Total math whiz!) Your body would have time to adapt easily to the heavier loads. You'd be making consistent progress that would give you the confidence to continue. It's good stuff, you guys, and a great way to train your mind while you're training your body. Don't be discouraged. Stick with a plan you can sustain. You're in it for life. Wendy
Shoulder Press - Sumo Dead-lift High Pull - Knees to Elbow