The Importance of Losing

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Enter WOD 3, aka “The Most Uncomfortable WOD I’ve Ever Done”

WOD 3 = A 12 Minute AMRAP of 40 Yard unweighted Prowler Pushes

WOD 3 = A 12 Minute AMRAP of 40 Yard unweighted Prowler Pushes

I died.

Going into this workout I thought we would do relatively well. Though I wasn’t expecting to win (especially as I’d never used a prowler before), I figured we were both strong and would have an easier time pushing it, right? Yeah… that didn’t exactly happen.

Sally was awesome, running the prowler out and back every round, but after round 2 I was having trouble keeping the damn thing moving, let alone being able to run with it. I’d spent all summer training my strength, but most of that was low volume/high weights (think sets of 5 reps or less), and I was not prepared for 12 minutes of “Death by Prowler Push.”

Mental toughness, like any other skill, needs to be trained constantly, and I clearly had not done so over the summer.
Technically speaking, I knew that focusing almost purely on strength training over the summer would decrease my met-con and muscular endurance, though I did not fully understand that impact until last weekend. What was worse, however, was the realization that my mental toughness and ability to just keep moving during those, long grueling WODs wasn’t what it should be. Mental toughness, like any other skill, needs to be trained constantly, and I clearly had not done so over the summer. Yes, my legs did give out, but if I’m being honest with myself —  it was my brain that quit.

Pure Nastiness. The second picture is immediately post WOD and that is my lovely older sister (Sally) helping me up after I ass-planted into a puddle and tried not to cry (I'm a WOD cryer btw)

Pure Nastiness. The second picture is immediately post WOD and that is my lovely older sister (Sally) helping me up after I ass-planted into a puddle and tried not to cry (I’m a WOD cryer btw)

The Take-Away Lesson

I was disappointed in myself for not being able to keep up and push through (we came in 2nd to last out of all the teams for WOD 3), but I learned far more from getting my ass kicked in the prowler WOD than I did from destroying the squat workout because it showed me exactly what needed the most work:

  • Met-con
  • Muscular Endurance
  • Mental Toughness

I have about 3 weeks between now and my next competition (the Taranis Titan Challenge), and I intend use that time to attack my weaknesses and be as prepared as I can be. I really hope I do better at the next competition (who wouldn’t?), and that I manage to address my current weaknesses; however, chances are there will be another horrible WOD that reveals a different glaring weakness.

As much as this constant “discovery” of weaknesses and shortcomings can suck, it is also how we become better athletes in the long run.
My sister and I just hanging out after the the Crossfit Squamish Fall Challeng

My sister and I just hanging out after the the Crossfit Squamish Fall Challeng

So… 2 Things to Keep in Mind

1. A disappointing competition performance isn’t necessarily a bad thing

because it can help us grow as athletes if we understand how to use/learn from the experience,

and

2. Remember to have fun with it

(even if a competition doesn’t go our way) because in the end if we aren’t enjoying ourselves, it isn’t worth it.

Visit Taryn Haggerstone’s blog Go Hard Get Strong for more of her thoughts on training. Follow her on Twitter at @TarynHaggerston and Instagram at @tarynemilyh.

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