The importance of Progression, Patience and Perseverance in Crossfit.

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It’s been 4 weeks into the crossfit opens and it has been humbling for me. It has brought to my clear attention what my weaknesses are and what I need to work on from here.

This is my second opens since stepped into my crossfit box. Hawking the leaderboard every week like it was the stock market; I realized that the competition is very very tough! Friends made from around the region (Asia) are getting exponentially stronger, faster and killing the WODs! Granted I have myself gone from my first chest-to-bar from last year to finishing 109 reps in 14.2. But even then, my progress is not going as fast as I would like it to be.

But ok enough with the pity party, I meant for this article to share my experience over the course of the past on getting past some of my “goats” and hope that it would encourage and assure others out there that not everyone would become an elite or outstanding athlete overnight. It does take time, progressions, patience and perseverance.

PROGRESSIONS. I cannot emphasize the importance of this. Not everyone (I think majority of us out there) comes into crossfit being able to do a strict muscle up, pistol, 100kg deadlift or have washboard abs and awesome lats. I most certainly did not. Although I had a sporting background, I am still lacking in many aspects.

Yes we did go through basic progressions during classes but there is a limitation in what the coaches can do with an individual amidst managing a whole class and everyone at varying levels of strength and technique levels.

Like in school, the key to exceling isn’t always to be spoon fed. If you want to do better than the average student, you have to self-study and do self-research above and beyond what is taught in class. So with that in mind, thank god for the internet. I set out to work on various progressions for all my weaknesses and looked for multiple youtube videos, programs and more to get me to where I want to be. So yes, progressions is key, there is no point wishing on a falling star for the life of you that you are going to get that muscle up if you cannot do a pull up or ring dip first. And this unfortunately is a real problem in this world of instant gratification where everyone wants instant results and which brings me to my next point.

PATIENCE. Many times, new members in the gym come up to me and ask for help. Naturally I am more than happy and willing to help and to start explaining the various stages of progression. Some are keen to try and do stick to it but in my experience so far, the sense I gather is that the process seems too long and slow. Most want a quick fix to getting their first unbroken double-unders within the 1 session itself. Which honestly, may actually not be impossible, but you may have to be naturally athletic and talented and already have the basic prerequisites required (flexibility, strength, coordination etc). So back to being patient, always remember that like in life, we don’t get what we wish for; we get what we work for. It will come in time I promise, as long as you stick to the program and diligently work at it.

Lastly, as the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. This I feel is very apt in the betterment of oneself in the world of crossfit. PERSEVERANCE is the third P and something that we should strive to have and maintain. What keeps this sport so challenging and borderline addictive for me is the constant drive and motivation to get stronger, faster and better. And not to forget of course, the community of friends who never fail to pick me up when I am down (both emotionally but mostly physically these days too). But back to perseverance, hitting your first goal is a huge achievement but one should not be easily content and after the celebratory dance and jump, we should immediately move onto the next phase. It is not easy as it would mean starting again on more progressions and even more patience. But as with a Chinese saying, 一山还有一山高, which loosely translated means that there will always be a higher mountain. Let’s to grit our teeth together, hang in there and continue climbing on.

So enough said, this is just one girl’s view of crossfit from a tiny little island in South East Asia and I hope some people can relate to my experience/s. Keep trudging forward and remember to work on progressions, be patient with yourself and persevere on!

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