We're basically half way through The Open, and last night's announcement of 18.3 left a lot of people feeling like this:
Whether you don't have muscle ups or pull ups or the it's the struggle with those damn double unders, this workout will leave many stuck at a dead stop at some point in the workout.
I normally make it a policy never to read the comments sections of anything on the internet, but I happened to take a peek at the CrossFit Games' Facebook page last night. It's full of butthurt babies saying things like "I can't do pull ups! this isn't fair!".
First of all, no one ever said this was supposed to be fair. CrossFit, just like life, isn't fair. Some people are fitter than others (which has nothing to do with their worth as a person, mind you) and CrossFit is trying to differentiate those with the most capacity across a wide variety of tests. Although there are many out there pounding out their frustrated entitlement on a keyboard, CrossFit HQ doesn't owe anyone a workout they can complete. In fact, it's supposed to be a challenge (and ultimately it's supposed to find the Fittest on Earth). Muscle ups are a challenge to most who do the RX version of the workouts, and pull ups are a challenge for most who do the scaled version. By the 3rd week of The Open we are experiencing a clear separation on the leaderboard as many are having to face a blaring hole in their game.
So what should we do?
We should do the only thing we can do: give 18.3 our whole ass effort. The extreme energy and community support during The Open certainly has a tendency to make magical things happen. There are many "firsts" during these weeks when we push ourselves a little harder and expect a little more and those moments of achievement are amazing. Those moments are the drug that keep us hooked on CrossFit!
But what if no magical unicorns show up to sprinkle muscle up mojo or pull up power on us this weekend?
Well that will be frustrating as shit.
...and that will be one of the best things that can happen to us. Exposing your weaknesses in these things is hard, like super duper hard, and the fact that you are doing it at all means you are already very brave. When things don't go well, our negative emotions are not something to be avoided. You don't have to have false positivity and pretend that this is great, and the workout went wonderful, and everything is lovely. Instead, if we continue our bravery, and venture through our disappointment head on, there can be an upside to our darkside.
Years ago, after a meet that did not go well, I distinctly remember my weightlifting coach telling me "sometimes you gotta leave hungry". As in, you can't win them all. It can't be an endless stream of victories and successes. There's nothing to grow from, no motivation, no impetus to push yourself.
See, you need to take that anger and frustration at today's failure, and channel it into more work in the year ahead. You need to remember how much you hate standing there staring at the pull up bar unable to get a rep and make sure you are not in the same position by 19-point-whatever next year. What you have right now is only what you've earned (I read that somewhere but can't, for the life of me, find the source of that quote) so if you want more in the future, you gotta put in more work to earn it.
Or perhaps your limitation is not a lack of capacity per se, but a movement problem or nagging injury. Maybe it's a sucky shoulder or sad back that needs more care and attention to heal up properly. Or perhaps what's preventing your double unders from going better is that dribble of pee running down your leg and soaking your socks (ladies...). Again, that is frustrating as shit, but perhaps today's frustration is what finally spurns action to fix the problem. Today can be the day you finally cross "phone the physio" off your to-do list.
I wish for you to have a unicorn day during 18.3 of course, but if you don't I hope you'll have the guts to grow from it!