“Expectations v. Reality: This Athlete’s Revelations” by Cathy Cruz

During a past workout, I had several rounds where I had to complete 20 overhead pressing movements after a row and 20 box jumps. Every round, I would make it to 12 on the overhead movement and would have to break. This upset me because, in comparison to the row and box jumps that felt seamless that day, the barbell movement felt incredibly hard. Foolishly, I expected myself to get better, even under fatigue. I felt controlled by a number like it was telling me something about myself that I didn’t want to believe. I broke down and gave this number power over my emotions, getting upset and letting my breath get erratic. The truth is, there’s probably a legitimate reason why 12 was where I needed to break. I chose a weight that was a challenge for me, but I’d moved well before. That day though, I’d reached my threshold. Instead of accepting this for what it was, I let it dictate the outcome of my performance.

Looking back (disappointedly), I realize that this is a trap. A crutch. The easy way out. It’s easier for me to get upset and say “I Can’t” instead of figuring out how to move the weight at the moment, get my chest to the bar, complete the work, etc… Recognizing your limits serves a purpose, sure, but it only serves me to use that knowledge to make an adjustment, not just crash and burn.

The idea of Managing Expectations has become this year’s theme (Thanks, Coach Dom). This requires me to make the effort to examine and apply what I know about myself in order to gauge my ability to complete a task as prescribed. I know there are other factors to consider, too, like what I personally need to improve on as an athlete, for example. All that considered, leave it to CrossFit and its elements of the constantly varied and the unknown to expose weaknesses I didn’t realize I had or pretended didn’t exist. Just because I completed X amount of Y in a workout with a different set of elements and under a different time domain doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll perform the same under a completely different set of circumstances. I’m training hard to close in on those weaknesses, but in the meantime, I’m adding Don’t Get Comfortable as my year’s sub-theme.