The title of this article were words written on the back of one our baseball T-shirts when I was at St. Mary’s College. I never really bought into them at that time and thought it was a bit cheesy, but I now feel they are highly relevant to CrossFit training. I want to address The Process and how to shift ones goals to performance, rather than more fleeting options.
CrossFit (and myself) does not speak in the language of toning, tightening, elongating, lengthening, or tucking . In fact, I have no idea what any of those words mean in regards to fitness nor do I think I have ever personally “toned” a muscle. The point is, aesthetic goals are short term, impossible to quantify, and usually impossible to reach. For example, if my goal is to have my abs showing I can just reduce my calories and do sit-ups right? If I reach my goal, then what? I’m probably even less fit than before and if I don’t reach my goal, I’m left feeling discouraged and coming off a low calorie diet. More than likely I will gain even more weight back when calorie consumption returns to normal.
Aesthetic goals typically do not pan out, BUT that doesn’t mean you will not improve aesthetically by doing CrossFit. In fact, I guarantee you will, but this just a byproduct of focusing on the process. Performing the movements better, becoming more efficient, improving technique and getting faster are examples of task-oriented goals. You can never stop improving on the above mentioned
When the mindset shifts from “getting toned” to “I want to overhead squat body weight”, you have a quantifiable, reachable goal. The process involved in reaching the Oh Squat goal will be both extensive and challenging. You will have to get stronger by squatting more often. You will spend hours working on mobility in order to improve the position involved in an OH Squat. Your balance, coordination and flexibility will improve as you get closer to the goal. The process will make you more physically fit. When the goal is reached, a new goal can be set like “snatch body weight” or “OH Squat body weight 10 times”. Now the process begins over again with new challenges, but ultimately improving overall fitness.
You can see when a performance goal is set, things are set into motion and vast improvements can be made. Everyday you come in, enjoy and appreciate the intricacies of each movement and aim to become virtuous in all of them. Small milestones add up to big things down the road. Aesthetic goals will fizzle out while performance goals will make you better at life. Plus if I’m in a burning house, I want my neighbor with a 3-minute Isabel to come save me and not the dude who spot-trains his triceps.
Love the process and I promise you, all the other chips will fall into place.
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