Last week, I was doing a workout with Wall Balls. The workout called for a #30 med ball, a weight that I'm still getting used to working with. I've been accustomed to using a #20 for about 5 years now, and Ive gotten to the point where I very rarely miss the target with that ball. In other words, very rarely do I have to no-rep myself. The #30 is a different story. As I began the workout, I had multiple questionable reps. Instantly the inner dialogue began to play itself out. Imagine a devil and angel on my shoulder. "Man those are suspect reps, if you had a judge on you they would probably no-rep those." "Yeah", the devil said, "but this is a new weight for you and they were close enough. Give yourself a break."
Initially, I counted the several close reps and they became a part of my running total (the workout called for 75 total, with some 400m runs in between). But as I ran my next 400 meters I had 2 minutes to think about all this. I felt guilty about what I had done. What kind of example would I be to my members, who I constantly demand the best from? While doing the wall balls, I had a brief moment of self-pity. I gave myself the benefit of the doubt because "it was hard". When I got back to the ball, I did the appropriate amount of reps and then added extra reps of the previous ones i thought were close.
Two things happen when you no-rep yourself. One, you can leave the gym knowing in good conscience that you did the workout to the fullest specifications. This breeds confidence going into future workouts. It's like having a feeling of ease going into a big exam. From my example above, I now have just a little less fear of that 30 pounder. And two, when you no-rep yourself, your inner dialogue will say something like, "i better not do that again, or my mean side will make me pay." That last bit sounds cheesy, but after I reprimanded myself, I didn't miss the target again, because I knew at that point I'd take all close reps away. This mentality will not only make you a better CrossFitter, but will carry over to other areas of your life too
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