We all have bad days at the gym. If you have a bad day use it to motivate you to do better next time, don’t take it home with you. The worst thing you could do is go home and let your discontent fester. Your friends and family don’t care if you missed a pull-up because you didn’t get your chin over the bar. They couldn’t care less if you missed your last back squat during Hatch, or failed to reach your goal of ten rounds in a ten minute AMRAP.
I am speaking from experience. I used to let my failures at the gym consume me. Ask anyone who knows me well and they will tell you that I am hard on myself. When I started CrossFit back home in New York, and brought a bad workout home with me, my friend Hunter would tell me to stop being a big baby. This would infuriate me to the point where I fantasized about kicking him in his bony shins. But he was right. I was being a baby. Once I came to terms with this, and vowed to leave it at the gym, not only was I better company, but I made huge gains in the gym by channeling my disappointment towards creating a positive outcome the next time around.
Now, I try to view an unsuccessful workout as a good thing. I don’t know about you, but I would bore easily if I were to dominate every element of every WOD, every day. Why, or how, would I push myself if I were great at everything? Maybe I’m a masochist, but I like getting my butt kicked by a workout. Instead of sulking under a blanket of self-pity and shame when I don’t perform as I had hoped, I try to learn from the experience and see it as an opportunity for growth. Take wall balls for example. Every week they show up and punch me in the gut. Yet every week I make progress. Whether it’s banging out more reps, stringing together more consecutively, or hitting the wood above the target on every throw, making progress stokes my hunger for success.
Give yourself a break. You can’t expect every workout to go as planned. Some days you are fatigued from the WOD the previous day. Maybe you are stressed because of something that happened at work and your head isn’t in the game. Perhaps your kids kept you up all night and you’re exhausted. Whatever it is, let it go. Be content that you showed up to the gym and worked hard. We are all here to be healthier and happier, so go easy on yourself and those around you.
Enjoy getting your butt handed to you by a workout. Learn from your failures and aspire to better results the next time you’re on the floor. Don’t risk being ostracized by your family and friends. Leave it at the gym.