The problem with letting yourself off the hook is that once you start it’s practically impossible to stop. Pretty soon you become “that guy”. You know who I’m talking about. He’s the object of pity hunkered down at the Mall of America food court. You wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole and you swear to yourself that you’ll never become him. But one day you wake up and you are him.
WTF? What happened?
You let yourself off the hook too many times.
The hook comes in many shapes and sizes. Here are just a few with which all CrossFitters are familiar:
1) Missing class: Exercise is prophylactic; study after study has shown its effectiveness in preventing disease and decrepitude. So skipping exercise is a lot like having unprotected sex. It makes no sense but we do it anyway because we convince ourselves that [insert excuse] is more important than being alive.
2) Shorting range of motion: Less charitably, this is known as cheating. When your thighs don’t break parallel on a squat, or your chest doesn’t hit the deck on a pushup you’re cheating yourself. Cheating is beneath you. Don’t do it.
3) Cherry picking workouts: The guy with the 350 pound benchpress is probably not the guy who loves running 10k. But that’s the workout he needs. Ducking workouts you stink at is a particularly noxious form of letting yourself off the hook because it guarantees that you will always be one-dimensional, and therefore never truly fit.
4) Eating junk food: Being a CrossFitter entails more than just muscle-ups and barbell cleans. In CrossFit we refer to nutrition as the “metabolic foundation of health”. CrossFit is not even remotely coherent absent the nutritional prescription. Many a new athlete is dismayed to learn that you don’t stop being a CrossFitter when you sit down to dinner.
Jiminy Cricket! This personal accountability stuff sucks hard!
Yes, it does, but I can assure you as someone who was once “that guy”, that the effect of letting yourself off the hook is additive. Every time you do it you go deeper into the hole. Eventually you’re in so deep that there’s no light; then no hope; then no escape. Don’t be that guy.