During a presentation on winning multi-market accounts at work, a senior leader at my company instructed our group to not be disheartened by a loss during our pursuits of new business but to instead treat each loss as a valuable experience to learn. While this notion is nothing new, it clicked with me in regards to my CrossFit experience, specifically this past Sunday’s workout.
I don’t think I have ever felt worse at the gym then during the ten rounds of 10 kettle bell swings, 10 push-ups and 10 box-jumps that I trudged through at the 11AM class. My stomach turned with every jump, I was breathing heavily and sweating excessively. After Peter mercifully scaled back the weight of my kettle bell for my last two rounds, I finished and went straight to the bathroom to stare into the toilet. Thankfully, I didn’t throw up but I did end up lying on the tile floor, miserable at what could be deemed very much a “loss” that day at the gym.
I had treated my body poorly that weekend, consuming an excessive amount of calories at the State Fair and more beer than usual at the long-extended Summer Challenge finals party. I also didn’t get a good amount of sleep. While these may be seen as excuses or temporal conditions, I paid a heavy tuition that morning to learn that I can’t expect to perform well in a WOD on any given day of the week if I am not taking care of myself outside of the gym. Again, it’s an idea that Teddy and the rest of the coaches preach everyday but I needed a real “loss” for it to sink in.
There are real lessons to be learned every time that we perceive to “lose”, whether inside or outside of the gym. If we examine them closely we can uncover our weaknesses and discover points of focus moving forward.
I am always annoyed with myself during a WOD that includes double-unders because I am not stringing them together. But I have to realize that in that “loss” there is a lesson to be found. I need to correct my form and practice them much more regularly at Open Gym or on my own time to start improving and “winning”.
I can attend a clinic on kipping but my losing record on the pull-up bar will continue if I don’t pay attention to why I am losing. Am I not driving with my hips? Am I not being aggressive enough on the bar? What can I take from the “loss” to better prepare for a real “win”?
The past year with CrossFit has been a series of triumphs as I improve my times in workouts, finish races that I never thought I could complete and see gains in my overall health and wellness. But recently I have experienced a bit of a plateau and seen that winning streak come to an end.
If I really want to win in the long-run, I have to start learning from my losses.