Saturday, April 11, 2009

WOD: Helen and Some Thoughts about Virtuosity

Today's WOD: Helen

3 rounds for time of:
run 400 m
21 kettlebell swings 16 kg
12 pull-ups (1-band)

My time: 14:15. This was a bit worse than my previous Helen time of 13:39, but I felt like it went well. It might be that I did regular swings and not CrossFit (over-the-head) swings last time. Oh well, it was a tough week, and I'll get a PR next time I do Helen. It was still really fun, especially with the big crowd that showed up. Now I'm relaxing with some bad TV and a beer.

I had a great time last night at FCF ladies' night. Hope we do it again soon and even more can make it! I only stayed an hour because I also had tickets to see B.B. King at the Boulder Theater - he didn't disappoint. Not only is he a great musician, he surrounds himself with great musicians. And he's a wonderful storyteller. It was just a great evening and I hope I'm lucky enough to see him in concert again.

So...I have a topic I want to discuss, and I want to be careful about it. It's about virtuosity in CrossFit workouts. I have noticed on several occasions someone taking a shortcut, either with form or omitting reps. It's rare that I've noticed or heard about it - we're all hurting too bad to look around during workouts. But it does become obvious sometimes. This article describes the issue in detail better than I can. I would never name names, but it disappoints me.

Everyone who comes to CrossFit works so hard and we all support each other and root each other on. It feels like a breach of trust when someone takes a shortcut. I try to never ever cheat, to never falsely represent my performance. It's the most important thing to me, more important than my time, more important than going hard or heavy, more important even than finishing. If I'm not sure I counted right, I do an extra rep. I can't imagine deliberately omitting reps. I find it hard to understand how someone, whether they are mediocre or elite, could short themselves in that way. If you take a little longer to get those last few reps or to get full range of motion, even if you come in last (and I usually do), everyone will be there helping you finish.

Don't do it. Someone will eventually notice, and it's not worth losing the respect of your friends.


Margaret said...

OK Amy I'll do a mini rant to go along with yours.

I think it's important to remind myself often why I do Crossfit.
I started Crossfit in order to become stronger, to be able to jump higher, kick and hit harder, to help me become a better martial artist. I want to be more flexible and not be as easily injured all of these are best addressed by doing all the exercises in the best possible way, full ROM, best possible form trying to constantly monitor myself to be sure that I do it right.
I try to make each workout about my performance and compare only with my past performances. This is why I am an obsessive record keeper.
In order to do this I do like starting each time in the same place say when we do Tabata This or some other such WOD.
However, I cannot be worrying about what the person next to me during a WOD is doing, if their chin didn't go over the bar or their push ups aren't perfect etc.
When I'm instructing and come around to encourage full ROM it's because I believe it is the best way to increase your performance as an athlete, even if your time goes down. Time in any specific days WOD isn't nearly as important as overall trends. Those that 'cheat', don't do full ROM, pretend that they can do HSPU so that they can say that they did a WOD Rx'd, when really they should be doing one of the progressions to get the ROM. Are, in the end, cheating them selves. Which is trite to say and I suppose if someones goal is just to be the 'best in the gym' then maybe they're satisfied.
But I want air when I learn to do jumping side kicks. If I ever have to defend myself I want to hit hard and hurt that person so badly they won't get up. I won't be able to do that if I cheat, I would be cheating my future. I would fail the why I do Crossfit test.

Amy said...

Thank you for sharing that Margaret. Very good points. I'll have to hit you up for a guest post one of these days!