Thursday, August 12, 2010

I don't care about numbers anymore

More knitted fruit via Whip Up

Yesterday's WOD:


Snatch 1-1-1-1-1

65-70-75-80-failed on 85

then a few squat snatches at 65#

(skipped the WOD due to some back pain)

Today's WOD:

Back squat 3-3-2-2-1-1-1

115-125-130-135-140-145-155

then

21-15-9 reps for time of:

Row (calories)
Push jerk 55#

My time: 7:02.

Last night I worked on chest-to-bar pull-ups and they felt really strong. I even got a belly-to-bar pull-up or two. Maybe I should forget the rings and try a bar muscle-up. Although today they weren't so easy. So it goes...

I don't care about numbers anymore

I've decided I don't care about numbers anymore. I'm worn out from setting goals and not making them. I'm tired of writing x-x-x-x-failed on x under my weightlifting workouts. I'm tired of looking at my time on the board and seeing how many people beat me. The reason I work out is to be healthy, fit, and lean. I achieve all of those goals. It is not fun to go into the gym with overwhelming anxiety about whether I'm going to hit a certain number. Honestly, who cares if I can snatch 80# or 85#? If I can clean and jerk 110# or 115#? No one cares, and no one should care, it's just an arbitrary number. I realized this last night when I tried several times to snatch 85, failed, and for the first time, didn't care.

I've pushed myself and made the improvements I could based on motivation and learning the basic movements. Improvements now will just come with improved coordination and strength, which are very, very slow things to gain, especially two years into a training program. Heck, I might not see any more improvements. From now on, I officially don't care if I get any better at anything according to the numbers. That doesn't mean I won't keep working, but I'm not setting performance goals. Instead I'll focus on my qualitative experience. Am I able to do unbroken sets in a WOD? Am I getting full range of motion on every rep? Am I engaging the right muscles? Am I moving smoothly? Am I making my body healthier and not breaking it down? Am I being a good workout buddy, providing support and encouragement for the people around me? Am I happy? I hope I can get to the point where I don't even KNOW that I got a PR.

If anyone reading this post is new-ish to CrossFit, I'm not saying that number-based goals are a bad thing. They are great for pushing yourself and making progress. It's just that at some point, when you stop making consistent progress on those goals, it can overwhelm you with anxiety and feelings of failure. That's when it's time to take a step back and say, you know what, I'm doing plenty. Sometimes limits are just limits. And if you're hitting them, there's nothing more you can ask of yourself.

Today I didn't care about the numbers. And I had a great time.

2 comments:

primalpainter said...

Yay for focusing on quality, Amy! I completely understand where you're coming from. I agree that numbers and even goals in and of themselves aren't a bad thing at all - especially when you are just starting out they provide excellent benchmarks and can be an exciting way to measure progress, or test how far you're able to push yourself. But eventually you get to a point where you have established some mastery and the gains aren't as dramatic or consistent as you may be used to. It makes perfect sense to shift focus or set different kinds of goals, at least for a little while. In fact, that may be crucial to keep motivation high.

Let's face it: even if we live to be 90 life is short and if you can't enjoy (mostly) yourself while you're learning/growing/developing/improving, what's the point really?

Oh, and also: awesome about the belly-to-bar pullup. That must have been exciting!

rosanne said...

Ah! a serioius breakthrough! I am so happpy to see your mind is in a much healthier place with CrossFit. You are an amazing gal and truly an inspiration to others. Great job Doc!