Getting fit and making CrossFit a regular part of your world is not easy. It can be challenging both physically and mentally. It forces you to face some pretty harsh realities. Realities some people would prefer to go their whole lives without ever addressing.
I’ve been submerged into this community for a while now. I’ve noticed that people who are successful are a unique type of person, and it has nothing to do with their athletic background or genetics.
Here are four things I’ve seen successful athletes at CrossFit St. Charles doing:
They are in for the long haul
Even if what brought you through our doors was a short-term goal (lose 10lbs, do a tough mudder, get jacked for a wedding, etc), you eventually learn that fitness isn’t about a 30-day commitment. You stop looking for quick fixes. Now don’t get me wrong…there’s nothing wrong with a short-term challenge goal! They can jump-start us or get us out of a rut. However, to have long-term success and long-term results, you have to find a way to cultivate and keep new habits for the long haul.
They are learners
“Be a learner” is a core value at my kid’s elementary school and it’s a core value in the life of successful people. Sure, we tell you exactly what to do at CrossFit and you don’t have the think too terribly much. That’s one of the perks! However, when you come to class, we would rather be teachers than drill sergeants. We expect that you’ll ask questions and be curious about the why. When you learn more about why you are doing things, you approach it with greater intention and get a lot more out of it.
They use performance to measure progress
Almost everyone would love to see six-pack abs or big biceps when they look in the mirror… but let me tell you, I recently spent some time with my husband’s 84-year-old Grandma and she was most proud of her ability to put her bags in the overhead compartment on a plane without help. And when you’re 84 I suspect you’ll be mostly interested in your ability to get out of a chair on your own or go swimming with your grandkids.
Losing weight is not the mission of your life.
Healthy weight for you is what you weigh when you’re able to do the things you love to do with ease and joy. After that, how thin do you need to be?
HOWEVER! Learning to do a rope climb, clean a barbell beautifully, or do push-ups is so fun! AND a very validating use of your body!
Take a look around you. The fittest people you know in REAL LIFE (not Instagram) are athletes, not fitness models! They’re doing real sports and living real active lives.
Unless your job is to look good on social media, it’s really hard to stay motivated long-term with just the goal of losing weight or improving your physical appearance. Focus on improving what you and your body can DO. You might SEE physical changes that make you proud, but more importantly fitness will stay interesting and fun when you measure it with performance.
They make the practice more important than the results
The first thing we tell new people after they complete foundations is, “Sign up for class and SHOW UP for class!” They often walk in with long-term goals, like 50lbs of weight loss. We try and replace a newbie’s top goal with the goal of a 3 times a week CrossFit practice.
Humans are wired for immediate gratification. This is why big long-term goals like weight loss can be tricky. So how do we go about long-term goals? We realign our goals for short-term gratification. If your goal is showing up 3 times a week, you get immediate gratification each time you complete a class because you’re achieving your goal.
Once you establish practices you can start to stack some more habits in. Eating to function and feel better, sleeping more, 4 days a week of training, etc… Each of these habits is celebrated and have launched you forward a step. Before you know it, you’re at your long-term goal. So stay in it for the long haul with short-term goals and consistent practices.