The Power of Choice

The Power of Choice

Most of us have an area in our life we wish we were performing better in. That part of us that doesn’t quite fit into our own skin. It could be a touchy subject that our spouse and friends know to steer clear of, the elephant in the room. It could be the promotion you still haven’t received, the credit card you haven’t paid off, or the weight you were supposed to lose by the beginning of  summer… in 2012.


And because you’re wearing this very uncomfortable skin that’s not quite your size I am happy to tell you that you are exactly where you chose to be today.


I can already hear the objections rising up so let me explain why.


You see I totally understand your story. I understand because it’s yours, mine, and everyone else’s. Sometimes having a new baby, a busy time at work, or the worst timing for a medical emergency/broken down car/economic depression can happen. There are a million and one events in life that can derail us. They are not always fair and can seem impossible to overcome when they show up knocking at our door.


“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths.”

-Arnold Schwarzenegger


At that point we do an admirable thing. We give up on our dream. We set it aside to go fix the problem. We change our identity and become the superhero who knows exactly how to work overtime and take care of a sick parent. We do it because we want to make sure the story has a happy ending. We do it out of love.


And life goes on.


And sometimes the situation gets better. And sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, the situation that called for a superhero 6 months ago no longer needs a hero to save it. But there you stand in cape and tights committed to action. Except now it’s time to go home. Time to write a new story.


Where you stand today is a result of many choices. Some of your hero moments were the big decisions that shaped your trajectory. Like I said, I’m proud of you for doing that. But now it’s time to get back on the path. Your path. The one you stopped telling yourself that you wanted because it hurt too bad to think that it may never come true.


You might think it’s too late (it’s not).


You might want to try, but feel that you strayed too far (you haven’t).


You have to remember you have the power of choice. And it’s a good thing that you do. It gives you the power to turn your greatest adversity into your greatest strength. You always have the option to shy away or to stand and fight.


It’s time for a new story. You’re the hero and you’re at the turning point in the movie of your life. So what are you going to do next?You’ve endured hardship, learned tough lessons, and fallen time and time again. Wouldn’t this be a great time for everything to turn around?


Maybe you can recruit someone to help you get there, a long lost friend or a wise old mentor. Maybe you need to crank up “Eye of the Tiger” and experience the training it will take to achieve your success.


The time to act is now. Don’t slip back into your old story. You are the hero. The power of choice brought you here. Your choice decides what happens next.


So what are you going to do?


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Misconceptions about CrossFit

Misconceptions about CrossFit

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I started CrossFit in 2010 at CrossFit Malibu I took my level 1 before I finished my OnRamp, I started coaching 4 months later. I thought I knew everything about CrossFit then only now do i realize I had so much to learn still. While CrossFit HQ has done a great job of creating content to educate athletes, and has been doing so since early 2000’s many people still have plenty of interesting ideas about what CrossFit is about. So many athletes have not read the journal and have not yet learned the basic tenets that were laid out in those early articles coach Glassman wrote. While I won’t dive into them here. If you have not read “What is CrossFit”, “Foundations” or “What is Fitness”; i encourage you to do so. The information found in these three early articles by coach Glassman contain basically everything you need to know to improve your life and increase your fitness. In the following article I chose 3 basic ideas from these articles that are still misunderstood by the population at large and offer my own take on each 

Constantly Varied 

CrossFit workouts are always different in fact one of the primary drivers of programs success is the constantly varied nature of the work outs. However to many on the outside. The “Constantly varied” feature is perceived as randomness. This is untrue. A good coach can balance the benefits of workouts that always change in nature, time domain and modality; along with the benefits of progressive overload in a planned progression. Simply choosing truly at random what you want to do on a given day in a given work out is a recipe for stagnation and in some cases it increases the chance of injury. Vary the muscles, movements, time domains, loading, and volume but do so in a way that makes sense and progresses over time in a manageable way. This plan should also allow for recovery periods and build upon it self over a specified period of time. At Renegade Athletics we do this on a yearly basis keeping in mind new members and varying schedules. The result is that each person who maintains a basic level of consistency over the course of a year can expect see consistent results month after month and year after year. 

Men will die for points 

An old quote by Coach Glassman. It refers to our tendency at CrossFit Gyms to post our results from each work out and compare them between other members of the class or gym. Implemented properly this leaderboarding activity can serve as a great benefit pushing us when we might otherwise have stopped short of our capability. The few extra reps, pounds, or extra intensity we can gain from seeing what others have posted and know that our scores will be posted as well can lead to large increases in fitness over time as these performances are turned consistently over time. Using the scoreboard to improve our performances is good. If the scoreboard discourages, or creates envy or pushes us to cheat reps to “get a better score” then it is disadvantageous. 

For some the scoreboard is abused only concerned with having the “Top score” in the gym and not worried about making progress over time. When your work out is only “ good” if you “win” then your are in for a world of hurt in the long run and whats worse is you might turn off others and yourself in time as the competition becomes the focus of every workout instead of progress and improvement. 

High Intensity 

CrossFit is Constantly Varied , Functional Movement, Performed at High Intensity. 

We have already learned about what Constantly Varied is. Functional movement probably needs an explanation as well, however the last part of the description is perhaps the most misunderstood component of CrossFit. My favorite modification to the description is CrossFit is Constantly Varied, Functional Movement, Performed at “Relativily” High Intensity. This key word, relative, is important. It means that high intensity for one person is different than high intensity for another. This concept is in some of Coach Glassmans original journal articles he commented. “ An olympic athlete and and a grandmothers needs differ by degree not kind” This simply means that we all need similar things like squats. Grandma needs to squat to keep her mobility and quality of life an athlete needs to squat to improve performance in their chosen sport. Confusing the two leads to injury for the grandma and underperformance for the athlete. A good coach can guide each individual athlete to the appropriate dosage for them. Good athlete worry only about their dosage and not others.

In the end CrossFit is about improving work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Or put simpler making you pretty good at most things. This approach to fitness not only increase performance in sports, but in life as well. It improves you health and your mindset protecting you from chronic diseases and allowing you to enjoy life more. As coach Glass man once said “Focus on the basics, and when you have mastered those,, start over, and this time pay closer attention.”


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