It won’t be surprising to hear that I will continue to champion the virtuosity of dedication as long you all will keep reading. The never-ending search for the secret sauce leads many down rabbit holes like fancy supplements, secret equipment, or even our main export here at Misfit Athletics: programming. But at the end of the day, there’s something to the vulnerability attached to dedication. This idea that you will totally surrender your time and resources to something with a highly unknown outcome is scary, and could have a lot more to do with why you want to invest less of yourself than this idea that you’re scared of hard work. That being said it’s important for me to point out from time to time that I see all of you out there ignoring the noise and keeping your head down in the real world. A world where resolve trumps pageantry. You belong to an elite crew of renegades that would rather accept responsibility for your outcomes than hand them off to something or someone else. To those of you that have connected your blood sweat and tears in the shadows to success in the spotlight: I tip my cap to you. To those of you still wondering why your hard earned capacity has yet to reveal itself on a big stage: keep reading.
This concept of vulnerability really comes down to exposure more than anything. A lot of you have been no stranger to hard work throughout your life, and refocusing that skill on something like CrossFit probably felt like second nature. These competing forces suggest that you care more about proving yourself to others than embodying the mental and physical attributes that describe the athlete you’re capable of being. Every time our season officially kicks off with the Open, you are presented with another fork in the road where you’re given an opportunity to turn the noise down and just do what you do. Or you can veer down that other road again where the noise is so loud that you forget even the simplest of truths about yourself.
If there’s one straightforward thing I’m asking for here it’s that you realize the freedom of putting yourself out there. If you’ve got a specific goal this Open, put it out there. Let it be known that your multi-year long devotion to this sport was in fact on purpose and you intend to show it off. This will free you from the madness of fiending for tips and tricks for some of the simplest workouts you’ll do all year. It’s the same movements every single year, and just like the other 300+ workouts you’ve done since the last open, it probably doesn’t make sense to use up all of your energy at the beginning, nor does it pay to turn continuous workouts into EMOMs or put yourself into a box with limiting strategy.
If we jump back up to the beginning of this rant, you get to see yourself in one of three groups. The first is those that represent the formidable combination of consistency and execution. You simultaneously inspire and keep shit very real. The second is the group that has yet to free themselves from empty expectations to really see what they’re made of. The quote that comes to mind when I think of this group goes something like “I already know what giving up feels like. I want to see what happens if I don’t.” Use the Open as a measuring stick for what an unprepared version of yourself can accomplish, and then grin at the possibilities of where a full season of dedication could take you. Last but not least is the group I wrote this article for, the warriors that just spent another year in the trenches, doing all of the right things, making the same sacrifices as the best of the best, but are still wondering if they can bring it when the cameras turn on. I’m here to tell you that it’s time to turn that outside noise all the way down. To tell you that going into your body and out of your head is the answer. The nerves will be back, but their only function is to remind you that you give a shit. Once you accept that it becomes a healthy dose of adrenaline, and that coupled with the mean machine you are is one hell of a pairing.
Written by Drew Crandall