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Sometimes, more likely more times than not, things don’t go as you plan them to.  The weather might change unexpectedly, the economy may shift in a blink of an eye, or you may find yourself lost and not even remembering what you planned for.  An endless number of challenges will arise that you may not be able to foresee.  That’s when improvising, adapting, and overcoming come into play.  We humans are masters at that.  But, we are also creatures of habit and we don’t like change.  The reality is that we don’t have to like it, but we better be able to accept it, because change is the only constant in this world.

Very few people are able to develop a clear vision of their goals and how to obtain them.  Even less have the courage and conviction to pursue them.  Beyond that, what I feel separates those that are able to achieve success and those that are not, is the ability to embrace obstacles and be flexible in finding new ways around them.  You are all already doing that be committing to this lifestyle.

The next time your in a workout that didn’t go as planned, tell yourself “Welcome to the New Plan.”  We are all on a journey of constant improvement, and that means constant change.  Everyday in the gym is an opportunity for you to train your ability to embrace change.  All you have to do is make sure you’re heading in the right direction; if you get lost, you have a whole community to help you out.

Main Group Workout
“Linda” (aka 3 bars of death)
In groups, complete for time:
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of:
Deadlift, 225 (185/95)
Floor Press, 155 (95/65)
Clean, 115 (75/42)

041011 Linda

Another one of my TKD Master’s lectures (dang, I walked away from TKD with a lot more than I thought I did) involved looking in the mirror everyday and smiling at yourself. It was an exercise to develop self-confidence and a positive mind. It sounded pretty cheesy to me back then and it still does now. But the lesson I took away from the lecture is something I still use today.

CrossFit builds upon this lesson and what CrossFit forces you to do, is make an honest assessment of your capabilities. By using just a pen, paper, and a stopwatch, you can record your daily efforts and track trends. Your weight, the weights you lifted, and how fast you can complete the lifts and tasks can all be recorded. From there, you can see imbalances. I can only shoulder press 135lbs compared to my 300lbs deadlift. It shows that my upper body strength is not as dialed in as my lower body, something I need to work on. My 5k times are in the mid 19′s, most conditioned athletes are in the mid 18′s, another thing I need to work on. The list can go on and on, but the point is that by measuring and recording, you can honestly and accurately know where you are. Look at where you are, and smile, because at least you know where you need to go.

Can you do the same thing and analyze where you are professionally, financially, and more importantly, morally? You may be able to gauge where you’re at professionally and financially by using money as a main indicator, but are you ready to see the actual condition of your cash flow? There is bliss in ignorance, but there’s also a whole lot of other stuff that comes with it as well. Are you strong enough to want to see the truth? Then, can you discern what the truth is from what you want it to be?

When it came to morality, what I think my master was alluding to was to be happy with who you are. I took this as not doing anything that will make it hard for you to look at yourself in the mirror. Shame, guilt, anxiety, anger, grief…are all things that make you want to look away, because it’s easier to not see things you don’t like about yourself than having to deal with it. But, facing your true self in the mirror is the first step.

Every morning, as I go through my routine to get ready for work, I look at myself in the mirror and ask myself questions like:

“Are you going to be the best human being you can be today?”
“Are you going to be the best husband, son, brother, uncle, friend?”
“Are you satisfied with what you’re doing and where you’re going?”
“Did you try your best?”
“Are you happy with who you are?”
“Are you one sexy beast?” (hey, you know you do it too =P)

Most of the time, the answer is “Yes”, but there’s always going to be times when the answer may be a “No”. Whether it’s about working out, dieting, problems at work, problems in the family, it’s in these moments that you need to look through the mirror and into the heart of who you are.

There, there’s no pen or paper, but only an inner voice that usually speaks the truth. I try to listen to this inner voice, because it’s usually telling me what’s wrong from what’s right, and it leads me to what I should be doing or what I need to change. It’s a very small and quiet voice that’s often ignored or droned by other distractions, because the truth doesn’t need to be loud, it’s just the hardest thing to listen to.

Who do you really see when stepping in front of the mirror?