Finding My Weakness

January 27, 2015

photo by Charlie Mason


This weekend I competed in the NorCal Masters competition. While the field in my division consisted of only seven competitors, they were formidable: three of them were CrossFit Games athletes in 2014 and one finished in 10th place. For most of the two-day competition, I held a strong fourth place. I made the finals. But in that heat, which consisted of a succession of Power Cleans at #105 and rope climbs, I lost my game. Sure, I was spent from the eight previous events, and the lifts were at my one rep max—but they were at the high end for everyone. My competitors distinguished themselves with an ability to maintain focus and form.

I am beat up, sore, and exhausted. But I came away stronger in the long run, because my weaknesses were writ large for me, and I know what I have to train for in the coming months. I must learn to use momentum in my pull-ups—to kip them—and be able to do at least five sets of ten in rapid succession. While it was not tested this weekend, I also know that I need solid chest-to-bar pull-ups. I must improve my barbell work, so I become comfortable working at heavy weights and maintain form under pressure. From looking at videos of myself in that final heat, I can see that I had the strength to pull 105 pounds off the ground. But I failed, consistently, to get under the bar to lift it. That process is not yet fully routine, and it must be in order to compete at the level to which I aspire. And part of that failure had to do with my weak inner game. I need to find calm and grace under pressure, every time I step up to the weights.


I am going to take today as a rest day and restore my tired muscles and my spinning head. But tomorrow I will hit the gym with new resolve and focus, grateful that I was able to compete among a group of high-level athletes who helped me learn more about what distinguishes them from ordinary mortals. I will get there.

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