Things I Wish I Knew 10 Years Ago

Hindsight is a b**ch. But, it’s also a valuable lesson if you can learn from it. There are a lot of things I wish I had known back when I first started CrossFit over 10 years ago, and had I known at least two or three of them from my list below, I probably could have avoided some (not all) heartaches, major failures, and even injuries.

Things I Wish I Knew 10 Years Ago:

  • The comparison game is destructive and useless in your personal fitness journey. Stop looking at your neighbor’s barbell, and stare down at your own. You are your best project you will ever work on!

  • Scale, scale, scale, and slowly learn how to execute your workouts depending on the day’s WOD. Know your strengths and weaknesses. And, when in doubt, go lighter in weight! A great problem to have is to crush the workout and wishing you went 10-20 pounds heavier, versus going too heavy, getting a horrible time, and tweaking your back. You can always go a little heavier the next day. It’s easier to add later. The ego, however, will reject scaling.

  • Strict before kipping. Kipping before butterfly. And, even after you achieve all three, always, always, ALWAYS keep working and building upon strict movements.

  • You’re never “done.” There will always be another level to move up to. Always. Fitness is a journey, not a destination.

  • “Rx” is completely arbitrary and does NOT mean you are “fit” or “done.” And, it definitely does NOT mean you are “fitter” than anyone else not doing the workouts “Rx.” It was also originally designed for the sport of CrossFit so that standards could be consistent. So, unless you plan on training for the Games, or at the very least local competitions, quit worrying about a label that has absolutely nothing to do with your fitness journey and personal accomplishments.

  • Scaling goes down AND up. Pull ups can be scaled to banded, jumping, and ring rows, but they can also be scaled to chest-to-bar and weighted vest.

  • Nutrition is even more important than your workouts. If you’re eating like sh**, no amount of working out will fix that. You can’t outwork your crappy diet. And please, stop using food as punishment and reward. You are not a dog. Food is fuel.

  • Technique before intensity and volume. Practice makes permanent, so if you try to add weight before you’ve truly mastered the Clean technique, you’re going to reinforce bad movement patterns, which leads to, you guessed it, injuries and bad habits that are super hard to break. Learn it right the first time!!!

  • It’s just exercise. Sometimes, we can get too worked up over a WOD or lift. While it is important to have goals and work hard, don’t let it consume you. It’s just exercise. ;-)

What would you add to this list?!

Kara PurvesComment