by Jenna Torres
When I went through the 101 course two years ago it was called bootcamp and it was 3 days a week for 4 weeks. The term had me a little nervous about what I was getting myself into. I quickly learned that this was not your typical “bootcamp”. The workouts were hard and kicked my ass, but that is not what I got out of it. The philosophy of CrossFit Hilton Head was drilled into my head. I didn’t come out of that bootcamp being able to lift a lot of weight or even really understanding the movements, I was still thoroughly confused. However, what did happen was the ideas of “work on technique”, “leave my ego at the door”, and “never quit” was drilled into my head. Those are really the only things I remember about bootcamp, except for Jeff Mayoh literally getting knocked down by the wall on his first handstand attempt, but that is beside the point.
I believe with every fiber in my being that those philosophies were more important for me to learn and remember than any of the movements. I am not sure what has happened, but I feel like those philosophies have fallen to the wayside for many of our athletes. As coaches it is our responsibility to instill these ideas in the newer athletes, but I am not talking about our newbies. I am talking about our athletes that think they know everything because they have been here a year, two years, or even 3 years. The athletes who don’t want to be coached, the ones who walk away while coach is going over what the athlete thinks are basic movements which they do not need to waste their time listening to the review for. Athletes who say “yeah yeah, whatever” or “I know” when being coached, and the ones who roll their eyes when we drill in the technique for the push-up or go over the deadlift yet again with pvc.
I read that Socrates once said “true wisdom is knowing that you know nothing.” So what does that mean? Are you supposed to act like you are stupid and don’t know anything? NO! To me it means that the people who get the most out of life and of themselves remain teachable and never think they know everything about a certain subject. Once I think I know something or I am above something, I lose the ability to learn, my mind is closed and at some point, if it has not already happened, I will not be able to move past what I think I know. I will not only quit improving but will quit evolving as well. This is not only true in life, but fits very well when it comes to CrossFit. Here, at CrossFit Hilton Head, we come to classes and we review the same movements over and over. It is very easy to think “I know”, but once that attitude arises within us we are headed for complacency and will at some point plateau.
If I knew everything about being an athlete I would not need to come to CrossFit. I would not need Craig to program for me, or for anyone to coach me, and I would not need Christy to literally tell me when and what to eat, and how much water to drink throughout the day. Now, let me be clear that what I am about to say is not meant to be shocking, but it is meant to be blunt and to the point.
As coaches we work hard to give our peeps the best coaching we know how, expecting that you are here because you want to improve and get to your highest potential. If you do not want to be coached, you want to do your own thing, or you feel bothered, at least bothered enough to walk away while coach is going over a movement, ANY MOVEMENT, than I ask… why even come to class? There are plenty of times throughout the day, and will be even more soon, where you can come to open gym and do your own thing, and not be annoyed by what you think is ridiculous or unnecessary coaching.
I am not saying classes have to be serious and strict all the time. We are here to have fun, but also here to improve. We all have our own stories. Everyone started their CrossFit journey for their own personal reasons, but I know one thing: We all started because we were looking to improve in some way some how. Why would you want that to stop? We are here to learn. Learn what? Learn discipline, perseverance, efficiency, strength, humility…etc. CrossFit isn’t for the weak, and I am not talking about the physically weak, I am talking about the mentally weak. If you let your ego and pride get the best of you, you will limit how far you can go, not just in here, but in life.
Trust me, we want you to kick ass, but we want you to kick ass efficiently and with amazing technique that not only allows you to be safe, but allows to reach your full potential. So, what is my point? Stay teachable and coachable, and if you are not, then become teachable and coachable. Learn, improve, take something from every class, and know that you don’t know, and that you are wiser for it.