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Practice Makes Possible

What’s the one move you despise Matt for programming into a WOD? Come on. There has to be one thing that makes you instantly dread the next day at the box when you see it on the website. I’m willing to bet many members of the SCF family had that feeling when “Annie” showed up on the whiteboard last week. Nothing but those pesky double unders and a whole lot of sit-ups.

Whether it’s pull-ups, box jumps, HSPUs or double unders – what is it about certain moves that make us throw the towel in before we even hear 3…2…1… GO?

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Chances are, whatever came to mind as I asked the question isn’t what showcases you at your best. I’ll go on record and admit handstand push-ups are my current nemesis. Why? I suck at them. Nothing says ‘confidence booster’ like pushing as hard as possible to get yourself halfway up and then crashing head first onto an ab mat. I’m pretty sure Cirque du Soleil won’t be banging my door down any time soon.

If there is one thing that I have learned since starting here at SCF, it’s this: practice makes possible.

Notice that I didn’t say practice makes perfect.

We don’t like these moves, because we don’t like feeling like we’re bad athletes. Nobody wants to walk out of the gym feeling discouraged. So what do you do about it? Do the difficult moves until they become easy. Then scale it up. Progress is an accomplishment in and of itself. Many of us will forget that at one time or another.

Too many times I have experienced and observed the frustration that we all go through with that jump rope. It’s simple, right? All you do is jump once and twirl twice. This should be cake. Yet somehow, 3 measly minutes of practice leave some painful evidence on your arms and legs that you fought the jump rope, and the jump rope won. That stupid thing stung both your ankles and your ego.

If you want to get better at something you’re not the best at, just keep doing it. If you hate double unders, keep doing them. In July, I found myself on vacation at an open gym at Trailhead CrossFit in Golden, CO doing nothing but jumping rope. My previous record was 15 DUs at that point, and I wasn’t leaving until I strung together 20. Brian, the owner, looked at me and said never had he seen someone jump rope for that long voluntarily. I was on a mission. If 15 were possible, then so were 20. I practiced until I made it possible. It took me an hour.

Shoutout to both Andy Hawley and Tony Ruggiero, who I consistently see practicing their DUs in the corner. I’m sure they don’t like getting snapped in the ankles any more than I do, but those are 2 guys putting in the extra few minutes after class doing something that they don’t enjoy. Lindsey, our toughest mudder, is always hopping on the bar to get more pull-ups in after each WOD. That’s determination.

Perseverance pays off. Practice makes things possible.

Sorry to sound like a motivational poster, but it’s the truth. That first 2-mat handstand push-up I did last week is proof.

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  1. Practice + Perseverance = Progress | Gone Paleo (With the Occasional FAILeo)

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