The other day I was reading yet another insightful email newsletter from one of my Crossfit coaches and the following really hit home for me:
What really makes goals meaningful is making them something that really matters to YOU. Do you really care about adding 10kg to your back squat? Or would you get more drive from trying to find time in your schedule to spend an extra hour playing with your kids each weekend?Does doing the CrossFit workout “Fran” Rx really matter? Or is changing your relationship with food and ridding yourself of those weekend binges that make you feel horrible going to be better for your mental and physical wellbeing?
Your goals should be ones that will improve your quality of life should you achieve them.
I think he’s verbalised exactly why I don’t make goals like “I want to be able to back squat 100kg” or “I want to be able to do a muscle up”. Both of these things are something I would very much like to be able to do one day, and I think I will, but day-to-day I don’t think about it and I don’t beat myself up over the fact that I can back squat over 90kg so the 100 is sooooo close and “why can I not already squat that triple digit!!”
Too often I see people get frustrated by not quickly getting fast in running, or super strong in Crossfit. I hear things like “I have been trying to do a pull up for 3 months and I still can’t do one!”
I took me close to 2 years of Crossfit to be able to do a pull up.
I realised yet again that more than specific numbers and new skills, my main goal is to get just a little bit faster and stronger every week (any progress at my age 😉 is progress!) AND not get injured.
I know it’s not very specific, but I run, swim, lift and boulder and all of these things are fun for me so I won’t rush into trying to squat a 100kg if 95kg feels really wonky.
I like being cautious and not reckless, but I do know that sometimes I could push myself just a little bit more than comes naturally. So maybe you can say that my goal this year is to find the balance between being cautious and pushing myself (safely) enough to make sure I do keep improving.
When I’m running intervals, I will try to not slow down immediately when I start feeling nauseous. I can give it a minute and see if it passes.
When I’m doing a Crossfit workout and the Rx weight is only 5kg from what I know I can do without a problem, I will try to do the Rx weight. The worst thing that can happen is that I don’t finish within the time cap (or have to take some weight off mid-workout). If the Rx weight is more than 20kg from what I have done before, I will not break my back attempting it.
My quality of life will improve not by some specific number on the barbell but when I become more self-aware and mindful about my abilities and know when to push myself and when not to.