Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Da_Vinci_Vitruve_Luc_Viatour
Congratulations Erin H., for completing our Elements Workshop curriculum!

Finish on your feet. One of the more ambiguous habits in CrossFit is crashing to the floor post-workout. This is not an indictment on those prone to post-workout prostration, because we have all collapsed to the ground at some time or another. Rather, the concern lies in the potential for this practice to be confused with effort and intensity. After all, if you do not end up flat on your back, you must not have worked hard enough, right? Wrong.

Each workout, day after day, poses new and different stimuli under new and different conditions. They constantly challenge the body and mind in unfamiliar ways. In addition to having discriminative aims, workouts are rarely, if ever, completed in a predictable sequence or one identical to the last time you saw them. Further, warm-ups are always unique; rest and nutrition vary from day-to-day; environmental conditions like temperature and humidity fluctuate. Even the coaches’ demeanor can change and influence performance. This means that as CrossFit-ters, our daily tasks are hard enough, without creating the expectation that when we are finished, the proper “recovery” position should resemble a supine version of DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man. It is a question of body language—non-verbal communication, if you will, between you and the coach, other athletes and most importantly, yourself.

In workouts (and in life), the importance of good body language cannot be underestimated. No matter the phase—pre-workout, mid-workout and post-workout—you have heard us say, “fix your body language,” “don’t shake your head,” “open your eyes,” “stay close to/keep your eyes on the bar,” “on your feet,” and a host of other directives. This is because posture and expression are directly linked to performance and execution. Never mind what you think you can or cannot do. If you do not at least look like you can do something, you probably will not.

Whether the mind and body are right before the workout begins is beside the point, and is sometimes arbitrary. At the very least, we should begin with good body language and finish on our feet to signal that we will not be (easily) beaten. We improve and conquer fear this way.

Finish on your feet, consider what you just accomplished and be ready to cheer those behind you.

Rest today.

–John