Tactics for CrossFit and Life

Posted: December 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

So this week I was lucky enough to attend a training class at work on leadership. I was not planning on attending because I have been swamped with work and then the morning of the training I received an e-mail from my boss’s boss and he said that he highly encouraged me to go and if I needed help clearing my calendar he would help make it work. This pretty much meant, clear you calendar because you are going. I showed up in the large conference room with a bunch of coworkers and was talking with everyone about how this was going to be a waste of time. Fast forward 4 hours and I walked out thinking, wow that was really good information. It is rare at work to come across training that is not only applicable to work, but also applicable to your life. Now I want to share with you just a couple of the highlights that I think not only are good advice for CrossFit, but your home life as well.

The first thing was set up in this context, as a group we were instructed to answer “Yes!” loudly or be silent if our answer was no to a series of questions that were being asked. The questions and everyone’s answers went something like this, “Are your customers important”, “Yes!”, “Do you care what they think”, “Yes!”, “Do you ask them for feedback”, “Yes!”, “Do you act on their feedback”, “Yes!”, “Do you ever ask your significant other what you could be doing better as a partner?” and then it was pretty much total silence. We spend so much time caring about what customers, coworkers, and bosses think, but we rarely if at all have ever ask our significant other, “What can I do to be a better husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend…..?” So I hope I am not losing you yet because I haven’t mentioned anything about CrossFit, but I promise you it is coming 😉 This really struck a chord with me and thought that is a great idea, a little awkward feeling for some weird reason, but a good idea. Then that instructor took it one step further, what about asking your kids, “What can I do to be a better parent?” He then told a story about the first time he did that with his then 11-year-old daughter. He posed the question to her and said, “Dad, you travel A LOT, but that isn’t what bothers me. When you are home you are always on the phone, answering a text, e-mailing, or watching sports. Three weeks ago I really wanted to go to a party on a Saturday and mom told me I had to stay home and spend time with you since you were home and I was really upset because I had to stay home and spend time with you and you didn’t spend any time with me.” Now if you are a parent that probably makes you feel a bit sad and question what time you spend with your kids. These are very simple questions to can ask and get real, tangible, actionable, priceless advice from the people who you actually care about. Not just once, but make it a somewhat regular practice. I will take it another step and say this is also something you can use with your CrossFit trainers. I have heard several people at different times talk about how they really want to be better but aren’t sure what to do or have a skewed view of what their weaknesses are. They also sometimes complain that a trainer isn’t working with them enough, so they can get better. Well, have you ever go up to one of your trainers and flat-out asked, “What can I do to be a better CrossFit athlete?” I bet you they will have some advice. Then it is up to you to act on that advice and hold them accountable to help you if they have said they will do so. Sometimes we dont’ see our own weaknesses and really need that outside opinion to let clear out vision.

The second piece of knowledge that I gained that I really love is simply called the Checklist. I am not going to drive into the context of how this was presented, but I will give you the information about what it is, how to use it, and why I think it is pretty powerful. The Checklist is very simple, first you need someone you can talk to preferably every day like a peer mentor, significant other, or friend. You don’t need to talk for very long, maybe just 5 minutes or so. Come up with a list of questions that have answers that are either Yes, No, or a number. An example for a question that has answer for a number is how many times did I do xyz today or on a scale of 1 to 10. Then every night get with whoever you are working with and have them ask you that questions and one of you can write down your answers to these questions. Now to the meaty part, these questions should be about things you want to change, do more of, do less of, or are important to you. Some of the questions we talked about were things like, did I spend 1 on 1 time with my kids today, did I say something nice to my wife today, did I say anything destructive to my kids today, did I says something nice to my kids today, how many times did I yell at my kids today, how happy was I today, did I work on progression toward xyz goal, did I brush my teeth, did I schedule my physical, I think you get the idea by now. Now imagine you created a list like this and used some of the questions above and lets say you got to the question about saying something nice to you wife today and the answer was no, doesn’t that seem pretty lame? Or what if at the end of the week you saw you had not spent any 1 on 1 time with your kids. It is a fantastic visual about what you are or aren’t doing that is really important to you. It is kind of like a report card that someone is holding you accountable to and it is painful to visually see that you are failing in the test that you set up for yourself. Because of this you will try much harder to get a good report card and in turn, truly be working on the things that mean the most to you. Now this one applies to CrossFit because if you have a goal of getting a muscle up and one of your questions is, did I work on muscle up progressions today and you say no everyday then you know you aren’t getting anywhere and that you need to put out more effort to make that answer a yes. My suggestion is to created a list of personal questions and then a few about things in CrossFit that you would like to improve at.

After writing this I am hoping you will try some or all of what I have written because I simply don’t think these two paragraphs do these topics justice. These are simple things you can do easily that have major ramifications to improve your life and the lives of those you love.





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