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A year or so, one of my athletes had a bad race about halfway through what was a pretty good training streak. He’d been working hard, monitoring his nutrition and slowly but surely getting faster and stronger. All signs were pointing toward his meeting his goal with no problem. Then he had a bad day. He cramped up during a race he was doing as part of his training and took longer to finish than he expected.

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Now that I’ve been doing these blog posts out for over a year I’ve noticed they fall into different categories. There are those that I can’t wait to write, churn out pretty quickly, and that squarely hit the nail on the head in terms of what I’m trying to say.  There are those that take a little more tweaking, but still manage to get reasonably close to saying something clear and interesting. And then there are those that are, for lack of a better term, “meh.” They don’t suck. They’re… fine. They’re functional. They have a point, but they don’t have oomph. They’re not my best.

I accept that “meh” posts are bound to happen from time to time. I also accept that they annoy the hell out of me. While “mehs” are inevitable, it’s important not to shrug them off or accept them without reflection. If you subscribe to the philosophy of doing your best, you have to be clear-eyed enough to honestly assess why you may sometimes fall short.

We encounter this in training all the time. I oftentimes hear athletes express frustration or disappointment after workouts when they know, at their core, that they could have done better. I should stress that by “better” I don’t necessarily mean “faster” or “with crazier weight.” We can’t go at 100% intensity all the time. Just as a “meh” blog post is a post that doesn’t quite express what it means to, a “meh” workout is one in which the athlete doesn’t use that training session to it’s full potential. That potential might be to build strength or endurance, or to taper in preparation for something else.

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Every couple of weeks a similar scene plays out at the gym. An athlete is trying to master a skill – perhaps trying to clear a certain weight. I watch closely, with other gym members possibly taking notice as well. The athlete gets nervous with the attention, tries the weight, and fails. “I can’t think straight with you all watching me!” s/he insists. We turn around. A moment later, the athlete clears the weight with no problem.

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Last weekend I spent an irritatingly long period of time sitting on the freeway behind a car with a Crossfit license plate holder. When I spend too much time in traffic my mind tends to wander to weird places, and staring at the phrase “Forging Elite Fitness” while waiting for an accident to clear brought many questions to my mind. Specifically, I started thinking about the difference between Crossfit HQ’s tagline and Crossfit Ganbatte’s tagline – and what that difference says about CFG.

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