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Ahh, January – that month when we hang up a brand new calendar and start at 1 all over again. That month when goals and resolutions are all the rage, compiled in lists of “to-do”s and “I always wish”s  and “This time around, I’m really gonna”s.  That month when we collectively decide to kick ourselves in the butts, buckle down, grit our teeth, and Get. It. Done.  And if we’ve gotten it done before, well, we’re gonna do it again, only better.

I love January.  I love watching people find energy, set new goals and make new commitments. There’s a sense in the air that flipping to that 1 on the calendar is like pressing a reset button: whatever came before doesn’t matter; all that matters is what you choose to do next.

Just one problem: we spend so much time thinking about what we are doing to do that we ignore the equally important question of what we’re not going to do.  For every new activity and new challenge, something else has to move to make room for it.

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2012 is behind us – and I’m happy to say those Mayans weren’t right after all.

I’m also happy to say that it’s been one hell of a year. The people who make Ganbatte what it is have grown and strengthened, both physically and mentally.  Think back to where you were this time last year – what you were doing, how you were training, what you were hoping to accomplish. I’m willing to bet you did things – a marathon, a triathlon, a fight gone bad, or even just a wall climb – that you never thought you would be able to do.


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I had a conversation with a friend who is trying to decide whether to pursue a new job opportunity.  The job offers more money than he is making right now but its also in a slightly different field than he wants to be working in.  In trying to decide whether to take the new position, my friend had decided to write his own “personal mission statement” and figure out how well the job fit in with that statement.

Talking with him made me think about the idea of being a “mission driven athlete” – someone who continually accepts new challenges and trains to meet new goals, but always with a specific purpose and consistent purpose behind those decisions. It’s similar to always knowing the “why” behind your goals, but takes it a step farther.  Knowing the “why” behind your goals is a way to keep what you’re doing in perspective – to remind yourself that training, while important and fun and awesome, is only one part of a well-rounded, healthy life.  Being a mission-driven athlete doesn’t only justify the decisions you’ve made already, it provides a framework to guide the decisions you’ll make in the future.


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Earlier this week I had an athlete crying in my office, saying she felt like a wuss.

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Last week I wrote about the Paleo challenge and the problems with focusing too narrowly on chasing numbers while participating in that challenge.  Similar problems apply to focusing too narrowly on your numbers when it comes to your strength and speed.  Crossfit will make you faster and stronger, but whether or not it will do that consistently has a lot to do with a) the goals you want to focus on through Crossfit and b) your sense of awareness of your body, and willingness to scale weights and modify WODs when you need to.

A few weeks ago, one of my athletes confided his worry that he isn’t “meant” to do Crossfit.  He had been dealing with an injury which prevented him from coming to class for a few weeks.  When he did return, he was frustrated that his numbers had dropped as a result of taking time off.  He rushed to get back to working with heavy weight and hurt himself again. He started to think of himself as injury prone, and, by extension, as someone who isn’t “good” at Crossfit.

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