5 Life Lessons that CrossFit Has Taught Me

Written by: Coach James

Those that have been doing this thing with us for some time now may have noticed that there is more to what we do in the gym than the physical demand. The mental aspect to training is just as great. It provides a release, but it also teaches us things about ourselves. So, here are my personal lessons that I have learned through CrossFit and training!

Lesson 1: It’s not about what others are doing. 

This was a big lesson for me. Coming from a sports background with a competitive nature it’s hard for me not to compare. I always had the tendency to compare myself to other people and what they are doing and how they are doing it. From people within the gym as well as elite athletes found throughout the world on social media. The thing with comparison is it leads you down a steep path to self destruction, because the thing is we are all our own people. No one is the same and neither is anyone’s journey. We all start in different places. We all have different fitness levels, capacities, skills, etc. That’s the beauty of training, to build and to work on improving those things. That’s why it doesn’t matter where you are compared to someone else, it’s your journey, it’s your goals, the focus is how you are going to get where you want wherever that is. 

Lesson 2: One Step at a time.

When something seems so insurmountable or impossible to overcome, take a deep breath and take one step at a time. I learned this lesson through the various amounts of workouts I have been through. The Murph is a great example, I did it for the first time unpartitioned last year meaning I did my 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, and 300 air squats in a row with a 20lb vest. For those that have done this, know the feeling of seeing that size of a set and the pressure it places. Whether it’s Murph or some other workout I am sure you have had this feeling before. That’s why we take a step back and remember it’s all about one step at a time. Whether life hits you with some insurmountable situations or you’re facing a tough workout and that overwhelming feeling is encroaching, remember to breathe and focus on just one step at a time.

Lesson 3: Consistency is King.

I know this one sounds like a broken record for most of you, but it’s just the truth. When it comes to training or anything in life, nothing is going to be better than creating consistency around whatever you are doing. Too much thought goes into the instantaneous production when the truth is that’s not how it will work. I learned this when I started CrossFit, for those that know Seth is a fairly fit guy and I love competing when the time comes and so when Seth and I would workout he’d crush me. So, I tried to find ways I could improve my fitness level and skills to match Seth’s instantaneously. The reality hit hard when I wasn’t even close to catching him on those days we worked out and that’s where I stepped back and just focused on training 6 days a week and doing the things I needed to do. It’s not till now that I look back and see how that consistency has paid off. My fitness is 100x better than where it used to be and I am able to do cool things like muscle ups, handstand push ups and walking, all because I was consistent. It’s been three years worth of doing the things I needed to do to get where I am now. Nothing happens instantly, losing 30 lbs doesn’t happen overnight, gaining 20 pounds on your lifts doesn’t happen in two weeks, getting your first pull doesn’t happen after one strength session, all these things require consistency. The consistent effort over time compounds into your progress and success.

Lesson 4: Fall in love with the Process not the Outcome

This lesson goes hand and hand with consistency, but what I mean by this lesson is if you fall in love with the outcome and not the process it doesn’t make things as enjoyable. When I was in the sport of powerlifting that’s where I was at. I would squat, bench, and deadlift twice a week and to increase my strength and numbers. That was the only thing I was focused on: more weight, more numbers each week and eventually I got burnt out because all I was focused on was the outcome, the heavier bench, squat, and deadlift. What CrossFit has taught me is to fall in love with the process, meaning falling in love with the training. This came from the vast amount of skills within this methodology and because of that I fell in love with training these things to create the outcome. That way when the outcome or results come they are even sweeter!

Lesson 5: Sometimes it is going to be tough.

I imagine most of us have experienced this by now, but some workouts are tough. Whether it’s something we don’t like to do, we are not good at, or just challenging in general we have experienced those moments. Let me tell you these are my favorite moments personally. What this has taught me is to be better accepting when things are challenging in life, because the reality of it is sometimes stuff hits the fan and life throws some things at you, but what these workouts have taught me is that I am capable of enduring and coming out the other side. These moments have shown me I am strong. It has also given me the ability to find comfort in the uncomfortable.

I could continue with this list, but it’s important to sometimes see how much growth you have gained through what we do at the gym, not just physically, but mentally as well. It’s a cool thing to look at and it’s the gains that are often overlooked!

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