Like lots of people who do CrossFit, I am an overachiever. I tend to turn the activities that I do for fun into stressful obligations. That is why when I get the urge to do more or to be more as a CrossFitter, I take a step back and remember that this is ultimately something that I do for health and fitness. If I feel like CrossFit is becoming just one more place where I’m putting undue pressure on myself, I go to therapy and work on accepting myself and realizing deeply that my value as a human being is not contingent upon my accomplishments.
Just kidding. What I actually do is rejigger things to fit in more CrossFit.
Recently, for example, I added some targeted CrossFit skill work to my routine. It will serve a few purposes. It will help me to improve at some of the movements that pop up all of the time – wall balls, double unders, butterfly pull-ups, etc. It will also act as an engine builder by giving me extra work in the red zone. Much of what we do in CrossFit has us working when we are gasping for air and aching to stop. Putting myself in that zone under controlled conditions outside of a WOD should help me to manage the panic and desire to stop that it brings. Basically, I’m going to practice getting comfortable when I feel like I’m about to die.
Unfortunately, this targeted skill work has crowded out my prior routine of doing 30 to 60 minutes of mobility work after a WOD. I have made vast improvements in my flexibility by doing all of that mobilizing. When I started CrossFit I was about as flexible as a 2×4. I’m not saying that I’m Gumby now, but my relative flexibility is much, much better. My toes no longer look like foreign objects existing beyond the orbit of my personal space.
So I shifted my mobilizing to nighttime. I now do it at home, after dinner, when I am otherwise wasting time watching reruns of the updated Battlestar Galactica (highly recommend it). This way I am improving my CrossFit skills while still working on my flexibility.
If this works, I will be that much closer to being the CrossFitter that I want to be. And if it doesn’t work, there’s always therapy.
ADDENDUM: For those who may be interested, here’s what I have added for skill work:
-50 wall balls with a 30 lb. medicine ball
-Butterfly pull-ups practice
-As many reps as possible (AMRAP) of double unders in 7 minutes, with no more than a 10 second break between max effort sets