You ran a marathon? Oh, I can only run a ½ mile before I die. You deadlifted 300 lbs in that workout? Geez, I only did a measly 150 lbs. Way to go, you finished in 14 minutes! Yeah, but I only did ring rows, you did muscle ups. And the list could continue.
In the CrossFit world, this concept is called “scaling it”, aka doing less weight, a progression before a certain more complex movement, less time, or anything to make something a little easier so that you are able to accomplish the task at hand. Why on earth do we demean ourselves, as if not to be proud of the hard work we just put in. All we do is compare. Who cares what I did, what your workout partner did, or what joe shmoe down the street did!
I hear it on a regular basis, CrossFit, I could never do that! There is no way I could lift all that heavy weight. Here is a little secret, most people at CrossFit don’t lift the extremely heavy weights that you see people lifting in pictures or on TV. People lift what they are able to lift for the purpose of the workout. When people don’t scale their workouts, they quite often get hurt. Doing something you have not gradually trained your body to do is a recipe for disaster. If you are panting on the floor and you scaled the workout, congratulations, you have accomplished the goal of the workout. As the picture says above...IT'S WORKING! Don’t look over at your neighbor and for some reason think that they deserve a gold star and you don’t. Pat yourself on the back, you did it!
To make a workout safe for you to accomplish and to make a workout so that it is possible for you to accomplish is a called…smart! Do you think Lance Armstrong started with the Tour De France? Do you think Mathew Fraser, CrossFit star, started with a 500 lb deadlift or a 2:07 Fran? Do you think Simone Biles started out her gymnastics career with a double half layout, complete with full twist for her floor routine? The answer to all of these is, absolutely NOT!
Set your goal but know that there are steps before the goal is accomplished. Anyone can finish a marathon, do you know where you start? A single step. Anyone can workout in a CrossFit gym, do you know where you start? With a PVC pipe. Anyone can workout at Farrell’s, do you know where you start? A single punch to the bag. Anyone can workout at any gym, do you know where you start? Stepping your foot in the door. Be proud of where you are in your journey and let other people be excited for you. Don’t demean yourself by comparing yourself to others. Be excited about the progress you have made.
Remember, the if you get down on yourself because your buddy beside you lifted double what you did, your next thought should be, nope “I scaled it like a boss”.