The Journey to Better

We all have our interests in life, certain things we enjoy more than anything else.  Maybe you are passionate about an activity or hobby.  You read, watch and listen to everything you can about it.  Maybe you are one of the lucky few that love their job.  You shoot out of bed every day ready to get after that project you have been working on for days, weeks, months, maybe even years.  You’re striving to complete, get better or continue this great thing that interests you.

Stop and think for just a moment about this activity or hobby.  Think about where or how you started.  Maybe you were terrible at first.  Maybe you were just alright.  Maybe you were good.  Now ask yourself this question, am I still terrible? Am I still just alright?  Am I still good?  

Somewhere along the way you went from terrible to bad, alright to okay, good to great.  You had terrible days, bad days, good days and great days.  There was progress, then no progress maybe even a step back or a detour along the way. 

CrossFit has been my number #1 interest for the last 3 years.  For me personally it has given me many examples of being able to go from terrible to great.  Not to sound cliché, which obviously means that I am but oh well, if I don’t reach greatness at least I am somewhere further away from terrible.

I love this journey I have been on.  I have learned more about my physical and mental well-being in the last three years than I had in the first 27 years of my life.  I learned that I can overcome certain physical shortcomings by actually putting in the time and energy into actually fixing the problem and not just ignoring it.

No, I am not talking about my thinning hair, or the shoulder, “limitation is my left shouldah”, pain that I felt for years.  As some of you know and the ones that have known me the longest know this all too well.  Sean could not hold a barbell over his head and squat.  Yes, Sean can back squat and deadlift a fairly decent amount of weight.  However, if you put a PVC pipe, let alone a barbell, over his head he will fall over like the one legged man in the ass kicking contest.

Yes there are many other things that I can do with ease, now, as compared to when I first started CrossFit, lets go through the list.

“Double unders” - I never thought I would get them.   I bought my own jump rope and would practice before and after class and boom, double unders, piece of cake.  

“Kipping pull ups” - How the f*ck does that even work?  Active shoulders, Superman, hollow hold, kip got it. I’m good what’s next? Oh you want me to butterfly them? Word, got that to.

“Hand stand push up” - I cannot kick up to a wall, nor have I been upside down since I was a kid in the pool.  Okay, I’ll work on my strength by doing handstands on a box for a few weeks and maybe do some negatives once I learn how to kick up on a wall.  Wow, doing handstand pushups on a box blows, maybe I’ll just go to the wall and do negatives.  Okay now I got handstand push ups.  What is next?

“Muscle Up” False grip, kip swing a few times, pull and sit through really hard.  Done.

“Overhead Squat” - Okay Seany, here take this PVC pipe put it over your head and squat...  Go F yourself! 

The overhead squat is my arch nemesis.  It has been one of the more challenging things to overcome because in order to actually be able to do it I had to put in a lot of time and effort.  I was not able to simply practice overhead squat for a few days and then walk into CrossFit Conshohocken and complete “Nancy”(5 Rounds for time – Run 400 Meters, Overhead squat 95 pounds, 15 reps.)

So many things were off.  Overhead positioning, shoulder mobility, hip mobility, squat mobility, you name it I had none of it.  There was a lot of work to be done.  I worked on my shoulder mobility by doing wall slides, mashed out my lats and traps with the foam roller and lacrosse ball.  I would practice overhead squatting by holding a PVC pipe overhead and squat to a 24 inch box then 20 inch box. For the first two years I would do anything to help improve my overhead squat and progress was slow.

In February 2014, it was Squat Therapy month, and every day in class we did something that would improve overhead squat.  It was a great boost to my confidence and I was able to practice every day.  By this time I had been doing Crossfit for nearly 2 years and was able hold a barbell over my head and do a full overhead squat.  It may not sound like a lot of progress but I was light years ahead of where I was when I first started - evidence was there that I was improving.

Rather than telling you a story of the day I was finally able to overhead squat actual weight on a barbell.  I want you to think about yourself.  Think of when you actually had to put a lot of time and effort into something.  This does not have to be something Crossfit related…. 

Are you done thinking yet? Good cause I have to move on, just kidding.  

Seriously though, have you worked on something for a few days or weeks only to drop it?  I bet we all have.  Nothing wrong with that , you’re only human and life happens and you move on to different things or other things peak your interest.

What I am trying to say is whether you have something you are trying to accomplish however insignificant or life changing, every journey is different.  Some are short and easy, some are long and hard, others may move so slow it takes your entire life to accomplish.  Whatever it is you are doing in life always try and improve.  Progress maybe slow but know this, you are getting better than you were before.