The relentless pursuit of excellence, if only it weren't so tumultuous. The truth is the pursuit of fitness is very much at odds with two very real things. Reality, and expectation. Like debutantes to the coming of age of fitness. Reality and expectation set us up for many a success, and even more a failure. Perhaps thats just because our egotistical nature assumes a lot more than our physical existence can endure. Whether it be because we someone else of similar capacity accomplish it, or because patience is not our virtue, either way we seem to always be at odds with the space between our ears.
The story line goes a lot like; double unders, how hard can it be? Jump once, spin twice and repeat. For those of you who've accomplished the skill, Im sure you just laughed out loud right? Those in pursuit are doing anything but laughing. If they haven't bought every jump rope on the market yet, or watched every tutorial, or bought liters of snake oil, they surely think these are designed by the devil. Ill be honest, I'm not certain they aren't. My pursuit wasn't any less angry. I don't know how I never lasso'd and innocent bystander. So when trying to have a rational conversation or logical progression, athlete x wants to hear anything but, "practice, it takes practice". This story line plays out every day here.
Im old school, I've been kicking this CrossFit thing for a decade now, and when I had to learn things, there was only trial and error. Today theres information, suggestion, and "coaching" coming at you from everywhere. With so much information, surely skills must come faster now. They do, no doubt. My linear progressions were more akin to a stock ticker, than a bell curve. Today you all have great coaches. The constant though is practice. We can help a lot more, but we can't buy you time. 10,000 hours, thats the supposed rule of mastery. Most of you get 5 hours in and expect greatness. Saddle up punkin, its gonna be a longer ride!
Maybe your mind is still on Double Unders, but this happens with so much more. Pull ups, Muscle ups, Snatching, Hand Stand work, even running. Skill is everything here, mastery is the goal. The intention is simple, and thats to teach you virtuosity of a skill, and develop the conditioning to allow for endless repetition. Except, most of us come at this backward. Conditioning hard, and a little bit of skill. Efficiency is key.
Much of my life as a coach, both within these walls currently, my past, and when I travel is a war. Two worlds at odds. What you want, and what you need. More specifically, the easy road to a skill, or the long road. Ive always had the option to jump start a lot of you, rush you to a skill, (except maybe double unders.. you gotta pray for those) and let you bask in the immediate glory. However in my decade here, I've seen the truth. Easy come, easy go.. The long road has countless more value to you. If fitness is your goal. I mean if you just want a party trick, we can do that. If you truly want to increase work capacity, and do so over the long haul? Then we have to cover the basics. The foundations. Luckily, most of everything big and sexy, shares the same foundations. This is what the program is built upon. Developing these lead to a linear path to excellence. The last thing I want is for you to somehow arrive at pseudo excellence with a handful of glaring weakness. Trust me though, I too feel the guilt, and pain of your struggle. I want you to succeed just as fast as you want to. I also want you go even further than you think possible right now. This requires building the foundation!
The point here isn't defeat though. Its to take a step back and look at what you have done, what you have accomplished, and stop the fickle nature of only looking at what you don't have. This is a recipe for failure. Embrace your struggles, worship your victories, and welcome the pursuit.
You're better than you know, you'll see.