First a quick question. What do the people, described in the list below, have in common? School teachers ranging in age from 23 to 59, two mothers of four, a police officer, a 55 year old ICU nurse, a couple of nursing students in their 20’s, a physical therapist, a recent marketing graduate and photographer, an optometrist, a highschool football coach, a cosmotologist, a volleyball coach, a plumbing supply saleman, a 46 year old entreprenuer and a pastor. Answer: They are normal people, in normal jobs, living normal lives, just like you. Except, they are alsoathletes who train at CrossFit FerVor in Mansfield, Texas.
Most were initially apprehensive about even trying CrossFit. They wondered if they could stand up to the challenges of the training. They wondered what they would be doing when the workout called for a movement they didn’t have the capacity to perform (pull up, rope climb, muscle up, push up, tire flips, etc). They wondered if they would look dumb, if they would be ridiculed for their lack of capacity. Again, like many of you, they were nervous and unsure about the unknown aspects of CrossFit training.
How are they different than you? They faced their fears and they took a leap of faith because they believed that this type of training would deliver results that the things they had done previously had not. They learned more about human movement, they learned about themselves, about the internal dialogue that we all deal with during times of stress, they learned how to gain capacity to do things that they had not been able to do for years (or ever). They traded their fear for curiosity. It is no longer “I can’t do that.” It is now “How do I do that?” or “How long should it take me to be able to do that?” They found an energized supportive community that helped them enjoy the process of changing to a fitter healthier person. A family of folks that provided encouragement and accountability along the way to achieving their goals.
As a person who has been both the “I can’t.” guy as well as the “I got this.” guy, I can tell you that life in the “I can do this” camp is way more satisfying. I believe that there are a number of ways that you can move away from the “I can’t” group into the “I think I can” or the “I may need some help but I feel like I can” group of people.
One of the critical points is in the language we regularly use. At CrossFit FerVor one of our rules states that if you use the word “Can’t” you must follow it with the word “Yet.” The reality is that there are things we can’t do. But that doesn’t have to be a permanent situation. Which is what the addition of the word yet reinforces in our own minds. That our current limitation is not a life sentence. This is such an important lesson for life not just in the gym. I can’t stand up paddle board, yet. I can’t jump on a 42 inch box, yet. I can’t deadlift twice my body weight, yet. I can’t get a raise at work, yet. I think you get the point.
Beyond just changing our language (and thus mindset) we need PROOF. When we have new athletes conquer a skill that has been out of their reach they are able to prove to themselves that they CAN achieve a worthwhile goal or objective with smart work, assistance, training and consistency. When an adult achieves their first Double Under, Pull up or Muscle Up, that is a feeling that is worth going through all the work again to conquer the next obstacle.
I live for the moments when I get to be a part of that experience. I am fortunate that here, at CrossFit FerVor, we have a group of ordinary people who are regulary accomplishing extraordinary things. I hope that you will get out there and conquer something that you used to say “I can’t do that.” It will change your life and your legacy.