Today I completed the last CrossFit workout of the year making 2019 the 6th consecutive year that I have managed to complete 100% of the workouts programmed by CrossFit HQ.

It started at CrossFit Vancouver where we were instructed that as coaches, we should never program a workout we hadn’t tested.  Easy enough since I only programmed one week in seven.  But it quickly became clear that to coach a workout well, it really did require you to first experience it yourself.

So when we opened on Dunbar Street in 2013 I made it my mission to test the workouts before coaching them.  Only thing was, I was the only coach which meant I was coaching every workout HQ programmed.  In 2013 doing every workout programmed by CrossFit HQ did not seem possible, I’d never trained that much in a year.   I set myself a goal but didn’t believe I’d accomplish it.  I was aiming for “close enough.”

In June 2013 I missed Jackie.  It had been programmed the month before and I’d gone to a very dark place to score a big personal best on it.  I was unwilling to visit that place again only one month later quite sure I was unlikely to beat my May time just one short month later.

Later that summer I missed a 10x 100m Run.  I was sick with a terrible fever.  When you are a sole proprietor, there are no days off and no sick days.  In 2013 I worked 7 days per week, 6am to 9pm weekdays.  There was no going home between classes.  We didn’t own a car and we lived two bus rides away at Oakridge.  I built a bed of boxes and used yoga mats as blankets as I slept shivering and sweating between classes.  There would be no sprinting for me that day.  But we’d done the 10x 100m run earlier that year and it showed up again later so it never crossed my mind to make up for the one that I missed.

Not until the end of 2013 when I looked back and realized that I had almost done it.  Though I hadn’t believed it possible, I had completed every workout except for two in 2013.  I could have completed a perfect year without a missed workout if I’d only believed in myself and held myself to that standard.  I had let myself down because I had set the bar too low.  I hadn’t really believed in myself.  Kicking myself, I made it my new goal for 2014: complete every workout programmed that year!

And it went really well for the first 9 months.  I was on track until October when I foolishly tried working through a back tweak.  I didn’t know then what I know now about recovering from back tweaks so I was laid up for two weeks falling behind in the programming.  I returned slowly and gingerly, modifying workouts heavily, afraid of re-aggravating my back.   December found me still two weeks behind in the programming so, determined to accomplish my 2014 goals, I started training on make-up days and as the year end loomed, switched to two-a-days to get the WODs done.  I completed the final one on New Year’s Eve, just under the wire.  It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t easy, but I’d done it.  100% completion!

I came into 2015 now confident that I could complete another perfect year.  I’d proven to myself that even dramatic setbacks could not stop me if I was determined to achieve a goal.  This time it wasn’t even difficult to get them all done.

Then 2016, 2017, 2018.  There are always setbacks.  Injuries, illness, family issues, emergencies, work distractions, travel.  I’ve discovered that anytime you set a goal for yourself, the universe will set up obstacles to test how badly you really want it.  And I’ve learned that I can be unstoppable.  In 2019 there wasn’t even a doubt – despite significant obstacles – that I would get through the year without missing a workout.

But this isn’t really about me, it is about you.  Do you realize that you can be unstoppable too?  You may not think it’s possible.  In 2013 I didn’t realize that I could be unstoppable.  I did not believe that 100% completion was possible.  I certainly never would have guessed that anyone, could go 6 years without missing a single programmed workout.  But I have to tell you that once your mind is set, once you stop accepting excuses, it isn’t really that hard at all.

I’ll tell you what is really impressive: I’m not the only one at Empower to complete every programmed workout in 2019!

Can you guess who else achieved this goal today?

Fierce did.  Of course.  And she should be the poster girl for the definition of unstoppable.  Because Fierce completed all the programmed workouts in 2019 while pregnant for 9 months!   While raising 3 other children.  And the workouts she missed during delivery?  She’s been in the gym rest days and done two-a-days to get caught up before New Year’s Eve.

Most of us would have used pregnancy, child birth or even the care of 4 young children (one of them a new born) as an excuse to miss a workout or two (or maybe even take the year off training entirely).  Because most of us are used to giving up on our goals in the face of obstacles and adversity.  Most of us never hold ourselves to a higher standard thus robbing ourselves of the opportunity to learn that we too can be unstoppable when we put our minds to it and stop letting life’s inevitable obstacles dictate our outcomes.

Today I completed my 6th consecutive perfect year without missing a single programmed workout and I feel humbled.  What I did was easy.  The 2019 unstoppable award belongs to Fierce.  Fierce, I applaud you!  You are an example to us all.  Thank you for setting the bar higher and showing us what is possible when you are truly determined!