Wednesday night I completed the last WOD programmed by CrossFit HQ for the year 2020 marking my 7th consecutive year without missing a single programmed WOD. You would think that with all the closures 2020 would have been the most difficult year to accomplish this goal but surprisingly, it was one of the easiest. Here are some of the reasons why accomplishing this task felt easier than normal:
1) Part of it is just habit of course. When something becomes a habit you just don’t feel complete until it is done. For example, I bet you rarely feel motivated, inspired or excited to brush your teeth. But you do it anyway (or at least I hope that you do!) After 7 years completing every programmed WOD, it is just a habit, like brushing my teeth. I rarely feel excited or inspired to workout, to the contrary, I usually look forward to getting the workout finished and putting it behind me. But, like brushing my teeth, I do not feel complete until I have got it done.
2) Part of it was a return to my roots. Being locked out of the gym and having no exercise equipment apart from my rock and my book-stuffed backpack recalled to me the early days. When I started CrossFit in 2005 there was no CrossFit gym in Langley where we lived. For the first three years I had to improvise WODs in my basement or garage or yard with the limited equipment I had available to me. Later, in 2012 when we toured the world aboard ship, upon train and in our RV, we had no equipment and had to get our WODs done in playgrounds, campgrounds and even bathroom stalls (true story!) We used cases of water, backpacks and even each other to substitute for barbells, kettlebells and dumbbells. So March and April 2020 served as a nostalgic reminder of our roots and that though it is fun and convenient to have access to a well-equipped gym, our fitness is neither dependent upon nor limited by it. It was fun to get out of the gym, throw around some logs and rocks, tumble in the park, hang off a tree branch and get some sunshine. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the seriousness of training we can forget that we’re training so we can continue playing. 2020 was a big reminder to just play and have fun with it. It doesn’t have to be RX’d, it doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to keep on moving.
3) The third reason was there were far fewer distractions. With no CanWest Games, Team Series, Lift Off or CrossFit Open competitions all my energy was directed at just getting the WODs done. There was little extra conditioning work to be done, no off site competition events to attend. And because of this, far fewer injuries. Competition pushes our bodies to our athletic thresholds and being banged up sure makes it harder to get the WODs done. And a lot less enjoyable. With no competition pressure and no major injuries to contend with my training was more relaxed and enjoyable than in years past. With fewer specific training goals this season I was free to enjoy the process of training a bit more.
I’m as happy as anyone to put 2020 behind me but I have to admit the year provided me with some profound and positively impactful insights that will inform my approach to life and training in coming years. In 2021 I will look to make it 8 consecutive years without a missed WOD. As I said, by now it is just a habit and my year won’t feel complete without it. But I am also going to put an emphasis on play. We’ve already registered a Spartan Race team for October. And I’ll be looking for a lot more opportunities to get outside the box and have some fun. Sure that will include competing in the CrossFit Open in March and hopefully the CanWest Games in the spring but unlike previous years, my focus will be less on performance and more on enjoyment. This doesn’t mean I won’t try to beat Sandman, I just expect to have a lot more fun doing it! Thanks 2020, lesson learned, now let’s get on with 2021!
No equipment required but please have some pull up alternatives prepared.
1 min Hanging Hold
1 min Deadbugs
1 min Windshield Wipers
1 min Bird Dogs
1 min Judo Push Up Rock
1 min Ring Rows
T2B or Lying Hip Raises
GHD Sit Ups or V-Ups
Pull Ups or Jumping Pull Ups
Strict Pull Ups or Ring Row variants
Bar MU or C2B+Ring Dip or Judo Push Up
40 GHD sit-ups
20 strict pull-ups
10 bar muscle-ups