by Michael Plank
The self-made man? Self-made woman? It’s a myth. Or at least not something aspirational. The best performers in athletics, business, finance, military, you name it… all have teams. Even in individual sports, athletes have mindset coaches, strength coaches, hitting coaches, and fielding coaches.
When people join our gym, our goal – in short – is to make their lives better. We help them do that with fitness (which includes nutrition). But fitness is only one piece of the puzzle. There’s also faith. There’s also family. There are also friendships. There’s also psychology.
We’ve already talked about how valuable coaching is, and complete health involves fitness coaching for sure. But it also probably involves a spiritual advisor, and solid family relationships (biological or not), and friends in whom you can confide, and a therapist, and a doctor, and a financial advisor.
What we encourage people to do (and what we’re encouraging you to do as you’re reading this right now) is to build your team. The different areas of your life have different needs. (As much as I love hearing how meaningful our gym is for people, the truth is that CrossFit is not therapy. Therapy is therapy.) Get your fitness coach, your spouse (or siblings or parents or cousins), your best friend(s), your spiritual advisor, your therapist, your doctor, and your financial advisor. Tell them what you need and then let them help you.
It can seem like an overwhelming project, but the great news is that once you get those people lined up, it means that you don’t have to do it all yourself. You are only as smart as your own brain. And when you can get other brains in the mix, whole new worlds can open up to you. Those people who can help you are out there. And when you get your team in line, magic can happen.
(PS Obviously we’d love to help you with your fitness coaching. And we’ll put in a plug here for a great therapist too).
by Michael Plank
Maybe more than ever before, people are realizing how incredibly important good health is. Even before COVID-19, rising rates of chronic disease were causing doctors to raise alarms all over the world. Basically everyone knows that to be healthy (or healthier), you need to move your body and give it nutritious food. But if that’s all it takes, why do people still struggle?
There’s no shortage of information out there. A Google search for “how to get healthy” will return over a billion results. The trick is sorting through the information to find what next step will have the biggest impact for you, and then (and this is the really important part) actually doing it.
And that’s where coaches come in. A good coach will get to know you, what your goals are, and what makes you tick. A good coach knows the techniques needed to accomplish goals, but just as importantly knows how to simplify that knowledge to give you only what you actually need to do right now.
Imagine that you’re driving cross country to a place you’ve never been. Your coach is your navigator; the person in the passenger seat who has the map. But she doesn’t say “Take 197 to 9S to 87S to 90W to 80W…” She says “In one mile, turn Left on Bridge Street.” Now you could for sure just get in the car and keep heading west and you’d get there eventually. But having a navigator will make that journey a lot shorter and a lot less frustrating.
That’s what you need. You don’t need more information (you probably need less), you just need the right information: the thing that you need to do that you actually will do. A coach will help you see that. And what that really means for you is that those goals you want to reach will come a whole lot faster.
by Michael Plank
I recently heard a podcast with Simon Sinek where he talked about his book The Infinite Game. He talked about the concept of Finite Games and Infinite Games, and it was a lightbulb moment for me.
Finite Games are games where there are defined players, defined rules, and a defined desired outcome (think of any organized sport). Infinite Games, by contrast, are games where the players change, the rules change, and there’s no definite desired outcome because there’s no defined end; the goal isn’t to win, it’s to keep the game going as long as possible.
Exercise is an Infinite Game. You don’t win at exercise. You don’t finish the discipline we call exercise. Exercise is something you do forever so that you’re healthy and strong. Now, we do set Finite Games within the Infinite Game of exercise. And that’s what goals are. So we might say: “I want to be able to do 30 squats in a minute by August 1st.” There are defined players (you), defined rules (number of squats in a minute), and a defined desired outcome (30 squats in a minute by August 1st). If you achieve that goal, you get a big dopamine hit. You feel good about yourself, if you’re at our gym we put up a picture of you and cheer for you, and it’s great.
If you don’t achieve that goal, you know what happens?
Nothing! You don’t get kicked out of the gym. You don’t fail at exercise. You don’t get weaker. Your parents don’t stop loving you. Your friends don’t abandon you. Nothing happens! Because exercise is an Infinite Game.
Goals are important. We’re doing Goal Review sessions with members all the time. They can be inspiring and motivating and useful in making progress. But, like with everything, there’s a dichotomy. When you achieve your goal, celebrate it; tell your friends, post about it, soak up that great feeling. But when you miss your goal (and if you do this long enough, you will miss goals), don’t worry too much about it. Because the game goes on.
by Michael Plank
I got together with a friend today to do jiu-jitsu. It was tough. It’s humid and hot. Grappling is exhausting. It hurts. It pushes you to your limits. It’s just like CrossFit in that way. When we finished up, he said, “You know, I really didn’t want to do this today. I’m glad I did.”
And I can’t even count the times that’s been true for me with workouts. There are so many times when I’m just not feeling it. I’m tired. It’s hard. I’m sore. I’m busy. And don’t get my wrong, there are absolutely times when your workout should take a back seat to other things in life.
But, though I have sometimes skipped workouts and not regretted it, I’ve never regretted doing a workout.