“On purpose, with purpose”
The building your cathedral story is one that I think perfectly pertains to CrossFit, work, relationships, finances, almost anything in life that offers a challenge. Anything where you have the desire to ever say “I don’t like this” or “this sucks” or “this is hard” can be almost instantly fixed by a better perspective. I’ve worked some seriously shitty jobs; being a smartass in infantry basic training paints a nice target on your back to the Drill Sergeants. Luckily, I was surrounded by guys who had a great perspective and we could always find a way to laugh the worse it got. You have to know the value of something hurting, sucking, or forcing your mind into the ‘quit zone’. I have to do push-ups for an hour straight while others get to go call their families? Good, I had the highest push-up score in our unit. I have to stay up and post guard all night? Good, that prepared me for Tomb training down the road. I have to clean the entire units weapons? Good, I could take apart and clean my weapon 3-4x as fast as the soldier next to me by the end of training (again paying dividends at the Tomb).
That value has always been my driving force. My mentality for a long time was “If someone else can accomplish this, then I certainly can” — Now it has shifted to “If this sucks for me, it definitely sucks worse for others who are trying to catch up to me, so all I have to do is go that 1% harder where they aren’t willing to go.” Sometimes the value and perspective in the moment is SO HARD to see. The pain, the negativity, and quitting/complaining is your natural reaction to anything that is unnatural. This is where coaches, training partners, and our community is huge. Everyone slips up in seeing this perspective in training sometimes, your job as a training partner / coach / community leader is to push that persons brain to the right spot as fast as possible. Second session on Saturday night at the track and you’re on your 20th 400m? It hurts everywhere, and your brain wants to just slow to a 2:00 pace and coast it in? Think of the value here: Most people will be laying on a couch, or out drinking. Most people would say 10 x 400m was plenty. Most people can’t handle the pain of 1:20 splits over and over again. Most people wouldn’t do it, and almost no one understands it.
George Sterner removed a bunch of posts from Instagram/Facebook when I went to look for this post today. He is an 18 year old who finished 18th in the world in the Open. He posted last week a picture of him at the track on Saturday night at 9:18pm, after having completed 20 x 400m runs, rest 1:1. You are what you repeatedly do, you are the decisions you make when everyone else is out to dinner not hitting their macros on Saturday night (me in this case).
So, think to yourself. What decisions will you make that will separate you from others, and start to inch you towards where you want to be? Is that a mental choice in difficult moments? Is that a conscious decision to be uncomfortable when you know others won’t? Are you building a cathedral, or are you just pounding rocks? If we consider that all things are equal outside of the gym: Eating, sleeping, recovery, etc. (which we know they aren’t, but between top level people they should be) – then this is one of the few separators left in the space of training. If you limit yourself only to the extra work everyone else is doing, that the coach is giving, you must know that you are defeating everyone mentally during those workouts/reps. Otherwise you must not limit yourself to that training alone, and start to own your own 20x400m on a Saturday night.
Days of process complete: 6/7 (Missed macros Saturday night) – Can’t OHS train for a week or so due to low-back issue. Provides me more opportunity to work on strict pulling strength and mobility.