I recently met with an athlete for her periodic check-in and during our meeting, she said something that has had me thinking ever since.

I’ll get to what we talked about in a second but first, let me just tell you that I love doing these check-ins.

For those who either haven’t had a chance to do one or don’t know what I’m talking about, I try to meet with our athletes at least twice a year, or, every six months. 

These meetings take place outside of normal class times and I schedule them for fifteen minutes. 

Now, this may come as a surprise to some of you, but I like to talk; and talking to athletes about their goals, their lives, and CrossFit, well, it’s my favorite. So, in the end, fifteen minutes quickly becomes anywhere between thirty to sixty minutes. Oh well.

During this most recent conversation, we were talking a lot about the importance of consistency when balancing a busy life/work schedule with the desire to make it to the gym.

I would assume that all of us have had periods where making it to the box for our workout feels like that one thing that is just too damn much.

The kids kept me awake last night and I only got 3 hours of sleep.

I have to get to work early for an important meeting. 

I’ve got friends visiting from out of town and we might have indulged a bit too much.

I’m exhausted from working in the yard/around the house/on the boat and I don’t think I can do what’s programmed.

Need me to keep going?

Here’s the deal, your reason for not coming to the gym is 100% legit. I am not qualified nor the one responsible for telling you that you must or shouldn’t come to the box.

Doctor says don’t work out because you may blow up your heart, then yeah, take some time off.

Most recent medical study says working out after sleeping less than 6 hours can lead to brain cancer…well than for crying out loud take a nap, skip the thrusters, and protect that noggin!

However, even if I am not medically or professionally qualified to prove that coming to the gym is probably the best choice you can make 99% of the time, what I can tell you is that I’ve been at this for over a decade and the true severity of most people’s reasons for slipping out of consistency hovers a few thousand degrees below the previous examples.

But, again, who am I to suggest that I know more about your life than you do. I don’t. 

What I know is how to get you fit. And I know that if you don’t show up, I can’t get you fit. And I also know that my job of getting you fit rests a lot on figuring out ways to make you feel comfortable to show up.

So let me make you a deal. No matter what you’ve got going on in your life, if you show up, I guarantee I will figure out a way for you to move, to move well, and to move you towards feeling better.

In other words, you show up, three to six times a week, for the next three to six months, I guarantee you will be fitter than if you didn’t. 

Now, I get it. Sometimes we don’t know if the programmed workout is going to be the thing you need on that day. Doing thrusters, burpees, and 400m runs might not be the smartest move for you at this time and that’s ok. But we won’t know unless we have a chance to try.

This hurdle is what my athlete and I talked about during her check in. Sometimes the programmed workout looks scary. Looks like it is going to suck. Looks like a really good workout to “have to miss” because it’s going to cause you some major physical, emotional, or psychological damage.

I get that narrative but I also call bullshit.

News flash folks…it’s CrossFit…all the workouts are hard. If they weren’t we wouldn’t be doing our job. 

At the same, they are all scalable and modifiable. You can come in, warmup, and in the middle of the class, in the 2nd round of a 5 round WOD, we can stop, decide this was a bad idea and reroute you in a different direction.

That’s the gem that my athlete gave me. There is no such thing as a “did not finish” or DNF down here on the Creek.

We reroute. 

Our fitness GPS is constantly pinging and if you need to change course midstream, game on.

So yeah, I love the check-ins. I love how smart our athletes are. And I love the fact that I get to spend my days learning more from each of you than I could ever teach you. It’s…my favorite.

See you on the Creek.

-Coach Jack