Written by Coach Albie
You may have been asked this question before. Maybe you have heard it phrased differently, something like, “what’s your why?” I cannot emphasize how important it is to have an answer for this question, but not just a typical answer, something that is important to you and only you. Everyone wants to lose a few pounds, look good naked, get in shape, and feel good about themselves. Now, don’t get me wrong, those are great motivators to get you to start working out, but are they going to last long?
I recently fell into this predicament. When I first started CrossFit about seven years ago, it was something completely new to me. For the first couple years, all I wanted to do was PR my lifts and beat my previous times. It seemed like everyday I came in, I hit a new PR or cut a few seconds off my “Helen” or “Karen” time. However, after a few years of taking the 6:30pm class everyday, my times and number began to level off, I just felt stuck and so did my motivation. I decided to make the jump to the competition programing. This re-ignited my motivation full speed. It was a totally new challenge for me that I was ready to face. After only about a year though, I began to see my training slip again. Why was this happening? I was in the best shape of my life, but it became a struggle to get myself to workout. I realized competing just wasn’t what I wanted to do. I was putting myself through these ridiculous workouts five days a week and I had no idea why.
At this point, I really had to sit down and have a little talk with myself. What was happening? I am about five years into my CrossFit career, I am now a full time coach, I absolutely love teaching people how to move, but I can’t get myself to do a workout. The answer? I had no why. I was still constantly learning about all areas of fitness to make myself a better coach, but it was so hard to make myself a better athlete. My why came to me in the form of gymnastics. This is what I loved and what I was best at, and for the next year and a half that was all I did. I rarely touched a barbell and I hardly ever did a “metcon”, but every day I came to the gym, I did what I could to make myself a better gymnast as well as a better gymnastics coach. I was having fun and I was motivated. This ultimately lead me to starting up a gymnastics specific class at CFM and to leading the gymnastics competition programing. I had my purpose, I had my why again.
What I have learned over my seven year CrossFit career is that your training has to have purpose for it to be truly successful, and for most people, that purpose is always changing and always evolving. You need to have long term and short term goals. Some goals should be easy and some should be difficult to complete or reach. Coach Trevor’s training has one purpose right now, bring team CFM to the CrossFit Games (which he just succeeded at). Maybe his purpose will now change, or maybe he is even hungrier than ever to get on that podium.
So what are you training for? Don’t overthink it either. It doesn’t necessarily need to be some deep, profound, life changing revelation about yourself, but it has to have purpose and the more unique and special to you that it is, the better. Answer this question truthfully and honestly and I can guarantee your training will improve. If you don’t have an answer, find one.