These pointers have been born from well over a decade of mistakes on my part... (Health and fitness mistakes only, I might add - not like that terrible, terrible mistake I made in Oman that definitely never happened...) And looking back over them they seem to apply to not just Crossfit and strength sports, but pretty much anything worthwhile that I have achieved…
1/ Learn to enjoy the process.
It doesn’t need to be ‘super-fun happy time’ whenever you’re training, but if you legitimately hate every aspect of what you are doing then the chances of you sticking with it are minimal…
My guys don’t particularly like running, BUT they at least recognise that by doing it it takes them one step closer to their goals, and getting closer to their goals makes them happy.
Learn to enjoy the process.
2/ Recognise that it is a process.
Training is about longevity. Really.
Sure, there is a competition aspect to sport, but there is no point getting yourself competition ready in 1 year only to have shoulder problems for the next decade. You can’t compete if you aren’t healthy, and attempting to skip ahead and bypass your body’s natural rate of progress and adaptation is simply asking for future issues in the form of plateaus and injuries.
Ever heard a terrible guitarist try to play Jimi Hendrix? And have you ever seen someone with a 6” vertical jump try to learn a back flip?
I have, and it’s dreadful... It’s just painful to witness...
I mean the back flip was funny and everything, but still... Painful!
I have found that this pretty much applies to everything worthwhile in life: do the work and progressions you need to now in order to accomplish the skills and feats you want to do later... Jumping straight into things that you are not prepared for - whether we’re talking music or movement - is a really good way of being dreadful and staying dreadful.
Recognise that it is a process, not a final product.
3/ Find a coach.
You are far more likely to actually learn to play the piano if someone shows you how, as opposed to you just pressing random keys and hoping the sheet music translates to English somehow… Strength sports are the same. You can try and teach yourself the snatch, but the chances of it yielding anything other than an injury are slim to none, and you can try and program for yourself but you won’t get that right for years…
Find a coach, and find a good one.
4/ Find balance.
Unless you are world class or potentially world class, it shouldn’t consume you.
Have some outside interests.
And no, binge drinking and your job don’t count as interests, and neither does shopping… Go learn something. Go experience something. Go try something.
Find some balance in life - the world has enough boring people in it.