I found a new pre-lift mantra today. It’s going to sound very self-help and Stuart Smalley when I explain it. But it sure worked for me. And that’s the lesson of the day. Draw your inspiration where ever you can and roll with it.

Split Jerk: 1 RM

Split Jerk is another of those lifts where I’ve been stuck at the same 1RM, 230#, for over a year. One rep maxes that have birthdays, make me a bit nuts. I get in my own head. It makes me crazy thinking that I haven’t gotten any better at a specific thing in over a year. Intellectually, I know that it can’t be true. Yet so often, I’m unable to demonstrate to myself that I am in fact stronger. So I went into the gym with a bit of a chip on my shoulder. I was determined that I would leave today with a lift over 230#.

I did doubles of 135, 155, 185 very quickly. Then singles of 205 and 225. It was in those singles that I found my mantra, my center…whatever you choose to call it. Every lifter has their own mantra.

Lots of folks try to convince themselves that the lift is easy.

“Cake weight!”

“Light weight!, Light weight!”

I usually tell myself, “You’ve got this! No doubts!” I always nod to myself as well trying to build the positive in my head before I set up under the bar.

Today was a bit different. If we’re connected on Facebook, then you may have seen my post yesterday about the “love letter” my six year-old daughter wrote to me. She told me all of the reasons that she loves me, but there were two lines that kept coming back to me this morning.

She wrote: “I love you because you’re strong. I’m glad God made you my Daddy.” If you know my history, then you know why I Crossfit. My kids are an integral part of my motivation and you understand why that first statement of hers is so powerful and meaningful. If you know our family background, then you understand why the second statement is so significant.  They are packed with an amazing amount of positive power for me. I made sure those were the last two thoughts running through my head as I racked the bar to lift it from the rig. And each time I repeated those words, I approached the bar calm and with a smile. How could I not?

With that peace of mind and serenity, I hit the 205, 225 and then 240#! That was a nice 10# PR. I’ll be the first to admit that the last lift was not exeuted well. If I can clean up my technique and make that solid, then there’s more in the tank to be had. But for today, jumping 10# on a lift that has vexed me for months was a great feeling.


800M Run
“Grace” 30 Clean and Jerks (135# Rx)
800M Run

Grace is one of my all-time favorite benchmark WODs. It suits me. It’s one of the few benchmark WODs where I feel reasonably competitive. If all we’re doing is Grace, I can hammer it out in a low 4 minute run. Sandwich it in between two 800M runs and tack on a 15 minute time cap and I was thinking, “I should be able to do that, but it’s going to be close.”

My strategy for the morning was to allocate 5 minutes per segment. I know on a good day I can run a sub-four 800M, but I wasn’t certain what I’d be able to do today and I didn’t want to push quite that hard for fear of burning up too much energy too soon.

We all took off running and I didn’t feel good at the outset. I felt tight and creaky. Several folks jumped out to a fast lead and quick pace and that bugged me. I know we’re not supposed to compete with anyone else, but let’s face it, a group of people up and run away from you, that’s annoying. But I started talking to myself again, “I love you because you’re strong. I’m glad God made you my Daddy.” My mind immediately calmed down. I smiled to myself and I settled into my own pace.

I was running my own stopwatch in case I didn’t get in under the 15 minute cap. Much to my surprise, I arrived back at the box at 3:44. By the time I chalked up and got to my bar I was starting Grace right on the 4 minute mark. I did all singles. The bar hit the floor after the 30th rep at 9:22. A little slower than intended, but I was still pretty pleased with that.

I touched the start post for the second 800M run at 9:30. I spent much of that run repeating to myself, “I’m glad God made you my Daddy.” I stepped back inside the gym door after the run at 14:22. Very pleased with that.

All in all, a very good day and hopefully I re-learned a lesson that I can carry with me on those tough days. Remember why you’re here. Find your center and hold onto it.