Food For Thought: To Those Who Didn’t Get Muscle Ups Last Week (15.3)

It has been interesting to see the wide variety of opinions people of all levels have of this year's open.  How do you feel about it?  Have you uncovered weaknesses?  How have you been addressing them before now?  How will you address them moving forward?  I stumbled upon a great reflection from someone who struggled the workout that started the uproar - 15.3.  Enjoy

I’m most definitely not a gymnast. I joke about having no body awareness. Kipping pull ups took me forever; stringing toes to bar together has been a battle. Muscle ups felt like a distant feat for me. You can see how these weaknesses definitely came into play this Open.

I needed ONE muscle up to submit an RX score this week (15.3). I spent hours making attempt after attempt, doing drill after drill, fighting to get ONE muscle up. Grabbing a judge and starting the clock for 14 minutes over and over…And I failed over and over. Failing sucks, but it’s exactly what I needed.

What I’ve Learned from 15.3:

1. Failure is the key to success.

Honestly, I didn’t think I was ready for a muscle up yet. I have done tons of strict pull-ups and ring dips each week to make myself ready, but rarely have I ever made an attempt. If 15.3 didn’t start with muscle ups, I never would have made solid, intentional attempts. I would have just waited until I thought I was strong enough…which might have been never in my mind. I needed a reason to try.

While we all want success, it’s not guaranteed. That’s why the ability to recover from setback and move forward is essential. And this starts with embracing, processing and BENEFITING from failure.

2. Comparison will crush you.

We’ve all felt it: the slight gnawing twinge of discontent that pops up after spending time scrolling through our social media feeds. Call it what you want — envy, jealousy — but there’s no doubt it’s often a result when we allow ourselves to play the comparison game.

I used the hashtag #firstmuscleup and went through Instagram watching video after video of girls getting their first one wondering, “Why can’t I do that…?” In no way did this help me. It made me more frustrated.

Instagram is made of moments. It’s a shiny happy world where people post only the moments they want people to see. It makes it easy to lose sight of the process. Sometimes we look at the others in their success thinking it was easy for them to get there. There was a time when these Games athletes we look up to had never done a muscle up. There was a process to getting to where they are today.

3. CrossFit is not life. Dave Castro does not decide my value.

I spend so much time at the gym. These people are my family, my best friends and mean so much to me. This community is the reason I CrossFit. Yes, I have the desire to be better and continue to grow in strength and skill, but I am loved if I can’t do one muscle up, pull up or double under!

Unveiling your weaknesses and being vulnerable is what CrossFit is all about.

Failing to do 15.3 RX means that I have a new goal to attain and something new to strive for. Unveiling your weaknesses and being vulnerable is what CrossFit is all about. It’s frustrating in the beginning, but it makes you a better athlete.

Remember if you didn’t get a muscle up, a chest to bar pull up or even one toes to bar, you NEED this to get better. The fact stands alone that signing up for the Open means you were up for the challenge. Not knowing what would come up and not knowing where you would place in the rankings means you had the courage to challenge yourself to be better. Now put your head down and get to work, have fun and enjoy the process!