The Ever Changing Best…

The ever changing “best”…

Sam Poueu, once told me to give it my best everyday, and not to expect things to be the same from workout to workout because your best is different everyday.  This was later reinforced by Ian, who told me that your ability to “output” varies, and just because you have expectations of doing something well one day, it doesn’t mean you’ll achieve that place another day. 

 

I wrote not all that long ago, that I was starting to drift into a meathead vortex and that I was focusing too much attention on the weights I was working with, and using other people’s workload to determine how heavy I should work.  I’ve tried to stay within myself, but it can be tough, when someone of a similar ability starts to surpass your own. 

Progress I am learning in CrossFit is nonlinear. 

There is clearly an ebb and flow to when you make improvements, or advance in abilities, or make strength improvements.  This ever changing current of improvement becomes exponentially more frustrating when dealing with something that is technically difficult like the snatch.

Beyond the fact that I love to just talk about “snatches” with woman I barely know, I think this particular Olympic Lift is just fucking cool.  It to me exemplifies the speed, power, and strength of a well conditioning human body, it’s like a golf swing, where you have to prepare with mental and physical cues, yet in the actual motion, you have to grip it and rip it. 

 

It is by far my favorite OlyLift, and I feel that my improvement curve from completely uniformed to newbie was sharp, but in trying to improve to the next level, it again is like the improvement arc of a golf swing.  I can fucking hit the ball straight 3 or 4 times, then I slice the crap out of the ball enough to hit the guy in front of me.

 Rewind to three months ago, I snatched 135 lbs for the first time.  I remember doing it, thinking “FUCK YEAH, I AM FUCKING KING KONG, 185 lbs hear I come.”  Fast forward to this morning, and I’m still struggling with 135 lbs. 

My issue is clear, and it’s obvious. 

I am overstepping my ability, by not taking into consideration how I feel on a particular day.  Out of the days that I’ve snatched in the last 3 months, I think only 3 or 4 of them I felt 100%, who gives a shit why, the point is 135 lbs is close to my 1 rpm, and I keep pushing myself to hit this number under less than ideal circumstances. 

In hindsight, I probably would already be swinging 135 lbs like a big dick, if I’d just taken a step back, and focused more on snatching 115 lbs and 125 lbs to perfection, at these weights I can snatch confidently, and do a relatively high volume of reps.  If I had spent more time improving technique at weights which I am confident I am sure that 135 lbs would be less of an issue, and that I would sustain my form better.

This morning was a perfect example of my irrational thought process and working outside of myself, it is to me now the “EPIC FAIL”.

I showed up to the 6:30 AM WoD after I did the 4:30 PM WoD the day before.  I got a good nights rest, but during the warm-up this morning I had a couple of moments of lightheadedness, it could be that I didn’t eat enough the yesterday, or I need electrolytes, or I’m dehydrated, it doesn’t matter the cause, at to this “weakness” an ankle that I tweaked getting out of my car on Monday, and any rational person would have said, hey let’s step back and work on our form today.

I am not a rational person.

From the moment I read the WoD last night I was determined to do 4 sets of 3 at 135 lbs.  It was fucking stupid of me to think that I could do that without assessing where I was the morning of the WoD. 

As I warmed up I progressed from the bar to 95 lbs, to 115 lbs, to 135 lbs.  At 115 lbs, I should have taken a deep breath, and asked myself am I on today? 

Even at 95 lbs this morning, I had a couple of moments of lightheadedness, but as I always do I continued to grind.   

Ultimately, my work ended up suffering.  I did 2 sets of 3 at 135 lbs, and one set of 2.  Then I finally realized that I needed to peel it back, so I went down to 125 lbs for a set of 3, and then 95 lbs for a set of 3 to work on specific areas of the snatch, that I could feel

I am so pissed off at myself, it’s hard to put into words. But it feels something like this:

I’m partially pissed that I didn’t finish the last two sets, but I’m more upset with myself for not taking more time to assess and understand how I felt during my warm-up.  I am going to have to tattoo it to my forehead, “Your best changes everyday”.   

I have no resolution for this post, and I have no idea how I am going to change this part of the way I think, it’s hard to stay within yourself when you desire improvement.  I not only desire it I covet that bitch like she was my 90 year old neighbors hot 25 year old trophy wife. 

I can only take a step back, reflect on how I feel today, realize how pissed I am, and try to learn to live in a place that is more about the constant act of improvement, versus an irrational desire to achieve some self created podium of victory.

Live in the moment fat guy, do what is your best in that moment, and strive for excellence and improvement.

2 responses on “The Ever Changing Best…

  1. Julie

    First time on your blog. Saw you at 0630 this morning and thought – i need to finally check that out. Nice! Love seeing the progress and love the glimpse into the mind of Louis. I specifically went lower on weight to try to master the squat snatch today. 55# baby! ha. Building up one day! And thanks for posting a video that just sucked up 9 minutes of my time. Never realized how fun it is to watch Olympic lifting.
    on a random note, I just read about Sam during my morning People.com visit – http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20590487,00.html Great love story and glad he’s recovering!

  2. ShadyBear

    the word “olympic” is in the name for reason, it takes years, not months to improve these lifts. Most CrossFitters suck at oly lifts because we dont need to be good at them, we just need to be OK. If you want to be good, it requires specialized training and skills/drills (like you mentioned above, using little to no weight to improve technique before loading).
    Dan John has a quote “1 in 5 training days will suck.” If you accept it up front that today is going to be a shitty day and lower your weights, reduce your intensity and move through the workout, you’ll be much better off than pushing yourself to injury or increasing stress due to expectations. I have it all the time, I recently went in to attempt a new 1RM snatch of 205. I got stuck at 165. I chalked it up as my 1 in 5 and dropped the weight to work on form.

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