Rarely have three words dictated so much of my thought process than the words, “leave no doubt”. Rich Froning said this of his performance in the final workouts of the 2012 CrossFit Games. He went into the final day with a thought in his head, “I didn’t want anyone leaving the stadium saying, “that Froning shouldn’t have won.” I wanted to leave no doubt”.
For Rich, this saying meant that he knew in his mind that winning by one or two points over Matt Chan wouldn’t be enough. He didn’t want to scrape out a win, he wanted to separate himself by such a margin that everyone would know that he, and he alone, should be on the top step of the podium.
For me, it means something else, and it’s meaning falls within another statement, “Full Effort, Full Victory”. Back in an early blog post I said that I never wanted to leave the gym feeling like I could have given more. No matter what the WOD, how difficult, how testing, I would give 100% and leave it all out there.
Leave no doubt; no doubt that 100% effort was given and that my best is my best.
During the CrossFit Open season, this is crucially important. We take on 5 workouts over 5 weeks, designed and programmed to make the best in the world collapse at Dave Castro’s feet in a sweaty pile of broken human. But, we do it every week, with a smile. Maybe some butterflies, and even nausea, but a smile nonetheless.
Some people let the workouts get into their head, I was super guilty of this last year and this mind game becomes all encompassing and results in something I despise: the re-do.
During Open season, a lot of people will do each workout several times, and it bugs me. Some people have a reason—if I’m in 61st place and an extra 3 reps will put me 60th to get a spot at Regionals, then a re-do makes some sense. However, if I’m in around 1100th place like I am in reality, what am I gaining?
I go into every Friday knowing that I’m doing the CrossFit Open WOD, and that no matter how hard it is, I’m going to crush it, crush myself, and give it everything. EVERYTHING. I will leave no doubt that my effort is full, and therefore my victory is full. I have done what I can do and I know that even if I decide to re-do the workout the next day, the difference (better or worse) will be negligible. I redid ONE workout in 2014’s Open and I didn’t do it for me. I went to the gym to work out, and a friend needed some company and competition, so I lined up and repeated the WOD. I gained 6 reps over my first attempt. Better yes, but not so amazing that I’m now going to the next stage of competition. That’s my point…why annihilate my spirit for 6 more reps? Give it everything you’ve got and move on to the next one. Don’t beat yourself up.
One of the most victorious performances I’ve ever seen in CrossFit happened last night. Rich Froning did last night’s workout in 8:26, it took me 21:34. It took one CrossFit 403 member almost an hour to do it, but dammit if there wasn’t a dry eye in that building when she was done. Full effort, full victory. She did the best she could and left no doubt in anyone’s mind that she is a beast and worked her ass off. It was a proud moment for CrossFit 403–its coaches, and most importantly, its members. This was the theme of the Open, it always is. This competition is for the everyman, the CrossFit athlete that has to drop their kids off at the pool, the athlete who has a day job, the athlete who does CrossFit to justify eating a donut. The Open is for the regular people. It’s not for Rich Froning, Jason Khalipa, Samantha Briggs, or Elisabeth Akinwale. It’s for the rest of us—for us to test ourselves and know that we are capable of so much more than we may think, physically and mentally.
My CrossFit Games season is now over, I’m not going to Regionals, I’m not competing at the Games, but I did my absolute best, saw gains I didn’t expect, and put in 100% of myself over 5 weeks. Full effort, full victory.