More than just a high 5… 13/5/18


high 5

As a child we constantly look for positive re-enforcement, from parents, school mates, teachers, coaches and other family members.  We get good grades and are looking for that “well done”.  Upon completion of chores around the house or a tidy room we look for that positive reinforcement perhaps in the form of affection (a hug). When this positivity is presented for almost all of us it causes a release of our “happy hormones” in the brain in the form of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin and oxytocin.

In todays gym settings and sporting arenas it is no different. How many times have you seen some athlete do something good on the field and within seconds there is outreached hand held high looking for that high five connection or these days its a fist bump, or hugs (non sexual) being thrown around. How often have you seen a player make a mistake and the same thing happens, instantly he or she is swarmed by team makes or coaches and is given a pat on the head, that same outreached hand without words saying its ok we have your back, you are not alone.

In both cases they mean the same thing. One says great job, the other says its ok, ive been there, in your situation before. That touch (high five) brings together those two people as one for that instant. It transfers one’s enthusiasm onto the other.  It’s a form of acceptance, acknowledgement and humility. Its a common ground of equality.

In a CrossFit box it can bond a community like no other. It says to the other fellow members that you know exactly the pain they just went through, no matter the skill or fitness level its all relative. It says great work, it gives hope that as they leave the next workout will be better. It symbolises that we are not individuals but are a community that improves our health together and respects each and every member although different outside the gym.

Next time your in the box, when the WOD is done and dusted give everyone a high five and see the response you get. I will guarantee you will leave feeling more energised and euphoric.

Kicking Stones


Its Competition time (power or weightlifting) You’ve been working hard for the last 10 -12 week of this cycle and perhaps for quite some time prior to this. You have ridden the rollacoaster of emotion caused by central nervous system fatigued, your weight has fluctuated keeping you second guessing your nutritional choices, you have been sore and faced little niggles along the way that seem to throw everything into chaos leaving you in this black hole of self doubt.

No Stone Unturned

Within the last week leading up to “lifting day” you test openers or at least build to weights within fractions of what you’ll be faced with on the day and you are put a little more at ease.  What if you wake up on the day not feeling up to scratch? what if your warmup lifts feel slow and heavy? What if you start to warm up and all of a sudden that little knee niggle from 6 weeks ago has reared its ugly head. The most important thing to remember is you need what i like to call a back pocket plan. This is your plan B. Your plan A is the path you follow if all is going well and the stars and moon are all aligned. Your plan B is the conservative route maybe 5%-10% off everything. This is not the easy way out, swallow your pride and opt for conservative. You still will have two other attempts to catch up. Don’t place too much expectation on your self based on training numbers. Training is training, Comps is where it counts.

“Conservative” – Averse to change and innovation and holding traditional values

Remember you just need 1 successful lift and a comp is way easier if its your first. All those nerves are centred around seeing those 2 (white or green) lights confirming your successful attempt. Be a little more conservative that what you think you should for your openers. Some people get stage freight. All is ok in the back warmup area but when they walk out and its just you and the bar and sometimes that can be very confronting, you can become a deer in the headlights, you forgot everything, you mind is blank all you hear is “Bar is Loaded” very rarely do we remember the actual lift as it all goes that quick. All those 1%ers talked about over and over in training seem a distant memory.

Trust The Process

Once you begin the journey of lifting normally you don’t set yourself for just one comp. After one the competitive beast inside us all is awoken. As humans we look for self improvement this is where we must learn to trust the process. The process is not one but many. It’s ok to fail attempts, its ok not to PB competitions or every single lift. We learn from these failures and is what propels us forward from one comp to the next.

Olympians will go 4 years even 8 years from games to games without actually ever increasing weight or might take this time to improve 1-2kg. They are trusting the process. So the next time you get disappointed and start kicking stones just think that every day that passes you are one day closer to those PB’s. Never get disappointed by failing or not hitting goals as it is a lesson a self education tool that allows us to grow. It helps us move forward no matter how slow or how little forward

Remember your back pocket plan, run your own game and don’t get sucked into the competition. Lift Heavy, Lift Fast, Lift Strong.