This weekend’s weather makes a clear point: the seasons have transitioned. Spring has arrived (at least for now). Gone is the bitter wind, the piles of snow and that gloomy period of dormancy. Nigh are warm and longer days, blue skies and everywhere the sparks of life (growth). Mother Nature’s figured out a great many things, the seasons not least among them. All this philosophical weather-waxing isn’t for naught, I promise.
Recently, I’ve shared a curious number of conversations that appear to point me towards a conclusion that, like Mother Nature’s seasons, crops up almost in-line with the weather. The seasons of training aren’t too dissimilar from those we notice here in temperate Tennessee. Fitness, during the cold months of the CrossFit Open (aka Winter), takes an intentional and dormant-like turn away from vibrancy and growth. Programming (your fitness) recedes into a weekly survival mode, pivoting in the cold and Castro-like wind. Naturally, we hunker down and weather the storm. Lucky for us, our Winter (the CF Open), only lasts a few weeks.
As we recover from the intensity of that season, healing – of sore joints and bruised egos – occurs and soon appear anxious buds of growth. How many of you silently pledged to do that first – muscle-up, handstand push-up, double-under, pull-up, etc? Or made committal alms to your future self for improving subpar skills? Great news. Truly.
It’s here we finally run into the crux of my argument. By my estimation, it’s a simple, but elegant injunction – throughout this Spring of your fitness growth, take a more responsible approach towards your success. To paraphrase Greg Glassman, a true master pledges oneself to learning and and then relearning fundamentals…over and over and over. How can you sharpen your air squat? Where does your movement pattern break down during a Snatch? Why does this happen? Start there and this season’s regrowth is sure to pack the most powerful punch you might imagine. Treat yourself as if it matters because it does.
Like the arborist prunes the buds of his fruiting tree, we too must prune our efforts towards a real and productive direction. If you’re aimed at true growth, take some time to reflect on what’s kept your fitness success at bay. In that way, we might all consider taking a methodical, deliberate and plodding approach to the not-so-complex puzzle of cultivating our best fitness. When we succeed, how much better might the next CF Open (Winter) season feel?
All training is an act of philosophy.