New Skills

 In Stuff We Say

du2_375Nothing is more exciting or more frustrating than new skills.  Some of my favorite moments are when athletes finally achieve their first kipping pull-up, consecutive double unders or muscle up, and when you finally get a new skill, you should be proud of it- you earned it.

Skills in CrossFit are often a frustrating combination of coordination, balance, flexibility, strength and speed.  No one just comes in and picks up the a skill in the gym unless they have previous experience with it.  That is because any skill must be gained through practice.  Sometimes I get the feeling that my athletes believe that there is some sort of necessary Voodoo, some perfect combination of events, some alignment of stars that will finally make the skill click.  I know it feels like just because you wore yellow socks and held the rings for three seconds instead of five you got your muscle up, but that is not the way the universe works- thankfully.

Wouldn’t it be a shame if any idiot could guess the right combination of colors and seconds and just the right words to say and snatch their body weight?  Only those that put in the time, struggle, take the journey, think about it, do it over, and over and over again, those are the athletes that deserve the skill and those are the exact athletes that have them.

Your brain and body need time in the movement.  It is simple, the more time in the movement you have, the faster you will obtain the skill.  No tricks, no perfect combination of humidity and sock color- just hard work.   And the truth of skill acquisition is so much more amazing than the magic wand fantasy of skill aquisition.  You built a pathway in your brain to all of the necessary muscles for your skill; you got stronger and faster.  You created something in you that was not there before- you forged it with time and dedication and now it is YOURS.  So what new part of you are you working on now?

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