By: Wes Smith
We have all heard of the word accountability, but how many of us actually practice it in our lives? I could name hundreds of ways that we can apply it throughout our lifetime to save us from going down the wrong path and lots of heart aches that those paths lead to. However, there are times when those bad choices teach us the best lessons in life (as long as we learn from those experiences). Many areas we should practice accountability are obvious; religion, marriage/relationships, family, finances, jobs, school, and so on and so on. While views of each of these are all over the map, I’m going to stick to the accountability of our personal health for this blog to avoid controversy as I believe this is a pretty easy one to agree on. In addition, you’re most likely reading this on CFMK’s link so you have some interest in your health.
The dictionary defines accountability as an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions. Easy to understand, right? Own up to your actions whether they are big or small. Staying with the health theme from the CrossFit side, this can be questioned in many ways. How is your diet? Are you consistent with your WODs? Are you giving it 100% everyday? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you being truthful with your rep count? Are you concerned with the standards of a particular movement? Do you mobilize? Do you track your wods, loads, diet? Okay, so CrossFit by itself is an endless conversation. You may have answered yes to all, some, or none of these questions, but who are you answering to? If you are answering to only yourself, you’re just talking to the two imaginary “mini-yous” on each of your shoulders. We all know how that conversation goes; no one will find out if I shave a rep here and there off of the wod today, or I can eat that second piece of cake when no one is looking.
If this is you, and you really want to end playing the game of CrossFit and make it something that can completely change your life, find an accountability partner. We all do CrossFit because we want to better our lives through health, fitness, quality of life, looks, and of course bragging rights. However, if you can’t back up that bragging when called upon, it’s going to be embarrassing. Diet, consistency, honesty, will-power, commitment, and passion all go hand in hand in the sport of CrossFit. Let’s face it, CrossFit is not a cheap hobby, if you are going to invest the money into it, go all in and make it work for you. An accountability partner cost nothing. In fact, you can gain some valuable friendships out of it. It’s good to pick those partners that are not afraid to tell you the blunt truth. You don’t want someone that will accept your fault of eating a whole box of cereal in one day, you want that person to make you feel like crap so you don’t do it again. Not only from a nutritional side but also for wod performance. At the same time, that person has to know where boundaries are between the two of you and how to push the right button to make it stick.
From the coaching side, I yearn for athletes to give it there all. Constantly hitting that threshold of high intensity, all while keeping good form and doing it safely. The last thing I want to see are horrendous movements getting you nowhere but in pain for the next few days. Muscle soreness yes; pain from injuries, NO! I want to see everyone one succeed in there goals, big and small. I take great pride in coaching and nothing is more satisfying than watching you as an athlete overcome your fears and bust out a PR, RX a wod, or complete a movement that you used to say I can’t do. Of course going back to my previous statement, doing it looking good and safe.
You are only given one body that has to last your entire life, take care of it. Nothing makes you realize this more than when you realize your family relies on you for their well being and it is up to you and only you, to give them your best. Some of you may or may not know my story, but that’s for another time. From personal experience, I’ve lived this realiTy. Through my transformation, I’ve had many accountability partners. Some of them may not have even realized I saw them as that along the way. I could not be where I am without them helping me stay on track, intentionally and unintentionally. You may need two or three to keep you in check and there is no rule that says you need to stick to just one. Leave it to the coaches to guide you through the wod, but have that accountability partner call you out on not coming to class, cherry picking the wods, eating junk, etc. Push one another to give it your all each and every day, inside and outside of the box.
CrossFit is no different than life, you get out what you put into it. Are there movements in wods that you just absolutely hate to see written on the whiteboard? Most likely because you can’t do it, giving you no desire to improve your technique with that movement. These are your goats; we all have them including myself. If you never train that goat, you will never improve and never learn to like it or at least accept it when it rolls around. Some people have goats that are very evident from the coaching side. Then again, many people are not afraid to admit them. What if you realized that conquering that one goat will improve your favorite movement? As CrossFit is based on functional movements, it is realistic that training that goat will carry over into another movement, to another, to another, and on and on. As a baby did you learn to walk overnight? Did you graduate high school in one year? Did you walk onto your first job knowing everything? No. There is a learning curve and there are people along those paths that help you get there. Taking the short cuts in life are not always rewarding; sooner or later to the trained eye, flaws are going to be exposed and your dream ending, will not be so grand. Have that accountability partner in place to save face before this happens. Give it your all, and give it honestly.