The 2021 Games season has come and gone. It was a pleasure to watch CrossFit’s best in action, in some very exciting tests of fitness. A snatch-off between Tia and Annie, two of the greatest athletes of all times? We couldn’t have asked for better.
The Olympic Games have also given us plenty to get excited about, especially the Olympic weightlifting.
These athletes are the pinnacle of their chosen sport. They have single-minded dedication and focus, plus a healthy dose of talent, genetic ability and the right environment.
While it is important to recognize that the Olympics and CrossFit Games are different to CrossFit as a tool to keeping healthy across your lifetime, we can apply the same principles the elite athletes use to stay at the top of their game, to inspire our own training and lifestyle habits.
Genetic ability is definitely a factor in becoming a professional athlete but so is your environment. While you cannot do much about the genes you inherited, you have a great deal of control over your environment. Environmental factors include a supportive social structure that encourages health and fitness, access to fitness facilities (we’ve got you covered here) and access to healthy food (Smooth Brew anyone?). Stress levels, sleep habits and finding meaning and purpose in your life are also important aspects to creating an optimal environment that supports long-term health and fitness. Don’t underestimate the impact that your environment has. Examine the things that you encounter every day and work to optimize them or where possible, remove the things that don’t serve you.
WORK YOUR GOATS
Anyone remember Mat Fraser’s second place win in the 2016 Suicide Sprint? Nobody saw that coming after the previous year’s Sprint Course events, which saw Mat’s worst ever event finish at the Games. Mat spent the year working on his running skills and aerobic capacity. The result? Near total dominance at the 2016 sprint event. Spend time working on the things that you are not good at, even if it is only five minutes every day. And stop cherry picking the workouts that you don’t like. Often the things you don’t like are the very things you need in order to get better. This doesn’t just apply to the gym though. We all have the hard things that we avoid. You are stronger and more resilient for facing the tough stuff and overcoming these barriers.
You don’t need to commit to multiple training sessions each day but you do need to commit yourself to your own long-term health and fitness. This looks different for each of us and will change along the way. Commit to finding a sustainable way of fueling your body that works for you and then stick with it. Commit to managing your stress levels and getting enough sleep. Commit to staying mobile and flexible as you age. Find the things that are important to you and then commit to doing those things despite the obstacles and challenges that are inevitable along the way.
If you were inspired by the weekend’s action and want to make some improvements, then don’t forget the gymnastics club that kicks off shortly. The regular barbell club on a Saturday develops skills in the snatch and clean and jerk and is a great opportunity to get better at these classic lifts. And don’t forget to, your coaches are always available to help and support your long-term health and fitness goals.