100613 Be Who You See

I’ve been in the environment of personality and lifestyle change for a number of years now and have seen some really incredible transformations. I have seen people lose 100 pounds, shed 15% body fat, and go from not able to squat down 4 inches correctly to a 200 pound back squat and are still making progress today. I have also seen people lose ten pounds, shed 2% body fat, decrease their grace time from 9 minutes to 6 minutes and then hardly change at all after that.

Who do you see? Do you see yourself as you are? Do you see yourself as you could be? Do you see yourself as you should be?

In our facility you have all the tools in the world accessible to you for maximizing your genetic health and fitness potential. We have worked to build our knowledge and resources to a level that ANYone of ANY age can aspire to be as fit as shit. They may or may not be fitter than those around them, but for their specific abilities they are as fit as they can be.

The recipe is simple: Eat real whole foods in portions of meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Move slowly for long distances, move heavy things fast for short periods, do this through fully accessible joint ranges on multiple planes of motion under varying levels of fatigue. Control mental stress and sleep levels. The end.

However, each and every chef for the above recipe must have a belief of how the meal will end up.

Do you see yourself as the ultimate achiever, losing 100 pounds, gaining the ability to squat your body-weight to the ground and back, finishing a workout as Rx’d, or winning the International CrossFit Games?

Do you see yourself as the guy who doesn’t quite work hard enough to make further progress, or the first person to squat 500 pounds in the gym?

Are you the lady who loses ten pounds then gains ten pounds, then loses ten pounds then gain ten pounds, or the one who loses ten pounds, keeps it off, and is satisfied the rest of her life?

Are you the fat, funny guy in the class who enjoys the atmosphere but goes home and thinks to himself “I’ll never be as good as they are”, or are you the one who will finish first in a WOD some day?

Are you the woman who is always battling an injury because you think you “should already be able to do this” and thus push too far too fast, or are you the one who listens to what their body needs from ALL aspects and thus makes continued achievements without battling their demons?

Are you the guy who focuses so hard on his workouts and food that he neglects controlling sleep and mental stress and thus stays weaker than he could, or are you the master of your mental domain?

Are you the woman who never gets support at home and finds that as a reason to never make progress , or are you the one who cooks two meals, one clean for herself and the rest “dirty” for her family because they don’t care about their health?

Are you the man who comes to the gym before your family gets up so that you can make progress but not disturb your home life?

If there is one thing I’ve learned thus far, it is that while we all need guidance, our real destiny comes from who we see ourselves becoming. Certain people walk in the gym with an attitude that they WILL improve and do. Others walk in with mild self-doubt and make mild improvements. Still others fully doubt themselves and thus sabotage their success.

You will become who you see. What is your vision?

-Post thoughts to comments.


PS. Before you get mad at me because you think I’m talking about you directly, there are multiple individuals for each category. You are not alone and I love each one of you.

20 thoughts on “100613 Be Who You See

  1. Corey

    As an addition:

    If any of you feel you are struggling to take yourself to the next step, Shanna and I are available to set up a time to talk about goals, methods, and motivations. Contact us through email.

  2. Tara

    I have grown tremendously through CFA. From being afraid of the pull upbar and saying “I can’t” to “OMG, I JUST DID IT!!!”. Not all transformations are as visible as others and they don’t always happen as quickly as you would like. I think we can all find a little bit of ourselves in your post. Each victory counts no matter how small it is. So for the self doubters out there, realize that walking through those garage doors is one more step away from failure.

    It can’t always be rainbows and sunshine though, we need our tough love and do-over reps just as much as we need pats on the back. Thank you Corey for not letting us cheat ourselves and thank you for this post.

  3. M3

    well said. it is one big equation and you (the individual) is the only person who has control over each factor. you should be happy with the sum if you understand how each factor unfluences your results and are content with your choices.

  4. T-Bone

    Great disclaimer at the end, Coach.

    I love when people tell me that they can never do what I’ve done. Fine. Don’t. Stay unhappy. Stay overweight. Keep eating crap. If you don’t think you can do it, guess what? You never will.

    Everyone will have different goals, but the important thing is to have goals. They must be very specific goals. Maybe you want a dead hang pullup or a 100 lb OHS or to finish first in a WOD. Whatever it is, you must own it and believe you can do it. The mental battle is more difficult than the physical battle. I’ve defeated myself more than once by stepping up to the bar already thinking that I’m not going to make the lift because it’s too heavy. I’ve spent a lot of time working on that, and it’s not easy to change. But, if you don’t believe in yourself, then what is the point?

    And, once you have a goal, you must go after it. Don’t complain that you still don’t have double unders and then turn around and say that you’ve only spent 5 minutes working on them in the last month. “The highest compliment that you can pay me is to say that I work hard every day, that I never dog it” – Wayne Gretzky. The one thing I pride myself on is getting my shit done. If I say I am going to do something, I do it. That is one of the biggest changes I’ve made in the last year. I spent four years making excuses about why I couldn’t exercise, and I’m not wasting any more time on that.

    Guys, this is why we have coaches. “I want to get through a WOD doing all of the pushups from my toes, how can I get there?” Ask for help. Then, go kick some ass.

  5. Micah

    You WERE speaking directly to me, Corey. Thanks for that. I’m usually the one with the wall of self-doubt that keeps me from making great strides. My goal is to transcend that and take on life. Thanks to CrossFit & extra training, I feel like I can successfully complete the three remaining triathlons I have this summer. I may not be in the top three, but I see myself becoming that person who enjoys, and excels in what I choose to do (beyond just the tris)!! Love you guys.

  6. Aidan

    I agree 100% with Tara that many of us can probably identify a little with each of those scenarios. And it’s interesting that we may see ourselves in different ways than how our coaches and fellow crossfitters see us. I struggle with self-doubt, but also celebrate my achievements. It’s weird how sometimes after a WOD I feel so empowered and strong, and on others I feel defeated and discouraged — but I keep showing up either way. As so many have recommended, I should start keeping a journal so I can better identify what other factors may lead to those feelings and performance outcomes. Anyhow, I think it’s important to always keep in mind that each of us has different objectives (which may even change from day to day!), and that working towards those individual goals is what’s important. I feel I am ready to make a shift from a “making a commitment to showing up” phase to a focus on exactly what Corye mentions — identifying goals, motivations, and improving performance. This is a very timely and relevant post. Thanks.

  7. Tom Rehm

    Well said, Corey. And Micah, he is speaking to ALL OF US. We can all relate to a part of this post. I have days where I walk out of that gym so damn proud of what I’ve done and how far I’ve come. Unfortunately, I walk out of there somedays deflated and frustrated, which is such a limiting factor in my progress, physically and mentally.

    The thing that gets me through the tough stuff is the community of CFA. Great advice from coaches ( an ever increasing number of coaches I may add ), and great support from fellow crossfitters. If you don’t like what the voice in your head is telling you, share with others, and you’ll likely hear something different. Thats what makes our community so special, feed on it.

    Don’t think you can do that heavier weight in a wod? Do it, even if it takes you forever. What about double unders? Do it, no matter how long it takes. Wanna quit and walk out? Look around you. Everybody hurts, everyone is tired, you are not alone. You’re never alone.

    Thank you Corey, Shanna, Randy, and the entire crossfit community. Not only for helping me personally, but for the joy of witnessing and maybe even helping others do what they didn’t think they could. I so love this shit.

  8. J$

    Aiden- I couldn’t agree with you more about each of us having different objectives (goals) that vary over time.

    On that note, I would encourage everyone to take some time to make very concrete goals and then talk about them with Corey or Shanna. I will attest to the fact that it is not lip service when Corey says they will set aside time to talk with you. That is a huge gift that I have seen them give back to the CFA community, again and again. We are very blessed to have coaches that are so willing to invest so much into each and EVERY one of us.

  9. Amanda Savage

    Quite simply (as my mother-in-law often says), “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always gotten.” Words I try to live by.

  10. ML

    Better than the sermon at church this morning!!! Nice message Pastor C. Just what I (the we you were speaking to) needed. Thanks!

    Love you, too.

  11. David H

    I feel so fortunate to be part of the CFA community, I know my goals have changes numerous times over the last year. Sometimes I think that is one of the personal problems I have had. I spend to much time trying to balance factors such as age, diet, sleep, recovery, work,and stress levels that I allow these factors to influence my goals , instead of the other way around. So what I’m personally going to do this “next” year is try and change that pattern or at least find a better balance. It’s seems there are so many different mountains to climb it’s hard to decide which one to ascend. I myself have never been one to be fit for fitness sake. I always had to have the carrot dangling out in front. But I know that with whatever I decide to go after, that my partners, fellow coaches and all the CFA community will be there to help “push” me along the way, of which I am eternally grateful. I pledge to be there for each and everyone of you too.

  12. dr. freckles

    i think it’s funny that crying over my inability to pull up & fracturing a major bone are what it took to teach me the value of goal setting…but i’m pretty sure they were the catalysts that have shaped the past year of my life…

    i am a huge fan of all life decisions that help me become my best sense of self, and the community of support, camaraderie, teaching by example, and encouragement you all have given me over the past 4 months has helped me grow to a new level of personal awesomeness 🙂

    thank you for giving to my life, pushing me to be more & to lift more heavy shit.

    i am sad i’m leaving.

    come visit in ole mexico?

  13. Hjudge

    I love this discussion and Ive missed Sunday posts.. gives me motivation to do something I dont make enough time for: self-reflection and needed goal refining. Even though I swore to myself I wouldnt get online while at Lake Lure, I grabbed my husband’s smart phone and checked CFA’s site early this morning. Homework! I needed something to ‘think’ about. I grabbed a pen, and this is what I wrote:

    This weekend I accomplished a goal. 90 days 100% paleo including no drinking or chocolate. Everything in my life has changed. Yes, I could talk about the weight and inches lost, or how bright my eyes are, I have no allergies, no fatigue. But that is only secondary of how in the last three months I have began to LIVE. The discipline, the control over my actions is all I needed to switch my life to a joyful one. I speak with more confidence, I stand taller, I am more successful in an ever increasing demanding career. My yard is mowed. I have clean clothes to wear for tomorrow. I have a budget.
    I’ve always been pretty damn cheerful but I am sure if you are a grumpy soul, this lifestyle will kick you to happiness.

    Before my life was defined as a survivor. I overcome, and move on. And that made me mildly successful, somewhat functional and fat. My life only changed when I took control of the definition I gave myself. You can call me an ‘achiever’, now. 🙂 I see life as a series of goals, created and conquered. So I made a list of all these goals to do before I die. Learn to Contra, Sail in Maine, Travel to the far East, Own a business…. Run the Chicago Marathon. This was about 8 months ago and to me, that feat meant I finally got ‘fit’. I shared the list with a coworker, and he said that it was wonderful, but be okay if it changes. I immediately huffed at him, I should STICK TO SOMETHING!, but only now I realized he was right.
    As I become more of myself (the happy productive badass Heather) what I want out of life shifts and morphs.
    Do I want a run a marathon this October as planned.. not really. Now I know what ‘Fit’ really means and now I huff at the idea of pounding the pavement for 26 miles when I am just learning to lift my feet off the ground. Sometimes I question if I am pushing myself hard enough in the workout… I mean I always feel like throwing up, or I look like Ive been hit with a super soaker. So, Im good…right, coaches? You will tell me if I am slacking..
    I want to be defined as someone who goes 100%. My work, my marriage, my health, my family, my mind, and my heart. But I don’t have a GOAL to shoot for, besides handstand, pull-up and RXing anything! Whats my next, as Corey has put it, ‘barometer for success’?
    1/2 marathon in Sept?
    Scaling the Jackson Building?
    Running across the French Broad (like those dudes)

    Guidance would be great, I am abit scattered and excited over the different possibilities.

    Paleo will continue to be my plan, but of course. If anyone is on the fence about it, stop it. Just do it. Its easy, you feel great, it cures what ails you. I can say that because I am not a doctor.

    Make the decision to live vitally. Also, love people in general and what surrounds you. Be helpful and of purpose. And be grateful.

    Thank you CFA, coaches and fellow crossfitters, even the kettle balls and assistance bands. Thank you for showing me life was more than just trying to survive and to be truly healthy means I am ready to tackle anything.

  14. amy H.

    i agree what each of you have said. i walked through the crossfit doors almost a year ago with extreme self-doubt and anxiety. i was coming out of a post-partum depression fog and was embarrassed for a while to go to the wods because i just felt so small and weak; that my numbers paled in comparison to everyone else’s. then, when i realized that i was not the only person that had to start somewhere, my anxiety eased. the cheering and encouragement and community atmosphere helped me realize that my accomplishments and numbers may not be as much as the next person’s, they are accomplishments nonetheless. although i still get impatient with my progress, i tell myself that i am running, lifting heavy shit, and eating a hell of a lot healthier than i ever have! thank you crossfit and thanks to you all who make cfa what it is!

  15. Shanna

    Thanks for all the great feedback today! You all inspire me and I look forward to sharing some of my personal challenges and triumphs later this week.

    Can’t wait to see you in the gym this week!

  16. Carly Albee

    You guys inspire me.

    I am a totally different person than I was a year ago when I started CF…not just physically. I didn’t even know to expect all the awesome changes that have happened to me. So for me, “Be who you see” didn’t really apply for a while. It was more like “Be- in your dreams.” My attitude, health, fitness, competition, energy and motivation are at levels that I could only dream about. I didn’t think they would actually happen to me. Now that I have accomplished things that I could only dream about, it’s really fun to to set goals for myself and know that I can “Be who I see.” Thanks to all of y’all for support and camaraderie that pushes me everyday.

    And Micah- You doubt yourself way too much. Glad to see you recognize. You are a total badass. I saw the pictures and the swimming times. First out of the water? You rock.

  17. Matt Baldwin

    Missing y’all! The only thought I have in response to Corey’s essay and the excellent comments in this thread is, gee, I’m glad I’m a part of this diverse community of people who are actively seeking positive transformation through diet, exercise, and self-discipline! I would also add that after 19 months of amateur association with CrossFit, I notice that my discipline, motivation, focus, and goals can ebb and flow… as can my health, energy, the demands of life, etc. Everything is in cycles. So it’s useful to me to keep track of where I have been by using a journal, and to check out where I am at present by conversation with friends and coaches, and to think about where I want to go in the future. One thing is certain: I’m never going back to the way I used to work out, eat, or live.


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