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Don’t Fear The WOD

In CrossFit there are alot of intimidating movements and WODs. There are plenty of things to be afraid of. Everyday I see people afraid of box jumps, rope climbs, heavy barbells, and countless other things around the gym. Being afraid is not a bad thing and it doesn’t make you any less of a ninja. As often as I see people fear something, I see them overcome that fear. My goal is to encourage everyone to find that thing they are afraid of in the gym and overcome that fear.

Here is how I have overcome the fears that i have faced in the gym during my time as an intern and then as a coach. The first step was to find the thing that I feared.??I used to be deathly afraid of rope climbs. Once i realized that, I started thinking about why I was afraid of rope climbs. It was because when I climbed it, I would be 20 feet in the air with nothing connecting me to the rope but my hands and feet. Ok the steps were done. I had found what I feared and realized why I was afraid. Now what do I do? Knowledge is a powerful tool but without action you are leaving it in the toolbox.

I looked for all the information I could find regarding rope climbs from as many sources as I could. I got advice from fellow gym members and coaches, as well as checked the CrossFit Journal and YouTube. If you know what and why you are afraid of, start looking for advice on how it is supposed to be done. There are a million different sources of good information out there waiting to be discovered.

The next step is one that people often skip, and as a result take two steps back. You need to master the skill in a non-pressured environment. That means no clock, no rounds, no one competing against you. The first time to attempt something you are afraid of is not in the middle of a metcon. When I had found out how to do the proper wrap for rope climbs the first thing I did was to start doing a few here and there outside of metcons. It’s much better then trying to do a metcon and climb a rope when my arms feel like lead. You can put them in your warm-up or just spend some extra time on it when you get a chance.

Once you feel confident that you can do the movement anytime you need to whether you feel great or made some bad choices and feel like garbage, that is the time to consider putting it in a metcon. When I knew that I could do a rope climb whether I was on top of my game or everything else seemed to be off, then I decided I would do the next metcon with rope climbs in it.

All the steps listed above are just general suggestions. Every person will be different but this is what has led to the most success I have had conquering my fears. What are you afraid of? Have you conquered any fears since starting CrossFit? What are they? Post Comment!

-Chris aka TI

Chris G. working on his rope climbs! Click here to check out more pics on Flickr!