In fact if you’re a any kind of lifter or Crossfitter you probably do something similar to this before everything. Don’t lie you know you do it? I know that because I’ve done it (maybe still do it sometimes). But that’s not the root of what I’m getting at here.
Let’s play a little rewind here and you get to put yourself in my shoes.
I’m working with Jeff Martone at a Crossfit Kettlebell seminar and he drops that line on me. YES, I was walking to the chalk bucket, did I need it? Maybe. Who knows it’s not the point, there I walk and I get frozen in place by a non-regional dialect that I can decode even over the phone when he’s talking into what I believe is a bluetooth when he calls me.
“Chalk is a crutch,” and you ready for the zinger that followed that up, “Go Ahead. Hobble on over to the Bucket.”
Dude, that one stings, I just wait for him to say it now when I’m around him. It’s actually become a catch phrase in my gym. “Chalk is Crutch, Go on hobble over to the Bucket.”
It’s funny, it’s demasculating, but you know what it may be true too. Now I’m not going out like William Wallace crying freedom here for this cause but come on think about. How many times have you really needed that chalk? I mean REALLY needed it? My gyms in the Pacific Northwest, it’s not like its Maui or some other place thats actually hot or gets sun where your hands may be slick as snot 1 minute into working out. It’s mildly cold and dark most of the year. I mean it was actually cast as the epicenter for emo teenage vampires.
Yes chalk does serve a purpose. And maybe your out of the norm like me and you start sweating like a mother fucker as soon as you start warming up. I mean we actually coin the term “sweating like a Filer” in the I/C. But you know what? For the most part if I tape my wrists and properly apply chalk at the start of the workout I’m good. Now does it mean you never get to chalk?
No. And thats actually not the real point of this post or what Coach was getting at with his comment. It’s more about the question I already asked?
Did you really need that chalk?
Now this is something we’ve been dealing with in the I/C program lately. We’ve been neck deep in a 3 week Extremely high volume lifting cycle based on a Kettlebell Sport snatch progression. You wanna talk about unbroken, we’re talking about 20 minute sets some times. Now setting the bell down for chalk doesnt just apply to kettle lifting. How many times have you dropped of the pullup bar with two or three reps left and went to chalk. Why? Why not just knock those out. Were you really gonna fall of the pullup bar (well maybe you were, I’ve seen that shit happen).
But lets get off chalk’s case for a second and just get to the base of this whole thing, and that mental fortitude. It’s a hard thing to really embrace that you may need an attitude adjustment sometimes. And that sometimes if you wanna be Billy Badass you just gotta suck it up.
And I’m not talking about toughing it out through injuries. I’m the king of that and it’s gotten me No Where (well it has gotten me an impressive list of naggin injuries). No, being to dumb to call it quits isn’t being mentally tough (it does help when you have to pack that chalk into torn hands during a workout though, yes it happens and yes chalk helps at that point).
I’m talking about the little things people.
Like carrying your water bottle around with you during a workout, I’m not talking about a lift session but a balls to the wall workout. Your already telling yourself at some point your gonna have to stop and grab water.
How about constantly fucking with your gear? Like readjusting wrist wraps, belts, socks, spandex, etc, etc, etc. Yes sometimes you gotta fix something cause your belts not doing what it’s suppose to or your ass cheeks are hanging out of your spandex (had this problem with a male athlete before but it usually the girls) but if it’s something your always doing it’s time to drop the crutch.
The Big one for me that I’m really working on right now is my fucking hands on my knees when I’m conditioning. I don’t need to do it, theres no reason to and I didnt use to. But god damnit all of the sudden I catch myself with my hands on knees. Is it cause I’m working SO hard? No thats another bullshit excuse in my head.
Honestly guys if you’re training to be competitive in something you gotta be willing to do the work. Part of the work is knowing some shit is gonna fucking suck. It’s gonna suck and you gotta be willing to really embrace the fact that the little things that slow you down or give you a crutch are just that.
It’s time to quit hobbling away from the bar or turning your back to the bells. Digging deep isn’t easy but it teaches you a lot about yourself. And I’m not just talking about physical pain cause I’ve been there done that. I’m talking about knowing you can run the tank to empty and just keep going.
Posted by: Z