WEDNESDAY WINS! LEN S.!
From the day this guy stepped foot in the gym, we knew it was meant to be. He came in with an incredibly enthusiastic attitude and a desire to listen, learn and find success. And boy, has he. We are so happy to shine a light on Len S. for his incredible accomplishments inside (and outside!) the box!
Len is the kind of athlete that uses his fitness to live a larger life. For him, it’s been about being in shape to enjoy ‘other things’. “I was never a “gym rat.” Anything I did fitness-wise had some type of skill component: Snowboarding, mountain biking, rock climbing. I also did a ton of martial arts over the years: Japanese ju-jitsu and kung fu, primarily. Generally if I did any working out, it was usually to be better at one of those skill things. I did spend a good amount of time doing P90X at various points. I’m happy to quote Tony Horton lines to anyone.”
His fitness journey included some previous CrossFit, but something didn’t click for him until he came to the Cove. “I actually was at another affiliate about two years ago. It was okay and the coaching was good, but I just didn’t vibe with that particular place. It felt really hard to go consistently. Some of it was job-related travel, but when I was in town, I just couldn’t psych myself up. I also got injured in an unfortunate Thanksgiving folding table incident, which took me out of everything for months. Moving to a job that featured a mind-numbing two-hour-one-way commute also left me little time to do any working out. Heading into fall of last year, I was feeling pretty unhealthy, and I knew I had to do SOMETHING that would give me some accountability.
Because I had about six months of CF several years ago, I thought I knew what it was going to be, BUT like I said…at the other affiliate I struggled with my willingness to go. I knew if I was going to give it another try that I’d have to tough out it and go no matter what. I knew that the only battle I had to wage was getting into my car. If I got into the door each time and didn’t chicken out going, most everything else would take care of itself, and it has.
But the main battle I fight every day is with my own ego. I don’t generally put energy into things I’m not already sort of “at least okay” at. And I knew was gonna SUCK! I had to be willing to not be good. In my mind I had to be willing to be judged negatively and suck it up. This was going to be for me. But I was pleasantly surprised that my peers border between not paying any attention to me at all and being super encouraging.
I think a watershed moment was doing Barbell Club. That was where I felt I was at my worst. My ego was getting battered every time I went. But that was a signal to me that I had to stick it out. And those skills are so foundational to safely do CrossFit, I felt I needed to focus on them. I’m STILL terrible at oly lifts, but slowly I’m getting slightly better. And everyone in that class was amazingly encouraging.”
Like most of us, it’s really easy to celebrate our weakness and show up when there’s a movement you love. But Len really understands that the only way to get better and round yourself out to be a better athlete is to work on your weakness. We often say people need to “trust the process”, and Len is a prime example of that.
“I think overall the willingness to embrace the programming, when it sometimes REALLY exposes my weaknesses (I’m looking a you high rep power cleans) has just made me more resilient. I’ve found one meta-skill I’m gaining is learning to work out to more of my real capacity or willingness to be uncomfortable. To be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I’m also learning how to be okay with being older in a community full of younger very skilled and strong athletes. Fortunately there are some older Covies that are badasses that are role models and benchmarks for me. I am also becoming more accepting that there are things I’m decent at and other things I’m not, and being okay with that without getting lazy about it. My weak areas need work. My stronger areas are just probably average for everyone else, so I need to work on them, too.
There’s a slow, but steady physical transformation going on, and that’s been cool.”
He’s loving his time at the Cove and drawing strength from the community every day. “I’m honestly getting obsessed with getting good at this stuff. I can’t change my age (I just celebrated my 30th wedding anniversary… my marriage is older than most people here!), or how long it’s been since I’ve started CrossFit. BUT I can benchmark based on this and be as skilled and fit as I possibly can given those realities. he Open was such a blast to do, because I could see how I was doing against others my age. I now look at CrossFi as a bit of a skill thing just like the other things I’ve done in the past. I’ve got a number of skill goals I’d like to accomplish by the end of this year and I’m chipping away at them.
Finally, I don’t need to tell anyone here this. The Cove community is the best. I’m grateful I found it and get to be part of it.”
Len got that almost right. WE are the lucky ones!
8 min EMOM:
1 Power Clean + 1 Hanging Power Clean
5 Rounds for Time:
5 Power Cleans
50 Double Unders
10 Toes to Bar
1 min Rest
Open: 185/125 (15 Toes to Bar)
Coach’s Tip: Heavy power variations of the Clean today for strength, hitting both regular and hang positions. Try to increase weight each round if possible. Start heavy and make smaller jumps to end up accumulating more heavy work. The metcon has a built in rest to help you attack each round hard.
Taking her parenting skills to a whole new level…