Making the Impossible Possible

When I started CrossFit four years ago I never thought I would be where I am today athletically, professionally, and personally. In the beginning, just showing up and getting through the workout was all I could manage. Eventually, I got comfortable and ambitious enough to set some real concrete goals.

My first CrossFit goals were: Get a pull up (at 36 I had NEVER been able to do this!) and deadlift 200lbs (what?!).

In order to achieve these seemingly impossible (at the time) tasks I would need a plan. Being part of a community and having access to coaching helped but I would also have to practice, show-up, and track my progress. What I couldn’t imagine then was how pursuing these goals would turn me into the CrossFitter I am today.

As I went about these monumental tasks I realized that what I was doing outside the gym was just as important as what was happening inside the gym. Namely, I needed to eat better and sleep more.

Eating better and sleeping more increased my recovery time and I was able to workout more often. Within 8-months I more than hit my deadlift goal and around my 1-year CF anniversary I did my first dead-hang pull up. I hit plateaus and dealt with set-backs along the way, but with continued effort and clear focus I hit those marks with great pride!

Something else happened along the way that I didn’t expect. By setting a few distinct goals I created a synergy that radiated out into all aspects of my life and made me a better CrossFitter overall. Shortly after getting my first pull up I started hitting benchmark workouts RX’d and was asked to be on the CFV competition team. Outside the gym I was more confident, ambitious, and happy! How cool is that?!

Four years later I continue to set “impossible” goals. This year I had major surgery. My goal was to make a full recovery–not as glamorous as pull ups and heavy deadlifts but no less life-affirming. Six months later I am stronger and healthier than ever. I am hitting PR’s I never even dreamed of. It all started with pull ups and deadlifts.

What is your impossible goal?

Below I have included some tips to help set you on the path to greatness!

For each goal answer the following questions:

What is your goal? What do you hope to achieve? Be specific!
“Win the 2013 CFV Paleo Challenge.”
“Complete 45-days of paleo without any cheats.”
“Qualify for the CrossFit games.”

By when? Be realistic but not too safe.
“February 13, 2013.”
“By my 40th birthday.”

Why do you want to achieve this? This should be compelling to you. What really fires you up?!
“I want to start dating again.”
“I have high blood pressure and am at risk for diabetes.”
“I want to be healthy and fit as a head into my fifth decade of life.”
“Life is too short to be sick and sad.”

How will you feel when you get there? Again, this should feel exciting and compelling to you.
“Successful, powerful, unstoppable, proud.”

State your goal in the affirmative, present tense–As if you have already reached your dream. We believe what we tell ourselves!
“It’s February 13, 2013. I have won the CFV Paleo Challenge and look and feel better than I have in years. I will use my winnings to hire a trainer so I can get better at Olympic lifts.”
“It’s 2/13/2013 and I am the winner of the Paleo Challenge. My clothes fit perfectly and my benchmark score qualified me to get on the leaderboard! I can’t wait to participate in the 2013 CF Open.”

Potential obstacles along the path to success? Be honest with yourself here. Are they really obstacles or just excuses and fears rearing their ugly head?
“I travel for work a lot.”
“I hate cooking.”
“I am disorganized.”
“I love cheeseburgers and fries.”
“The dog ate my homework.”

Action steps to ensure success. What are three or four positive steps you can take regularly to make the journey easier and ensure success?
“Hire a trainer, find a buddy, cook meals for the week every Sunday, sign up for a competition, go to open gym on Sunday.”

Make it public. Nothing better than having someone else to answer to when you are falling down on the job.
Tell someone, put it on Facebook, whisper it in your wife’s ear.

Track your progress. Get a journal, a blog, a tape recorder.
Write down your progress regularly.

To help ensure your success we invite you to stop by this week to write down your 3 main goals for the year on our Goal Setting Board. Additionally, Paleo Challenge participants will be asked to write down 3 goals on their intake form.

Over the next 6-weeks we will be checking in on your progress during class time. Paleo participants will be encouraged to ask questions and seek support as part of our Challenge Google group. On February 13, 2013 the Paleo Challenge ends and we will take an assessment of your progress. Did you reach your goals? Are you closer than you were 6-weeks ago? Or do you need to reassess or recommit to what you have taken on?

Set aside some time in the next few days and let yourself dream impossible dreams. Use the community and your coaches for support and to bounce ideas off of. Make 2013 your best year ever.

Make sure you check out Coach Panda’s blog post on resolutions for our gym, too.

Good luck and kick ass.


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  1. the O.G. January 3, 2013 at 1:11 am - Reply

    Great post! Writing down and keeping track of my progress has always been an important tool to help me focus and reach my goals.
    Here’s to crushing all our goals in 2013!

  2. stix January 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    get it people! dont be shy – ask coaches if you need advice or to help you hold accountability! 2013 is going to be a great year and we are all here to help!

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