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  • Failing Forward

    fail1Did 14.1 remind you that you don’t have a double under yet? Maybe 14.2 challenged your “no” chest to bar pullups or hoisting 65 or 95 lbs into an overhead squat or trying to beat an ever ticking clock?

    As we head into the 14.3 WOD announcement later this week, these words from Michael Josephson on how to learn reminds me that simply being absorbed in the pursuit of any challenge or change always makes an improvement in your life or the lives of others, whether you’re aware of it at the time or not.

    Taking his words to heart, “learn to enjoy the process” or better yet, Wayne Gretzky’s You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

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    The best way to teach ourselves to succeed is to fail.

    After all, if getting everything you want on the first try is success, and everything else is failure, we all fail much more often than we succeed.

    People who learn how to grow from unsuccessful efforts succeed more often and at higher levels because they become wiser and tougher.

    Two great American inventors, Thomas Edison and Charles Kettering mastered the art of building success on a foundation of what others might call failure.

    Edison liked to say he “failed his way to success,” noting that every time he tried something that didn’t work he moved closer to what did. “Now I know one more thing that doesn’t work.”, he would say.

    The lesser known Kettering (head of research for General Motors from 1920-1947) talked about “failing forward,” calling every wrong attempt a “practice shot.”

    The strength of both men was that their creativity and confidence was undiminished by setbacks and unsuccessful efforts. They accepted that trial and error is an essential strategy for breakthrough innovation and simply rejected the notion of failure.  Thomas Watson, the founder of IBM, cautioned his leaders from being so careful that they never failed. He went so far as to say, ‎”The way to succeed is to double your failure rate.”

    Of course, failure is never desirable, but it is inevitable and, with a proper attitude, can be quite useful.

    The only way to avoid failure is to avoid the risks and challenges and that probably is a case of real failure. The great hockey player Wayne Gretzky used to say, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

    Whatever your goal, whether it’s to get something, do something, or improve yourself as a person or professional, the secret of success is learning to transform unsuccessful experiences from stumbling blocks to stepping stones.

    Three qualities can turn adversity into advantage: a positive perspective, reflection, and perseverance.

    1. First, learn from the inventors. Don’t allow yourself to think of any failure as final, and never allow unsuccessful efforts to discourage you or cause you to give up. Remember, failure is an event, not a person. Even failing repeatedly can’t defeat you unless you start thinking of yourself as a failure. The way you think about your experiences shapes the experience in ways that either stimulate or stymie further efforts.
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    2. Second, don’t waste the experience. Unsuccessful efforts are wasted and debilitating only if you don’t learn from them. Reflect on your actions, attitudes and the results to discover the lesson within the experience and use that knowledge to guide future efforts.
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    3. Third, persevere. Try and try again. Just be smarter each time.
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    And finally, learn to enjoy the process.

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  • Late? Be Our Guest!

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    Did you know that you are more than welcome to be late to class at CrossFit Everett?

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    It will only cost you 30 burpees! *

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    We want to ensure everyone is warmed up properly for the workout and sometimes when you run late you also cut the warmup short and that just = injury. So lets all hold each other accountable for timeliness and injury prevention.

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    * Effective 3-10-14

  • Rowing Intro

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    A few more tips from WODTalk and Ben O’Grady on our favorite topic, rowing — you might be able to use a few of these tomorrow …

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    The Concept2 rowing machine, or “erg” as it is commonly called in rowing circles, is a nearly ubiquitous piece of equipment in CrossFit gyms. Since we’ve all used it at some point in a WOD, I’d like to introduce three key technique for getting efficient with rowing. In CrossFit we use the erg primarily for short sprints (e.g. 20 calories) and some middle distance work, like 500 or 1000 meters. Very rarely do we go beyond the 1000-meter threshold.

    With short rowing workouts being the order of the day, there are three keys for using the erg to your advantage in a WOD.

    1. The first key is efficiency of technique. It’s possible to get good scores on the erg and utilize it almost as a rest period, similar to how someone with efficient double-unders can rest. Clean up your technique using the tips above and you’ll notice you’ll be less fatigued after a fast 500-meter row, with more energy leftover for the other movements. If you’re pounding on the erg with terrible technique expect some sore forearms, back, and hamstrings!
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    2. The second key is to pick how heavy you want to load up the fan, which is adjusted with the lever on the outside of the flywheel. It goes from 0 – 10, with 0 being the lightest and 10 being the heaviest. I recommend going with a light or moderate fan setting, because at high loads you’re risking an injury especially when combined with poor technique. I’ve seen many a pulled back muscle due to too-heavy rowing loads. I personally row with the lever set between 5 and 6.
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    3. The third key is to pick how quickly you’re taking strokes, otherwise known as the stroke rate. Stroke rate is measured in strokes-per-minute and the rate number is displayed prominently on the erg monitor. Since we’re usually sprinting in WODs, I try to keep my rate between a 28 – 36, with shorter workouts having higher stroke rates. When you combine high stroke rate with a low load, the erg becomes an aerobic workout and less of a weight lifting movement.
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