Finish or Fail
Written by Hunter Britt
“Full effort is full victory” – a famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi – is an Invictus mantra repeated frequently by coaches and athletes. This is not an ‘everyone’s a winner’ type of saying; it is also not saying that winning and being in first place is what it is all about. Rather, this quote speaks to how much effort, heart and passion you can bring to whatever task you’re performing.
Effort is not dictated by skill level, experience, strength, size, or speed; instead, it’s dictated by heart. Effort is dependent on how much heart you have; or another way to put it may be your mental fortitude. As the CrossFit Games Open rolls along, I want to challenge you to live up to the mantra of “Full Effort is Full Victory.” Obviously we do not know the workouts ahead of time, but we usually see relatively lighter weights and simpler movements like everyone’s favorite…burpees!
For all of us participating in the Open there will be moments in the workout where you are going to want to stop. Just remember, just because you take a break doesn’t mean that the clock is going to take one too. The clock is going to keep ticking, so we need to determine when it’s most appropriate to take a break.
For example, let’s say you are working through light thrusters. They are 95 and 65 pounds and there is 30 seconds left in the event. You know you can not finish in time and everything hurts like crazy. You feel like you have an elephant on your chest, fire ants on your legs and two raccoons attacking your shoulders.
You need to decide if you are going to push through the hurt, hold on to the bar and achieve those precious extra reps. Do you have the ‘finish or fail’ mentality? If you do have the mentality of ‘finish,’ there will be two outcomes.
Outcome 1: You smash the workout for yourself and have a great finish, knowing you did not give up.
Outcome 2: You fail a light thruster, might have a couple less reps but you leave the gym knowing that you gave everything you had and possibly pushed harder than you ever had. You pushed yourself to a point where you failed something that you can normally do an insane amount of times without a second thought. No matter how many reps you received on the workout, you can walk away knowing you gave full effort.
Both of these outcomes are far superior to the alternative of setting the barbell down, resting and letting the time tick away without fighting for those few extra reps. Doing so typically results in one of the worst feelings any of us will experience – regret. Whether you have one of the top scores in the world, or failed to even get out of the first round of a workout, there is no worse feeling than knowing you could have tried harder and performed better.
Heading into this week, keep your eye on what you can control – namely, your effort. You will be proud of what you achieve and walk away knowing that your score reflects the best you had to give. You’ll take pride in knowing that you fought until the end and never quit or gave up on yourself. If you can do that, you will be victorious.