Yesterday I was talking with a co-worker about a problem that all of us have or will encounter in any area of life…plateauing. I was speaking with him specifically about plateauing in rock climbing. I’ve been climbing on off for about 4 years and I feel like I’ve been stuck at the same skill level for about a year now. This has been incredibly frustrating because when I first started I saw huge gains, and lately, I’ve felt that no matter how hard I train those gains aren’t any where near as big as when I first started. I haven’t only felt this way with climbing but with cross fit as well. I look at the athletes in the games, gawk at their times and in turn scoff at my own unmoving “pr’s”. I wondered out loud if I had reached my max potential in climbing. My co-worker responded with something like this… There’s always going to be a point where our progress slows and maybe it will even be stagnant for a year, but the thing that will push us through that year is the “why”. The “why” should be good enough to keep us going even when we’re not seeing improvement. He said rather than measuring my performance in comparison to what others are accomplishing or even my own past gains that I should ask myself why I’m doing what I’m doing. He told me to find the “why”, stop being a baby, and work harder.
I find that for myself, most times it’s much easier to simply accept that the place I’m at is the “pinnacle of my potential”. It’s certainly more comfortable sitting on the top of my plateau whining about how I can’t get off it rather than pushing myself harder and tweaking the little things, whether it’s form, diet, sleep, etc. I think as far as the “why” goes, that’s always changing for me, but it is a good reminder for me to dig deep, especially when I feel myself getting burnt out, to reassess why I’m doing crossfit, climbing, or anything in life. If we can’t find “the why”, all those burpees, box jumps, pullups, and any other ridiculous crossfit thing we do will become a prison sentence instead of a joy, especially when we plateau.
So in the words of my wise co-worker, “find your why, stop being a baby, and work harder”
Look for more on breaking through plateaus this week!
Strength: 7X1 Power Clean + 1 Squat Clean + 1 push jerk, heaviest possible, rest 60 seconds between sets
WOD: row 1K, 50 pullups, 40 KB swings(50/35), 30 wall balls, 20 hand release push ups, 10 box jumps(30″/24″)