Over the holiday weekend I had the opportunity to have lots of different conversations with many different people. Neighbors, friends of neighbors, other CrossFit athletes, our own athletes, coaches, mentors, kids, and family. Of all of those conversations one stood out the most and made me recall a time in my own life that I experienced the very thing that he was experiencing. The athlete came up to me and said “I’m scared”. Scared of what I asked him and his reply was not what I was expecting but also something I completely understand. He is scared of the clean and jerk. Now not just any lift, but when the weight gets close to his max he becomes “scared” of it. Unsure why he has recently become scared we dove a little deeper into what he is trying to accomplish. Like I said before he close to reaching his goal. when I say close he is within single digit kilograms to qualifying for the American Open. It immediately took me back to my career as a golf professional again.
When I got into the golf industry I rose through ranks pretty quickly. If you know anything about the golf industry, when I say quickly what I mean is this. from the time to decided to play the game of golf at 23 years old and get into “the business” it took me about 2 yeas to land my first Head Golf Professional job. Being so new to the sport I was a decent player, nothing spectacular though. I could play a round in the mid 70’s to low 80’s every day. The game was a blast, I loved every minute being out there on the course hitting the little white ball at the hole. Then I got that promotion, well it wasn’t really even a promotion, it was just a change in job title. I had been the job for almost a year already. I became the Head Golf Professional at North Shore Golf Club in Orlando FL. I had reached a goal of mine faster than I could ever have imagined. I remember calling my mentor and telling him and he didn’t believe me. Said no one gets the title that fast. Well with title came self imposed expectations. The next round of golf I played I shot 102!! What in the world had happened? For the next 6 months I was lucky to break 90 on any golf course from any set of tees.
All I had done was convinced myself that if I was the Head Golf Professional I had to shoot lower scores. So I tried harder, thought more, took more risks, and just plain added pressure to every swing I took. Rather than just doing what I had trained to do and was blessed enough to pick it up quickly, I wanted more right away and only because I had gotten where I wanted to go. Rather be satisfied and enjoy the moment I immediately wanted more. Once I learned to take a step back from what I thought the outside world thought of me, my golf game, and my ability to run a golf course everything began to fall back into place. The game got easier, the game began to be more fun, and my scores started to drop again.
Back to my conversation this weekend. What I discussed with the athlete and what made me want to write to you about is this. Do we place a fear to succeed on our selves when we get close only because we don’t want to fail? I did. I know this is the exact reason that I struggled on the golf course. I know this is the reason that the athlete I spoke to is having a hard time with being scared of the clean and jerk. It’s not fear of the lift itself, it’s fear of not actually reaching the final goal when you get so close, or feeling that you may not deserve to reach that goal. Either way do it! We discussed a plan of action that includes getting back to having some fun with barbell and playing. Not taking things too seriously. If it becomes work and not play our heart, drive, and passion for it fades. I don’t remember where I saw it but one of my favorite quotes is “to succeed you must first fail, only after you have failed will truly know what success is”. Think about that the next time you are close to reaching that goal or closing that business deal. put yourself out there and don’t allow your own thoughts to stop you. Wayne Gretzky once said “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”