Help, My Workout Sucked!

Today was one of those no good very bad days at the gym. The kind where you almost wish divine intervention had prevented you from going in the first place. Clearly I was not on divinity’s radar this morning as I walked into the suckiest workout of 2014.

Of course you never know that going in, do you? We were all amped up to do 14.2 (the second workout in this year’s Crossfit Games Open). It featured 3:00 min intervals with ascending numbers of 65 lb overhead squats and chest-to-bar pull-ups. I’ve never snatched more than 60lbs before, let alone squatted it overhead. Yet I believed that all my hard work would pay off and somehow in that 3 minutes I’d dig out one rep. I’ve been getting stronger, right? So as everyone else set their goal at completing at least one if not two rounds (84 reps), I was psyching myself to get just 1 rep. But secretly, I was hoping for more.

I judged for the first group and they all smashed it. Inspired by their awesomeness, I stepped up to the bar, ready to get my rep.  I had on my fancy lifting shoes. I was thinking the good thoughts. Then it was my turn. I squeaked out a couple failed snatch attempts, then some C&J to push presses to get into position, wobbled down a few inches and bailed. It was a long 3 minutes.

Not even close to a rep. My fancy lifting shoes seemed to mock me. “Nice try, dude. Maybe next year?”

Walking home, I couldn’t tell what was worse, failing so completely or being so dramatically wrong about my abilities.

A few well-placed woe-is-me text messages later and I started to come around. The consensus: being miserable about a workout is dumb.

So what do you do when you suck at your workout?

Indulge the sulk. Until you hit the shower. 

You tried hard but nothing went right. Of course you have the right to pout, a little. But brush it off by the time you’re back in street clothes so you can salvage your day. Everyone you come in contact with will thank you.

Hit up your friends.  

This is when gym friends come in handy, or best friends who share your intense love of sporty things. They are your safe place. You can get all nerdy and detailed about your heartwrenching session and they GET you. They’ve been there. They remind you that you’re strong (duh) and you try hard and you do not suck in the least.

Log that shit. 

Normal people will try to forget about their suckiness as soon as possible. But you’re an athlete who knows only logging workouts you PR is cheating yourself from really understanding your progress and predicting your future performance. Tell your ego to shut up and learn from your bad days too.

Get motivated. 

Why did things go wrong? Was it lack of sleep/mobility/strength/guts? Take an honest look and you’ll find an area you can work on. Get angry at it. Get strategic about it. Just use this as an opportunity to improve. 

Go back.

Yeah, sometimes I’d rather stay in bed than risk another disappointing workout. But I don’t. Snooze alarms don’t make you stronger.

Of course, you could also be one of those chill people who just don’t get hung up on these things.