Be Self Sufficient to Be Successful


At Crossfit Portland, we really like for our members to set clear goals. As a coach I generally try to encourage people to pursue goals that are meaningful to them, rather than making my own suggestions about what I think those goals should be.

That said, I do have a goal for everyone. Whether you know it or not, one of our goals for you is to help you become a more self-sufficient athlete.

The first and simplest step that you can take towards becoming a more independent athlete is to make it a priority to learn the basic lifts. This includes their names!

There are times when everyone needs extra help and support, especially when they’re new. However, over time you should begin to take ownership of your experience with the gym. As you learn more and grow as an athlete, you shouldn’t need to rely on the coaches’ help for everything.

I’m not saying I expect you to be able to do everything on your own. What I am saying is that if you want to achieve your individual goals a certain degree of autonomy is necessary. We understand that there’s a lot to learn and that it can be confusing at first. It takes time, but it’s worth it to be able to take what you learn here and make it yours.

It can be easy to fall into the habit of relying on the coach to always tell you what to do and to catch and correct all of your mistakes. By putting the effort into learning the movements yourself, you take the first step towards autonomy and being able to take what you learn at the gym and make it your own.

So why is this important?

The self-sufficient athlete takes ownership of their experience at the gym, and by doing so they gain the ability to take ownership of all that they accomplish. They gain the power to imagine themselves as the sort of person who does the things we do here:

They become a weightlifter, a runner, a gymnast, a jump-roper, a wall-baller, a Crossfitter. They become “that guy” or “that girl”!

One of the great things about this transformation is that by changing the way you view yourself, it affects your perception of the workouts that you do. Workouts will still be hard, but when you’re able to see yourself as an athelete you’re less likely to think “how will I ever do that” and more likely to think “somehow I will do this.”

Striving towards self-sufficiency gives you the confidence to challenge yourself. Sometimes, you push harder/go heavier, and you may find yourself in over your head. Other times you will scale down too much, making your workout too easy.

Neither scenario is a failure or defeat, but just another lesson you were able to teach yourself! It’s an experience that you can use to point you in a better direction next time, as opposed to evidence that you are weak or incapable, or that you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’re take away is all negative, I’m telling you flat out that you’re learning the wrong lessons.

Remember, self-sufficincey is a goal. It’s not going to happen all the time. You come here to be coached and to workout as part of a group, and no one expects you to know what you’re doing 100% of the time. It’s a process, and one that you can benefit from as long as it’s on your radar enough to try.