CrossFit and failure

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Greg Soneff, CrossFit Paideia Gym.

In all worthy pursuits, whether they be fitness-related or otherwise, there will be setbacks. Recent circumstances provided me the opportunity to reflect on a setback of my own and the role failure plays in the pursuit of elite fitness (or any worthy pursuit)…

1. WALLOW – disappointment and frustration are natural responses to any setback. If you aren’t disappointed or upset then you probably didn’t want it bad enough in the first place. Putting on a brave face and pretending you’re “fine” won’t fool anyone, least of all yourself. Allow yourself to be upset but put an expiry date on it – give yourself a few days to mope, wallow and feel sorry for yourself and then get over it.

2. PUT IT IN PERSPECTIVE – the mind has a nasty habit of making things seem worse than they actually are so avoid keeping everything bottled up inside. One of the easiest ways I’ve found to put things back into perspective is to air them out in the open. Talk with your friends, family, coaches, and/or colleagues. Blog about it, write it in a journal, anything to get it out there. Nothing that has been spoken aloud is ever as bad as it sounds in your head. The people around you are an invaluable support network – make use of them!

3. LEARN – All setbacks are an opportunity to learn and grow (I know, it sounds like new age positive thinking crap but it’s true). What caused the setback? Did you get enough sleep? Eat right? Did you have the right mindset? Did you have the right strategy going in? Were you prepared? Two things to remember here – first, be honest with yourself – look yourself in the mirror, ask yourself the tough questions and get the straight answer – even if you don’t like it. Second, don’t analyse it to death – find the 1-2 largest contributors and tackle them head on. Going into every little detail will only dilute your focus and make the task ahead seem even more overwhelming

4. MOVE ON – stay focused and committed. This is the time to revisit your training and your goals. Make adjustments based on what you have learned and then to push on. Your fitness will NOT determined by a single workout or performance, it WILL be determined by your ability to persevere and grind it out over the long-haul. Now, I’m not saying you should simply pretend the setback didn’t happen – it did – what I am saying is quit dwelling on it and use it to strengthen your resolve on the path ahead.

5. FAIL AGAIN – put yourself out there, don’t let setbacks deter you from the end goal. True failure comes only to those who pack it in and take the ‘easy’ road. Put yourself in situations where failure is an option. Suck up your ego and lay it all on the line. Failure is as much a part of the game as winning. If you are afraid to fail then you are just as afraid to win!


Still (very) few sports availabe for the Martin Rooney Seminar 5-7 March 2010, Copenhagen @ Butcher’s Lab. Read more and sign op here.

Support Rocinha CrossFit in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas – see more here:

One thought on “CrossFit and failure

  1. Hang in there Greg! Victory comes to those who wait, and your time to shine is coming up …

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