Exploit Your Weaknesses

What makes you great?  You, specifically?

Yes, you're great.  At some things, especially.  So what's holding you back on the others?
Let me get this old cliche out of the way: you're only as strong as your weakest link.
In a life that sometimes may feel out of your control, there are always actions you can take to make things better.  One of those is to strengthen your weaknesses.
There are things we KNOW we're good at.  There are things we KNOW we're not good at yet.  There are also things – unknown to us today – at which we won't be good in the future.  Fortunately, there are things ahead of all of us at which we can be great.  All we have to do is start preparing now.
Step #1: Take an honest inventory of your skillset.  Is your spelling mediocre?  Is your squat only 'deep enough' at the YMCA?  Is your grammar on par with a sixth-grader?  Are you pre-diabetic?  Better take action.
Step #2: Assess just how good – or bad – you are.  Ask for an extra evaluation at work.  Submit an article to an editor in your field of interest.  Book an appointment for CAT Testing.  Get some blood work done.  Swim across a lake – no, scratch that one.  You don't want to score 75% in a life-and-death struggle.
Step #3: Determine the straightest line to your goal.  Take lessons.  Get coaching.  Read.  Filter.  Repeat.
Step #4: Measure progress.  Start over with the NEXT weakest link.

What's going to improve you more, overall: whittling your particular penchant for sub-Amazon purple-tipped three-antennaed butterflies, or learning how climate change is destroying rainforests?  Adding 1/8 of an inch to your biceps, or learning how to do 5 pullups without stopping?  To shift your picture, you can't just change your focus; you've got to broaden your lens.  You've got to zoom out occasionally.  You've got to put it in 'landscape' mode.   You've got to gain context.

This is going to require some humility on your part.  You can't make progress against your own failings if you're arrogant.  The blustery 'Big Benchers' from other gyms, generally, don't come to our Bench Group twice.  Those who do excel.  We've had more than one case of a 20lbs gain on a new guy's bench press in one session.  THIS is what's possible when you pay constant attention to your weakest links.

The Japanese use a concept called "Kaizen" to describe the continual act of self-improvement.  Click the link to read about it.  

On Saturday the 7th, Catalyst Gym members traded 90 minutes of sleep for huge improvements in their Cleans, Jerks, and Snatches.  The video is below.  Watching isn't as good as being there was, but it WILL help.

Nick Zossimas OLY Seminar -Unedited from Chris Cooper on Vimeo.

Sarah MacGregor (local chick and Crossfitter in absentia) who trains at Crossfit Ottawa just started the Paleo Diet.  This is her blog.  Send her some support!

And this, friends, is one of my all-time favourite videos.  Sebastien Wetzel, age 15, in his first powerlifting meet.  Sebastien's hoping to qualify for the Special Olympics.  The meet was our Virtualmeet Push/Pull on January 23.  

Sebastien – Breakthrough! from Chris Cooper on Vimeo.

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