Keep Your Head In It!


It’s almost over, tomorrow is the announcement of the last Open Workout of the 2013 CrossFit Games Season.  Keep your head in it.  We have all had ups hand downs in the Open.  You may have had some performances that have left you feeling like you could have done better, maybe even after multiple attempts.  Others you may have surprised yourself and have gotten a glimpse at how far you have come which is really what it is all about.  Leaderboarding aside tomorrow is a new day.  The last workout is just as new as the first.  Here are some things that I have learned that may help you keep your head in it as you get after the last WOD.  Most of which I have learned from others, and some on my own.


- The past doesn’t define you TODAY:  This is a new workout that sits before you and NONE of your past performances dictate what you can do on this workout and what you WILL do if you set out to do it.


-Set small goals, and I mean small:  When it gets tough, like it does for all of us, set micro goals.  Ben had me working on this the week I visited him and it’s tremendously helpful.  It may be just getting your hands on a bar again, keeping your hands off your knees, turing to face the next exercise.  You have to do all of these things before the next rep and you are one step closer to it when you do it.


-EVERYONE is nervous:  We all think that we are the only ones that get the jitters and that everyone else is super confident and comfortable with the workout. No one is, some just manage it better than others, and hopefully all of these things help you out with that.


-Your performance has NO impact on your identity:  If CrossFit is the ONLY thing you have you may think otherwise, but it’s still not WHO you are.  It’s what you do.  I think the only failure is not attempting to get after it at all.


-Before you start the workout remind yourself WHY you are thankful that you can do this:  It may be personal growth, realizing that you have abilities that some may never have, being grateful for a community that you are part of, etc.  Either way, take a look at the bigger pic and make sure you have a reality check before the 3,2,1 go.


-Give yourself a grounding point:  When things get nasty, along with those micro goals get back to a phrase or word that grounds you in confidence.  I often find myself saying “Calm and Strong”, or “We’ve got this”.  I’m not alone in it and I won’t phrase things like that (make sense?).


-Walk away having left it all out there:  No matter what, I really believe that no one will judge you based on your performance.  We all may want to see someone or another do well.  But the reality is that we are all so incredibly motivated by ANYONE that pours their heart out and lays it all on the line.  Regardless of the outcome walk away knowing it was all you had.


Hopefully you can take a couple of these with you before attacking the last WOD.  Remember, CrossFit is not the Games.  The community of people that throw down every day is CrossFit.  As Rx’d or not, a regional or games contender or not.  Soccer mom to elite athlete, we make up the community.  The overwhelming majority of the community may never walk on the Games stadium floor but will have far more impact on their local community and possibly even farther by their daily efforts in the gym. THAT is CrossFit.


CrossFit Prayer:

Father, Thank you for the abilities you give us, for the strength and wisdom we gain in our training.  Be with us as we work that we may do our best.  Help us to be encouraging to others.  Thank you for the people you have brought into our lives.  Bless the athletes, coaches, and all those who support our training.  May the results from our training be a reflection of Your Spirit in our lives.  And finally Father, remind us that there is no failure, but only growth in the body and mind.  Amen.


-Author Unknown… but I love it


  1. Fidencio Hinojosa says:

    Awesome post Chris! I just want to say that I know it may sound weird, but you’re a hero to me. Being only 5’7″ and 148 lbs., I look up to you and admire your athleticism like crazy. I hope to one day be as athletic as you are and perhaps make it to the games. I also hope that I get to meet you one day. I have had SO many amazing experiences thanks to the community that you mention and I know it’s just going to keep getting better as we all continue to grow. Good luck in this last WOD Speal, and good luck at the Games.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow Chris. This is simply amazing. I loved everything you said in this. Thank you! I will take every piece of this into the 13.5 WOD. Will be cheering for you at the Games.

  3. Andi says:

    So thankful for your words!
    You are my absolute number one person in the whole crossfit community.
    Without people like you, crossfit wouldn’t be what it is right now.

    Keep up the fantastic work!

    All the best for the further season.

  4. Alan says:

    Hey Chris,

    Fantastic post. I like the way you close off the post. Crossfit isn’t about the games, it’s about the people and community who thrive because of the gifts that CrossFit gives us. We sometimes don’t recognize that our darkest moments and the way we ACT in those moments might often be our biggest gifts. Crossfit and its community pushes us to be better, it challenges us to Be our own HEROES and applaud others who attempt as well.

    Thanks for being such a positive light for all of us.


  5. Rhonda says:

    Great post, I love the message. Thank you and good luck to everyone on 13.5.

  6. Awesome! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Corey says:

    Great post! It is so hard to get caught up in everything and where you sit. Thank you for the reminder that it is all so much larger than that.

  8. Bill- Breeze says:

    Thanks so much Chris for your persective on the open, my first!
    Thanks for reminding me at 52 ,not to beat my self up for what I think are poor performances.
    After 6 months of cross fit, I guess I forget about the folks I run into that say,”wow BIll you look great what are you doing?”
    Ill remember Friday at 5:30 when I go for my first Chest to Bars! ALL PR’s!
    Thanks again!

    • Matt says:

      Thanks Chris for this post, and for everything you do to inspire our whole community to get a little better everyday, in fitness and in life. After a few weeks of beating myself up over not having done as well as I hoped, I realized as the 135# C&J in 13.4 was announced that 1 year ago I would not have gotten even 1 rep on this workout. Now I can cycle the T2B unbroken and got 25 of the C&J for a still humble, but very personally satisfying score of 43. Like you said, the past does not define who I am or what I am capable of today. I may not get past 4:00 on 13.5, but I will pour everything I have into it, and know that when I do, it will contribute just a little more to my ability to climb, ski, play with my daughters, rock the 2014 open (!) and have a long healthy amazing time on this earth.

      Pulling for you at Regionals and the Games!

  9. Katherine says:

    What an inspirational message. Thank you for the reminder. I did the open this year as I have only been a crossfitter for 6 months and wanted to bench mark myself for next year God willing ;) I have proved to myself I can do toes to bar- I had NEVER been able to do them. I have been able to do wall ball shots- granted I did not get 150 in- but I got 100 in and I am elated and continue to see growth. That is why I joined and it is everything I needed to grow as I am head into my 60′s!

    • Terri O says:

      YOU are an inspiration. You’re heading into your 60′s and can do 100 wallballs! I’m 46 and struggle with doing 50 squats, much less wallballs. I look to this community and see so many heros and role models…and friends! Thank you for proving that we should not measure ourselves by our age sometimes, but more by our fitness level and willingness to make the effort. Wishing you continued health and fitness!

  10. Amanda G says:

    An amazing message. Thanks for the reminder. It’s so easy to get caught up in the race up the leaderboard that so many miss the smaller things that matter. Thanks helping me focus my mind on the important things coming into this last workout. Good luck to everyone!

  11. Tierney Jacobs says:

    I Love these posts and this post has been more than inspirational as far as how and why to go in head first to 13.5. I have only recently developed my kipping pull-up, so I hope to be able to pull through some C2B in this W.O.D. with posts like this one, I feel like I can do ANYTHING and am willing to go out trying my hardest. ROCK! T–Crossfit Cadence

  12. Scot Peterson says:

    Chris – this is a great post! I did 13.5 this AM and really struggled with the C2B and I walked away really frustrated with myself. However, after reading your post above I remembered it’s not about the score, the open/games, the WOD it’s about the friends I WOD with, living healthy and throwing down a good WOD everyday. I am going to redo 13.5 but I will go into it with a better mindset thanks this post.

    Thanks and kill 13.5

  13. Chris,
    Thank you for posting this. It was shared with the athletes in our gym and is worthy of posting on the wall permanently. You are a favorite at our gym because of your wonderful attitude, your commitment to the communitty and your down to earth tough as dirt nature. Your an inspiration to coaches and athletes throughout the world. Thank you and keep it up.

  14. Val says:

    You always have been, always will be one of my favorite Crossfitters. Thank you for setting such a good example for us and for the future Crossfit athletes. And thank you for representing our God with such grace and integrity. You are a champ!

  15. Dave Nova says:

    Great way to inspire and motivate fellow Crossfitters. You set the example for all of us to aspire to. Good luck to you in Regionals and the Games.

  16. Paul says:

    Thank you, Chris, for these inclusive, positive, encouraging words. So many of us need to keep these things in mind, and just reading them has already put me in a more positive and grateful frame of mind. May the Open, just like CrossFit as a whole, serve to make each of us a better, stronger person, physically and mentally.

  17. anonymous says:

    Great post Chris… With all the “rogue” mindset out there about CrossFit it is nice to have someone from within to put life in perspective. It is about a worldwide community hoping all do their best with the God given talents they have received. Nice prayer!! You are an inspiration.


  18. Allison says:

    Amen! Chris, thanks for giving credit & praise to God, from whom all strength comes. God has raised you up for such a time as this – -for His glory!

  19. Chris says:

    Thanks for all the great comments guys. If there are ever questions or a topic you are interested in hearing about hit me up at and I’ll see what I can drum up for you!

  20. Tyler says:

    Encouraging to say the least!! Thanks for showing your faith and witness.

  21. Chris,
    Well said, thanks for your leadership and inspiration. It isn’t about the ultimate place standing. It is about all of the small goals that we fight to achieve on a daily basis. If you leave it all out on the floor every during every challenge then you can feel good about where you stand.
    Good luck, keep laying out there,

  22. Mike Ives says:

    Incredible post Chris! Just shared this with my wife who is a great athlete but has been getting stressed out before the Open workouts. She found it very helpful to put things in perspective as did I. Going to repost it on our site.

    Thanks again,


  23. Gio says:

    Thanks for all the CrossFit Emotion…

  24. Ty says:

    I will say Chris this is extremely well written. As a 42 year athlete (former) who has only been doing crossfit for only 8 1/2 months these words helped bring me back to reality. Being a bit over competitive while growing up is an understatement to say the least. After reading your words, it truly helped me put these games in a much better perspective. Though I may have already known this, reading it from and elite athlete truly helped.
    The box I’m affiliated with has been nothing but positive in every aspect of being supportive. I don’t mean just within the box or workouts. Crossfit Iron Will is always involved with some type of charity work within the community “ALWAYS”. It could be for a fallen hero or a member in the gym has a road race to raise money for autism (which was the case today) or anything that someone in the box wants help with.
    So as I read your words I could not help but say to myself “Chris your exactly right”.
    The box is filled with people of all walks of life and backgrounds. AND I FOR ONE AM GLAD TO BE A PART OF IT !!!!!! I realized long ago that the level of fitness I once had will never be had again due to age but the level of community involvement can.
    Thanks Chris for your wise words. Take care God Bless and good luck in the Games……

  25. Mike Beckner says:

    Chris . . . As a 58 year-old 9 month CrossFitter training out of our “old school” two car garage with 20 folks from the church I pastor, I thank God for you . . . We have a wide range of folks with us from two 63 year-old grandmothers, all the way down to two 15 year-old high school students . . . The genius of CF is that it allows all of them to train together in the same workout scaled to their present capacity . . . Our slogan is: “Closing the gap between present capacity & God given capability” . . . CF will continue to evolve & experience growing “pains” but as long as there are elite athletes, like yourself, reminding everyone of what CF is really all about at its heart this sport will continue to change lives by making people better . . . BTW, we are posting your prayer in the garage & saying it before every WOD . . . God bless you! . . .

  26. Rod K. says:

    One of the best things I have read in a really long time. Thanks for the perspective and the words from someone who has earned his stripes every step of the way.

  27. Hey Chris!
    Great article…thanks for taking the time to write it. Just wanted to let you know your “unknown author” is CrossFit Talon’s very own Bruce Daniel. It is from a postcard that we sent in a care package to our college-aged CrossFitters this last fall. The postcard prayer is just one example of the amazing things we have going on here at CrossFit Talon in Franklin, TN. We feel so blessed to be able to integrate CrossFit into a bigger picture…a spiritual, supportive community. (I actually think you met some of our members out at your place last summer…Hunter and Cynthia Shelden.) Again, more great people! Thanks so much for sharing with everyone. Below is the link to see how it originated:

    Tara & Dennis Cheatham
    CrossFit Talon, Owners/Coaches
    Franklin, TN

  28. Doug says:

    I resonate with “calm and strong.” Once we’ve done the spiritual and physical work to cast out fear and doubt, calm and strong is what we are naturally. Thank you, Chris.

    Our bodies are sacred, we commune with His Spirit there. So, it’s right and good to learn the laws that govern them. Thank you technique, paleo, zone, mobility, etc.

    Finally, if He knows when we loose a hair from our head, surely He knows when we miss a rep. This must be true, because reps are more important than hair!!!

  29. Doug says:

    I resonate with “calm and strong.” Once we’ve done the spiritual and physical work to cast out fear and doubt, calm and strong are what we are naturally. Thank you, Chris.

    Our bodies are sacred, we commune with His Spirit there. So, it’s right and good to learn the laws that govern them. Thank you technique, paleo, zone, mobility, etc.

    Finally, if He knows when we loose a hair from our head, surely He knows when we miss a rep. This must be true, because reps are more important than hair!!!

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