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You know the inch I’m talking about. The inch between squatting just above or just below parallel. The inch between getting your chin to the pull-up bar or just over it. The inch between slightly bent elbows and a full lock out in your handstand pushup. It’s so easy to get caught up in the whiteboard and “out performing” a friend who’s close to you in ability. Each time you count a rep that doesn’t meet the movement standards Crossfit and your box have established, you’re not only claiming something you didn’t earn, but you’re also cheating yourself out of good movement and improvement.
Now I’m not talking about unintentional slips during the WOD. We ALL need reminders to open our hips all the way at the top of the box jump or stand all the way up in the push jerk before resetting. We ALL lose count mid set and take our best guess at which rep we’re on. Those things happen. When you maintain high intensity long enough, things begin to slip. That’s why we have coaches! But there’s a big difference between that and counting a rep you didn’t quite complete.
There is a reason for the movement standards our box maintains, and everyone is held to that same standard! You should never be ashamed of not being able to hit that Rx button if you did YOUR best and moved correctly through the WOD. Rx gives us a goal to aim for! If you fudge a couple pounds on your barbell or a couple reps in that AMRAP, where is that satisfaction in clicking the Rx button or putting in your time? Not only is it a lie, but it is also robbing you of satisfaction later down the road when you DO lift the Rx weight.
Don’t find the feeling of satisfaction from the whiteboard, but find it in the sense of accomplishment after the WOD and that exhaustion that comes from pushing your body to the next level. Maybe that level isn’t where your best friend is or where the “superstars” at the gym are… Who cares?! Should we always have a goal of where we want to go? YES! Of course! But don’t be so focused on that goal that you forget the critical steps along the way. Embrace each WOD and give it your best shot. The satisfaction in that is enough.
Keep pushing, Habu athletes!! Whether you are at the top of the whiteboard or at the bottom, your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed! Each day, week, and month you are becoming better than the one before, and in that, you should be very proud.

Inspired by “An Open Letter to Cheaters” and general observation in the box.