CrossFit, as in life, teaches us that balance and moderation are key factors in determining our path toward achieving the highest possible standard of functional fitness. As Coach Hollis has emphasized countless times, if you deviate off that path too much -- toward an intense focus on just one or two particular components of fitness -- you risk moving more toward specializing in specific movements and skills and further away from achieving a higher level of overall fitness. It's great to effortlessly string together a dozen muscle-ups, but if you have the leg strength of a 5-year-old boy or, conversely, can squat the weight of a mini-bus but have the lung capacity of an 85-year-old asthmatic, you have strayed far off the path of greater fitness.
CrossFit brutalizes the specialist. It will expose your deficiencies quicker than a panel of judges on a reality TV show. For the sake of becoming a better overall athlete, that's a good thing. But working on weaknesses also poses certain risks if we don't go about it in a smart way, as I have recently learned. For the past several months, I have been obsessively focused on increasing my strength. I've added additional programming focusing on high intensity, shorter time domains, lower reps and higher weight. I've also dramatically increased my fat and protein intake. The diligent focus and work paid off, but it also cost me. While I reaped the benefits of such training -- getting bigger and stronger -- I also became less proficient in other areas of fitness that I value. When your weaknesses become your strengths and your strengths have turned into your weaknesses, you have gone way too far off the path. In short, chasing PRs in the Olympic lifts and power lifts cost me to lose focus on maintaining that balance of overall fitness that every CrossFit athlete should value. Work on improving your weaknesses, but at the same time, don't lose sight of the skills and movements in which you excel. And above all, have fun, be smart and be patient. The path never really ends, fitness is a lifelong endeavor. Embrace your mistakes, learn from them and continue on.