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In my last blog post I outlined how to become more consistent with your workouts by planning out your week of fitness and then executing on that plan.  But let’s bring it back up one level.  Why workout anyway?  What are you training for?  PR’ing your Fran time and your 1RM Clean and Jerk every few months is pretty awesome, and at first just being noticeably better at CrossFit is all the motivation you need!  But if you hit a plateau in your Wodify weightlifting graph or find yourself searching for motivation to get in the gym on a regular basis, you might need something else, a meaningful challenge in your future that you can keep in mind.

This special, looming challenge could be CrossFit-related like competing in the next Eastern Shore Affiliate Challenge, or even just committing to doing better than last year in the CrossFit Open.  Maybe even more powerful would be an event that you don’t feel like you’re currently prepared for, something you’ve never done before.  A Spartan Beast obstacle course race, or a GORUCK Challenge, or an Olympic Weightlifting meet.  Of course, it must be something you are interested in — otherwise the motivation won’t really be there — but also the more outside of your comfort zone it is, the better!  Think of it like this – if I sign myself up for a 50K trail run that is going down in March, I am going to be super gung-ho about creating a stepwise training plan for myself that will address all of my weaknesses that would be exposed on those rocky hills.  If I sign myself up for a 5K road run on Kent Island, I wouldn’t feel too bad about neglecting my training and nutrition for a while — if I get ramped up a couple weeks before the race I’ll be good to go.  So make it something you will enjoy training for and then crushing on “race day”, but also something that you do NEED to train for.

On those days that we all have when you’re lacking that internal motivation to get in the gym or even just get out of bed, keeping that difficult event in mind will be that external motivation that you need to work on improving your fitness and your mental game.  We all know that CrossFit makes us more physically fit, but practicing that discipline to do the hard work when you really don’t feel like it will also pay big dividends during the toughest times of your event.

So, as this year wraps up and the colder weather is dragging in shorter days, I encourage you all to commit to a tough challenge to loom in your near future.  Sign up, put it on your calendar, and your winter workouts will be fueled by motivation to arrive at that event ready to kick ass, and a huge success at the event will propel you forward to even greater challenges!