[uh-koun-tuh-bil-i-tee] –noun, the state of being, liable, or answerable. An obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions
6 syllables – that’s it. This one word has done more for me at the CrossFit box than any other six things. Like many, I came to CrossFit somewhat curious – what was it all about, what are the methods behind it, can I do this having never done Olympic Lifts before. Let’s see; front squat, overhead squat, snatch, clean and jerk, split jerk…and a whole bunch more — I had been tapering exactly 40 years for these – that was stuff other people did. But I dove in and loved it – gains initially came pretty quick. I’m not really good at anything, but I can suffer, which I found to be pretty useful in CrossFit as I am sure you have been on the suffering side a time or two at the box.
I saw people write their goals on the wall, trainers would harass me – “Meegs write your goals on the wall,” I didn’t - although I think about everyone else did. I wasn’t there yet. I kept telling myself I really knew what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go – I believed the load of crap I was selling myself. I didn’t want to be accountable. I wasn’t ready to accept responsibility for my actions, because we have all seen that what you do outside the box will translate into your performance inside. Sleep sucks = shitty WOD, bad nutrition – same result, and the list goes on…I wanted it to be somewhat divorced from the “rest of my life.”
I was sitting in a meeting that was, let’s just say it wasn’t the best use of my time (or at least that is what I thought…) when I started to write down a few things about CrossFit. It started out really simple – “XFit Goals…Back Squat 300lbs, Front Squat 205lbs, Deadlift 400lbs”…and the list went on. The more I wrote the more empowered I felt. I filled an entire page and suddenly I didn’t want the meeting to end!! “Row 2K sub 7 min, Fran Sub 5min, Get Multiple Muscle Ups…” It was then I realized, what I am doing now IS the rest of my life – and the reality check knocked on the door — everything is linked…you can’t get away from it by wishing or ignoring it away.
There it was – I was now accountable, I had CrossFit goals with a deadline to achieve them. I was excited to tell my wife and show her the list. I looked at things differently at the Box – I wrote things down and tracked the weights I was using – not to be obsessive, but because I had not tracked them before and found myself stagnating at the same weight as an excuse – ‘…I think I did 95lbs last time but I am not sure, so I’ll just do that weight again…’ I badgered the trainers for technique on Olympic lifts, especially OHS – which I still suck at…And the next time the trainers asked what is your one Rep Max (1RM) for deadlift – I knew what it was instead of the standard “uhh dunno, what should I do…”
The goals have changed, and they should – both short and long term – being accountable has not. Who I am accountable to has evolved – it was just me, but I realized that was way to narrow. My accountability has translated to my wife, children….and their children. I plan on being the Grandpa who takes the grandkids hiking, skiing, windsurfing, when I am ‘older than dirt…’ I WILL dance with my great-granddaughter at her wedding – who knows if I will live that long but if I do, I plan on being functional and independent. I will be there for my wife, whom I don’t deserve but thankfully she hangs around anyway. I am accountable to my Airmen and our Nation – I will give it 110% all the time and always be ready to deploy. I am accountable to all the CrossFitters at the Box – it is a community like no other.
Take the leap – write your goals down, post them on the wall behind the couch, blog them, talk about them – and make yourself accountable. Maybe the accountability is to just you, maybe your family, friends, to the members of your team, co-workers, or maybe it’s your fellow Trident CrossFitters, I don’t know. What I do know is that there is power behind those 6 syllables.