Aside from Colin, I’m not sure that any of the rest of us had any idea what we were letting ourselves in for back on January 29th!
The physical challenge has been one of maintaining good form in the face of ever increasing volume. It is enormously easy to get sloppy whilst performing this movement; I for one will hold my hands up and say my starting burpees were very poor in this regard. Repeated exposure to poor movement patterns can quickly become habitual, and when those poor patterns increase your risk of injury you are on to a “bad thing”.
Hats off to Andrew for highlighting this early enough in the challenge and getting everyone focused back on quality of movement.
The aspect of the challenge that I wasn’t expecting was the mental side. I am fairly confident that everyone has experienced a dose of this by now!
There’s the boredom and monotony of doing the same movement again and again each day, safe in the knowledge that the next day you’ll do more!
The anxiety around missing a day, and the stress/punishment of having to do two or more days catch-up.
The frustration of having to find time in the day to get through the volume of work that you have signed up for.
The pressure of having openly committed to a challenge and not wanting to quit – even if you really don’t want to continue anymore.
And all this before facing the other – obvious – fact: burpees are hard work. Done fast or slow, over the course of a whole day or unbroken, they are taxing. Add to this the pressures of a day job, and the hard work you already put in at The Blackboard gym, it’s no wonder that some of us sit in bed at night dreading the next day’s reps.
I think there is also a loneliness involved in this, that has a bigger effect that you might realise.
In the gym, you have a CrossFit London coach and fellow athletes working together and cheering you on. At home (or hidden in a meeting room at the office) you are on your own. No-one else is going to encourage you, or help you get the reps done.
It’s just you, and your own brand of never-say-quit, stop-whinging-and-get-on-with-it, burpees-won’t-break-me, guts and determination.
And so, for everyone that started the challenge, and especially to those of you who are still plugging away each day, I ask you to allow yourself a few moments to feel proud of what you have accomplished so far.
If it was easy, it wouldn’t be a challenge.