Dealing With Change

It was a very hot and muggy morning and I slept in since I have the week off and went to a later morning class at Highbar CrossFit. I am feeling so great about the progress I have been making and the stuff I am learning with new coaches. I have never really done any bench pressing before and I am learning the proper form to increase my load. I am noticing some more definition in my shoulders/pecs/lats since I started with Highbar five weeks ago. It’s so great to see progress so quickly and learn a different approach to strength training. I also think the fact that I still get a metcon at the end of the session is helping a lot too. Many times at the other place, I would do strength two times a week as programmed and not really see any real progress because it wasn’t the same strength movement and we did it sporadically.

And as much as I like Oly Lifting and the challenge of it, I think having people work on fundamentals like strength, core and body awareness is key in helping them progress to oly lifting. Why would people work on the Snatch if they can’t even get some of the fundamentals down first? They will most likely never get the snatch without nailing the basics. It goes back to what Carl Paoli and Kelly Starrett are trying to teach. Don’t rush the fundamentals. They are key to progressing and learning the tougher movements and are also key in keeping you healthy!  Put your ego aside and peel back the layers if you have to. The only person you compete with day in and day out is YOU.

I also find the coaches really love this stuff –when I say this stuff, not just CrossFit. They are well rounded in their knowledge of coaching and strength and exercise approaches.

And as much as I love my new gym, I am also still somewhat melancholy about my leaving CFI. Change is hard and even harder if it wasn’t necessarily by choice or under the best of circumstances. One of the reasons I gave so much to CFI is because I liked being there, liked the community of amazing people that came together, liked that people were working on being healthy. To step away from that, no matter how necessary it was for many reasons is still hard. I don’t regret it at all but I am still sad about it.

I came across Dealing with Loss and Change – which offers some great advice and perspective on change in general.

For some reason, we save grief for the “big” losses like deaths of loved ones. Yet, there are many other losses we all experience every year in daily life. Some losses are larger and some smaller, but I don’t think the size matters. When you have life changes, they often include loss. If you’re experiencing a change or transition in your life, the question to ask is, “What loss do I need to grieve so that I can let go and move forward?”

I feel foolish sometimes telling people I am still getting over leaving because it isn’t some huge deal or major big loss. I mean my family dealt with Cancer and here I am getting upset over a disagreement at a gym I spent a lot of time at….see my point? After I read that post, I realized that any change needs to be felt and evaluated — and figure out what needs to be done so you can move on. Sometimes it is just feeling the loss, being bummed for a bit, or being angry. Whatever it is — it has to be done so you can move on. So there I shared it – -I am bummed that a seemingly small situation blew up into something that was completely out of control and ended the way it did. I am not a victim either. It happened for a reason. I had outgrown the gym, the coaching and needed to seek out something more. I wouldn’t have done it voluntarily so it is what it should be. I am still bummed because I miss my friends — and hopefully some of them will head over to Highbar if they are looking for something more.


Michael Vonal
photo by Michael Vonal

200m jog
10 squats
10 push ups
4 Sampson Stretch
4 Instep Lunges
10 squats

5×5 Bench Press
warmup to 110#

10 Inverted Barbell Rows
15 KB Swings
time: 10:32


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