A few years ago, everyone was buzzing about CrossFit—the new, trendy workout that promised rock-hard abs, quads of steel, and the mental strength of an army sergeant.
I love a good challenge. So, I was intrigued. I trotted into a CrossFit gym and signed up on the spot. Right away, they had me doing burpees, box jumps, and heavy-duty weight lifting. And right away, my body started saying, “Uh, hell no.”
I started having back pain, knee issues, hamstring weirdness. All kinds of issues.
Around this time, I also stopped training with Eli. He’s my personal trainer. I told him about my CrossFit obsession. And… I told him about all aches and pains.
Eli sighed and shook his head, looking worried.
“Susan, you’re rushing into CrossFit, but you haven’t set the foundation in place,” he told me. “I see people doing this all the time. It just leads to tons of injuries—and to the chiropractor’s office.”
He recommended a “back to basics” routine—building core strength, practicing correct weight lifting form, doing lighter weights before upgrading to the big ones. Setting the foundation in place.
I followed his guidance—and it felt great. The pains disappeared. I grew stronger—but without experiencing constant injuries and setbacks. My body said, “Oh my god. Thank you.”
For me, this was one of those “wake-up calls” that applies to all areas of life—not just fitness.
Before you sprint into the CrossFit gym, set the foundation.
Before you attempt to write a 300-page memoir, set the foundation.
Before you spend $10K hiring a publicist for your business, set the foundation.
Work on your core strength. Work on your confidence. Work on looking people right in the eye and introducing yourself. Work on writing for 10 minutes every morning, just to flex your creative muscles and see what flows out. Work on your public speaking skills by giving a free talk in your living room. Work on the basics.
Set yourself up for success—not hamstring tears, stress, and misery.
. . .
This week, ask yourself, “What is my biggest, craziest, most wondrous goal?”
And then, ask yourself, “What is the foundation that needs to be set in place, in order for me to achieve that goal?
Squatting with a 100-pound barbell on your shoulders: later.