Crossfit has a way of teaching us lessons. “Crossfit, as in life.” Kinda deal. I figured I’d make this an ongoing series on the lessons I’ve picked up along the way.

My name is Philip Rolling, and I am a “Returning Athlete”

What’s a returning athlete? Someone who trained very hard at one point, then took time off, but comes back from that time off still thinking they can perform at the same level they used to.

Their ego can’t accept the fact that they aren’t as good as they were. The harder they push, the more prone to injury they are.

The most common refrain heard from this type?

“But I used to be able to do this!!”

And now, that’s me.

In September when I left London, I was in the best shape I’d ever been in. I was hitting high reps on pull ups, heavy weight on deadlifts, and my olympic lifts were progressing nicely.

I started training again in late October after a month off. I finally have to admit to myself, I’ve fallen far. Even thought it’s only been a month, I’m not close to where I used to be.

As a coach, whenever I dealt with a “Returning Athlete” my response was the same:

It’s not about what you could do back in the day, it’s about what you can do today.

Time to take my own advice.

Lesson Learned:

Put ego aside. It’s not about what you could do. If you’ve taken time off training, you’ve lost some measure of your ability.

Accept it.

What you have to worry about is what you can do today. Then, you recover.

Then you try to do a better next time.

And so on and so forth.

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