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Save Our Souls!

When you’re 1500m into a fast 2000m row or 10 minutes into a 30 minute workout, it may well be going through your head.

But that’s not the topic of this post.

The topic is Shiny Object Syndrome.

We all know someone who is always changing their focus, hopping from program to program and pursuing one goal for a few weeks and then wanting something else entirely a few weeks later.

How many of you set goals for yourself?  Here’s the Goals Board from 2017.


How many of you achieved your goal?  How many of you were overwhelmed by the size of your goal, so even though you made it public and you were, at least a little bit, accountable, you still didn’t make it?

The old wisdom of having to eat an elephant one bite at a time can be relevant here.  If you had adequate cold storage for an elephant then you could plan out how to eat it over the course of a year.  You could apply some of these tips:

·         Plan to eat elephant at least several times a week, but use different recipes so you don’t get bored of the same thing over and over again,

·         Invite some friends round to share it with you,

·         When you feel hungry, eat a bit more to account for when you’re not and you eat a bit less,

·         Ask others for ideas on how best to cook different sections so you can focus on the actual eating part,

·         Have smaller goals, such as finishing the trunk in the next month.

·         Commit to the idea of eating the whole thing instead of needlessly also trying to fit a hippo in your freezer after a couple of weeks of elephant.


Now please don’t take this as advice to go out and kill big animals to try out the tips in this article, but instead start by applying some of those tips to your goals for 2018.

·         Be open and honest with your goal.  Help others keep you accountable.  If you don’t show up to a training session, or miss a nutrition check in then people will chase you down.

·         See if anyone else has similar goals who you can work with.  Social interactions help build mental health alongside physical health.

·         Dedicate at least some time several times a week to your goal, but know that some days you’ll feel like doing more and some days you’ll feel like doing less – don’t feel like doing 20 minutes of handstand work if your shoulders are tired?  Try 10 minutes.  Feel fresh and see 3 sets of pull ups as a starter?  Do five.

·         Start to work with a coach on your goal so you can outsource some of the thinking responsibility.  Professionals are there to help you.  They may know some better progressions.  They may know the same stuff as you but now your brain power can be devoted to something else in your life.

·         Have smaller process goals along the way so you can always feel like you’ve achieved something, e.g. if you want to squat 100kg and can currently squat 60kg then chalking off each 5kg milestone can help. 


Strength In Depth 2017

In May, we made a decision to try to send a team to Strength in Depth 2017. Strength in Depth is probably the largest Functional Fitness Competition in the UK. Backed by Reebok, teams of 12 face three qualifiers to get to the finals in Bath in November. Each qualifier takes a slightly different format, but 12 members from SCCF kept an eye on the leaderboard through the summer as they worked through three qualifying workouts. The group qualified in 49th of a 60 available spots.

Fast forward to November and on a chilly Saturday morning the SCCF crew arrived at the University of Bath with an agenda. The team knew they were capable of more than 49th, they also knew they had done the work to be able to deliver the required performance, what they didn’t know was the level of competition they were facing.

Event one: Max clean and jerk total plus 5k Row for time. In advance of the competition the team had spent some time running through the events, discussing the best way to take down each event. Event one was the first opportunity for that homework to pay off. Big shifts on the rower from Marcus Davis and Sam O’Connor helped pull the team to 33rd on the row, at the same time Charlee Leachman and Gareth George put up 85kg and 135kg respectively for the heaviest lifts in the first heat. It became apparent that the team were not planning to be in the first heat on day two.


Nerves out the way, and with a pit stop of food and coffee the team began their warm up for event two: 3 laps of a 1.3km course with a 20kg Sandbag, after each lap the team left four athletes at the finish pen leaving just four out on the final 1.3km lap. Ultimately the team knew running was not going to give them the best result, but as in workout 1, some serious strategy work in advance set the team up well. Sam Leachman took charge on the event and worked well with Sian Peters to lift the team across three laps to finish 44th.


Workouts 3 and 4 saw the team split into two teams of 6. Lianne Griffiths showed some prowess in the pool, leading the team to a 29th place finish. The workout consisting of swimming, air squats and climbing in and out of the pool. For a full breakdown on how hard that can be just catch up with Sam L or Rickie Lovell when you next see them in the gym; ask them how Sam OC got on with jumping into a pool.


Simultaneously Gareth Wayt was making friends with the Assault Bike, working in pairs the remainder of team SCCF Red worked through Dumbbell Cleans and Down ups before smashing through 60 calories on the assault bike. The team managed to win the heat and claim 21st on the workout.


Day one ended with heavy, very heavy and ridiculously heavy thrusters, handstand walking and some rope climbs or muscle ups. Mike Holmes, walking more comfortably on his hands than most people do on their feet, taking over from Charlee’s 10 unbroken thrusters at 60kg, scampered up and down a rope and back to the start mat on his hands to take the heat and 21st in the workout to wrap up day one. A leaderboard check after eating virtually all the food available showed the team had pulled themselves out of heat one and into 30th position. They would be taking down day 2 from heat 3.



Arriving on day two, the team faced an unknown event, a 400m obstacle course featuring an 8ft high inverted wall. Fortunately for the team the military experience of Hannah Lewis as well as Sian, Marcus and Sam L more than made up for their distaste for running. Following the change of clothes required after the water obstacle the team notched up a 32nd place finish. Not the perfect start to day two, but by far from the perfect workout. They team went into the next workout with something to prove.


Workout 7: in sub teams of 3, 75 Wall balls, 50 Toes to bar, 200 Double Unders, 50 Overhead Squats. Some magic from Dre Wesley, who pulled out 130 double unders unbroken and Marcus with 75 Wall balls unbroken helped the team to 17th place.


The 17th place in workout 7 left the team on a big high and ready to go for event 8: The snatch ladder. Hannah Lewis moved a bar faster than anyone else that weekend, and the team pulled off their plan perfectly: moving through ever decreasing reps at increasingly heavier loads. Rickie putting in the same consistent performance he did across the weekend to set Mike and Gareth up for snatches at 100kg, the men took 5th place. The girls followed and another seamless team performance took 13th in the workout. The team won the heat and left the platform with nothing else to prove.


Second City CrossFit took a group of members to that competition with something to prove, that they were better than 49th. What they actually did was show that a group of people, working hard for each other and believing in one another is worth more than the sum of its parts. There were no super star athletes on this team- but there was a team, and that is worth more than any individual contribution over the weekend.


SCCF Red: 21st. Strength in Depth 2017.