You can do whatever you want!

Anybody heard me say this at the gym?? I’ll be honest, it started out as a complete joke. I can’t remember the exact instance in which I first said it but I’m sure it was in response to someone asking me if they REALLY HAAAAAAAAD TO DO a certain weight/rounds/etc. Well I’ve adopted this phrase as a 100% honest and genuine way of thinking. However, I worry that the way it comes across is not received well. Maybe people still think I’m just joking. Maybe they think I’m being a sarcastic A-hole. Goodness knows I can come across like that sometimes. Well I want to explain where it came from and why I will keep using it!

First I want to give you some context to understand me a little better. Do you know that guy or gal who often uses the word “technically” before explaining something? Super annoying, right? Well, that is me. I am that guy. But just understand that my thoughts and beliefs are heavily guided by whatever makes logical sense to me. So when I say something like “You can do whatever you want”, I mean it literally! And the reason I mean it literally is because my brain is not great at processing anything but the actual literal meaning of the words we are saying. Want to know one of the many reasons Leasa and I work so well? Don’t panic. This is not going to get weird. Since before we were even dating, I loved that I didn’t have to play the guessing game with her. She says exactly what she’s thinking. It’s (mostly…) great! My overly logical brain doesn’t have to work hard at understanding what’s going on. She just tells me.

So now that you know this is how my brain operates you can understand where I’m coming from when I say “You can do whatever you want”. I honestly, genuinely mean it. Ben Bergeron says “Turn your have-to’s into get-to’s.” You don’t HAVE to be at the gym. You GET to be at the gym. Think about all the other stuff you could be doing that would be worse than a workout. I dread a difficult workout too. But I’d rather repeat that Bike/Sprint workout we did recently every day for a month than go through some of the many terrible things that I’ve never had to experience. We are all CHOOSING to be there.  What is the point of being negative? Seriously. I’ve never heard a good explanation. Does it actually make you feel better? Has a workout, or any activity for that matter, ever gotten easier after you started being negative? I’m actually giggling as I sit here imagining that. “When class started I was feeling sluggish and the heat was really getting to me. Also these movements are huge weaknesses of mine. But once I told myself how much I didn’t want to be here and how much the WOD was going to suck, everything got better!”  I highly doubt it. At best, nothing changes. But the most likely scenario is that it drags your mood down along with everyone around you and the body follows the mind.

Now let’s circle back around to my phrase. Logical brain mode, engage. You can do whatever you want. If that is true, then you are in control of how you spend your time. If you are in control of how you spend your time, then it is within your control to be at the gym or to choose to do something else. You CHOSE to sign up for CrossFit because you decided it was a priority. (I wrote about priorities HERE) That should make you feel empowered! You are the captain of your own ship. Nobody is actually making you do anything! Obviously there are things that it would be a very good idea for you to do, but nobody is making you. Ben Bergeron also talks about complaining. He says complaining goes right along with negativity and it is an infectious disease that will spread throughout our community if left unchecked. Given what I’ve already said, what are you doing when you complain? Is it about something that is within your control? Here’s how he breaks down complaining. If you are complaining, that implies that you wish something was different than the way it is. Now, is it within your power to change that thing or not? If it is not within your power to change, then it is literally just a waste of time and energy for you to complain about it. Period. If it IS within your power to change, then you have two options. You can either do something about it, or not. If you are complaining about something that you can change and you are not doing anything to change it, once again, giant waste of time and energy. So if you think of my phrase in this context, I’m actually just telling you that you have the power to change your situation if you don’t like it. But if you have decided CrossFit is important to you then all you are doing is making this important thing worse for you and those around you. So I’ll just say this one more time, with feeling. YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANT.

author: Jacob Watts


Leave a reply