If you’ve ever tried to get really good at something you’ve entered a state of momentary bliss unlike anything else.
I’ve heard athletes and coaches call it the zone or the groove. Sometimes it lasts a fleeting moment. Other times you get lost in the zone and completely lose track of everything else.
I have vivid memories of entering the groove during my ski career. During those precious moments there was no thought of what to do or how to do it. My body simply took over and I felt like I was just watching — along for the ride.
I felt invincible. And to anyone watching me from the chairlift my performance probably looked effortless. And in fact in a way it was. Everything clicked to the point where I was expending the least possible effort to accomplish the job at hand.
What those folks could not see is the miles, the mistakes and the stumbles that lead me to that brief moment in time.
During the long hours of practice and training I took everything apart. I studied it. And I painstakingly put it back together again hoping to get just a little bit better than I was the day before.
And that, I think, is the essence of excellence. It’s also the spirit expressed by an expression that has stuck with me since the moment I first heard it…
Slow is Smooth. Smooth is Fast.
I think it’s been around for a while, but the first person I heard utter those words was Crossfit coach Ben Bergeron. He didn’t go in-depth into exactly how he interprets the phrase, but here’s my take…
No amount of sheer effort and hard work can beat the efficiency gained through the mastery of your movement.
Glassman calls it virtuosity — caring about the quality and efficiency of your skills.
I think this is an important concept to embrace for ANY athlete at any age. But for a Masters athlete it becomes essential.
A Masters athlete can’t afford to put effort before mastery. Wear and tear is no longer an option. Injuries take longer to heal. And life forces the Masters athlete to be smart with limited training time.
I’ve placed the Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast mantra at the centre of my training philosophy. So when I decided to start a blog chronicling my journey as a Crossfit Masters athlete the name of the blog seemed predestined.
I’m a regular guy. My name is Adam Steer — but you can call me Jack… all my friends do. I’ve done sports all my life, but I’d consider myself a recreational Crossfit athlete. Chances are slim you’ll ever see me at the Games. Yet I take my training seriously. I compete. I do the Open. And I want to perform.
My hope is that documenting my journey will inspire other regular men and women to pursue excellence. You don’t have to aspire to be a Games athlete to do great things in the sport of Crossfit. Every time you hit the Box it’s another opportunity to become greater than you were yesterday.
And on those rare days when you slip into the Groove you’ll know that every drop of sweat was worth it’s weight in gold.
3 – 2 – 1 – Go