Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

Feb 22nd, 2012

Category: CrossFit

Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

Kat gettin after those burpees

Erica Saint Clair is running the 2012 Boston Marathon for the Melanoma Foundationin memory of her father Doug Raber who passed away from occular melanoma. As and incentive, Erica is emailing a pdf of her paleo cookbook (which is awesome) to anyone who donates $10 or more to the Melanoma Foundation. All you need to do to donate is click here.

During my time in the Marines, the weather we trained in was always either wet and cold or hot and muggy, and the terrain always punishing (and usually in the dead of night), and the enemy situation never certain. Yet, training in these environments coupled with the intensity  and precision needed for success in a tactical environment was crucial – we may have hated the environments, but constantly operating in the uncomfortable and unknown  eventually made us comfortable and confident in them so when it came time to execute for real, we’d be ready.

On a base level, we must approach our CrossFit training the same. Who reading this despises over head squats with a passion? Squat snatches? Wall balls? DOUBLE UNDERS???? Every CrossFitter across the globe will find a movement or movements that become their kryptonite, at least for the time being. Sure many of these movements are uncomfortable and feel weird, especially when trying to do them when our hearts our pounding and our breathing heavy. However, the more we practice these movements on their own, the more they will be comfortable in a WOD, and the more WODs we do made up of our kryptonite movements, the better our skills become. We must learn to accept our deficiencies, suck it up and utilize the time and discipline needed to take our weaknesses and turn them into our strengths.

A good example of this can be seen in two of Rich Froning Jr’s 2010 and 2011 CrossFit Games performances.

In 2010, Froning was set to win the Games, then rope climbs came up in the WOD; he didn’t know how to climb a rope. He fell off the rope since he just used his arms which eventually gave way to gravity and ultimately lost the shot at the title of “World’s Fittest.” Fast forward to 2011. Day 1’s WOD #3, the 5, down to 1 rep ladder of rope climbs and ascending clean and jerk weight, made Rich face the event that crushed him the year before. However, 2011 showed how comfortable Froning had become with rope climbs over the past year; he crushed the WOD and took 1st place in the WOD with a time of 4:57. He would continue to crush the competition throughout the Games and take a 1st place podium finish at the end.

Now, not all of us have the time to train like Froning does, nor possess his athletic ability, yet the message remains the same. Suck it up, get honest with ourselves, realize our shortcomings and commit to bettering ourselves. Utilize Open Gym hours to work on our weaknesses and if it’s something that can be done in the confines of home, do it there. Put the 20  minutes in after class to frustrate ourselves trying to get double unders, or work on whatever movement we despise. At the end of the day, we all must learn to turn weakness to strength; uncomfortable to comfortable. Otherwise, as Pat Tillman once said, “if you aren’t getting better, you’re old news.”

Hollow Rock Challenge
80 hollow rocks

Back Squat

Every minute on the minute for 12 minutes:
6 WallBalls (20,14)
6 Hand Release Push-ups
6 Overhead Walking Lunges (45,25)

*If you cannot finish the round within the minute, complete the round and start fresh the next minute.
250m row for every round missed

Level 2- 5 reps each
Level 1- 4 reps each
ADV – 2fer1’s


  1. Kat 02/23/2012 at 5:44 pm

    Back squat : 115 (PR!!!)

    WOD: RX missed one round at 9min then scaled to 5
    250M ROW!

  2. Wheeler 02/23/2012 at 3:23 pm

    Back is finally starting to feel better but my weights were low
    Back Squat: 155
    WOD: completed 12 rounds RX

  3. jason barrow 02/23/2012 at 2:02 am

    7pm we WALL BALL SO HARD

    Squat: 235×3
    WOD: 250m (Not Rx, Started with a 45# plate, fell off and dropped to 25#, finished with 45#)

  4. LJ 02/23/2012 at 1:06 am

    WOD: 500m

    Great post Maze!

  5. Meg C 02/23/2012 at 12:38 am

    Erica, what’s your email address? I submitted a request for a company match, but I want to send you the confirmation so that your account gets credited accordingly. Also, no need to do the extra burpees, per my donation! Best of luck!

    P.S. my email is [email protected] if you just want to shoot me an email instead.

  6. Crowley 02/22/2012 at 6:10 pm

    Squat: 285×3
    WOD: adv, 250m row

    Ain’t no party like a Shamwow party

  7. Joe 02/22/2012 at 5:22 pm

    Squat: 275×3
    WOD: 500m; keep these after parties comin!

  8. Chris Berretta 02/22/2012 at 4:45 pm

    Nice post Maze, well said….you’ve been on top of this concept yourself.

    9am crushed it today, a lot of great looking squats and 100% effort during those minute bursts. At one point I tried to scale Katia from 6 reps to 4, she yelled at me “I’ll do 5!!” Wooooo loved it!!!!

    D-Bo you’re gonna have a washboard after this challenge

  9. Dbibeau 02/22/2012 at 3:51 pm

    Nice WOD but 80 Hollow rocks was TUFF!!! Thanks CB for your encouragement!!