This weekend's amazing work by Kara and Rob at the Crossfit Games Australia Regional got me thinking about what it was that makes them special and what the average Crossfitter can learn from them. Working behind the camera for Again Faster Australia I have had the privilege of watching Kara and Rob numerous times at competitions and at training events alike and every time I have walked away thoroughly impressed with both of them.
They are class acts, gracious and good natured, however it is their approach to training that strikes me the most. Here are just a few examples I think most of us could learn from.
At the Hangstrong gymnastics workshop run for the Again Faster Australia athletes earlier this year, I was impressed just as much by Rob's willingness to fail as I was by his ability to succeed at new skills. In any group situation it’s natural to want to avoid failure even if that desire is counterproductive to learning and developing. In front of the three Elite gymnasts who make up Hangstrong, the other Again Faster Australia athletes and a couple of video camera's, Rob was almost always the first to volunteer for any demonstration or to try a new skill. Rob's unselfconscious participation in the coaching process enhanced everyone's experience by putting them completely at ease.
Kara moves incredibly well and her olympic lifts are impressive to say the least. At the o-lifting clinic run for the Again Faster Team by coach Burgener and Matt Swift earlier in the year Kara was asked to revisit some fundamental drills. What struck me was just how open Kara was to drilling fundamentals and how good natured she was about repeating basic skills without the hint of ego. Her unpretentious pursuit of what Coach Glassman would call 'virtuosity' is a lesson to almost any Crossfitter.
Rob always displays an interest and desire to see those around him succeed. For an outstanding performer at the elite level of an individual sport this is not a typical trait. The competitive nature of Crossfit helps most of us to achieve a level of intensity beyond what we would achieve without competition, and it is true that most of the time the community and comradery of Crossfit is prevalent. The standard Rob sets in this respect however is exceptional.
So congratulations to Kara and Rob. Good luck at the games. And hopefully the rest of us can be a little bit better through your example.