Say It With Me Now

Say It With Me Now

I won’t back down.

Say it again with me now and believe it when you say it – I will NOT back down.

If you’re like me, you saw tonight’s posting by the CrossFit Games for WOD 11.4 and the first reaction was “Oh no” or “holy crap” and the panic set in.

60 burpees, 30 Overhead Squats, and 10 Muscle Ups.

I hadn’t even stepped up to the bar yet for my first burpee and I was already backing down. I always joked that if I was Superman, there is no doubt that overhead squats would be my kryptonite. It’s a struggle to get one rep of 155# on overhead squat for me – much less 30 reps at 30 pounds lighter. It’s embarrassing how slow I am with that lift.

So I responded to the posting with the only way I knew how to in the face of my fear – using humor.

I made a crack about 11.4 on my Facebook profile. I joked through text I’d be happy to just get through half of my OHS before the 10 minutes expired. And then started seeing all of my friends’ posts on Facebook:



“Where do I throw in the towel now?”

“F my life”

And it hit me – everyone is feeling this way. I pride myself on encouraging others to compete daily for what we believe in, right? But I wasn’t encouraging from the get-go, I was feeding everyone else’s initial fears.

So screw this. We’re all timid and we haven’t even walked into the Box yet. Granted, we could do one burpee and still be active, but why stop there? Why do the minimum and walk away? We can all do one burpee.

We don’t do CrossFit to “meet the minimum.” We CrossFit to reach our maximum potential.

We don’t do one burpee and walk away. We do burpees for the full ten minutes if that’s what it takes to reach 40.

Last week it was all about strength – and for a ton of amazing people, that meant getting a PR (personal record) by lifting the heaviest they’d done so far. It was awesome seeing people who didn’t think they could get one repetition throw up 8, and others you would assume to struggle show nothing but excellence and just blow the workout away.

Others walked away after last week frustrated that they weren’t there yet. The weight was too heavy on that day – but deep down, they all know that their day is coming soon. Their inner fire was just turned up a little brighter to challenge themselves and improve. They will throw up that 165/115 lb bar soon enough.

And this week, we will continue that trend.

But some of us are offering up mental defeat and it’s only Tuesday night.

We still say, “Damn. 60, 30, and 10 is a lot in 10 minutes. Too much for me. Maybe some burpees, but I’m not getting to OHS and I can never get a muscle up. I mean, I haven’t tried so I know I can’t, right?”

This isn’t how it’s going to be.

I’m not going to let it.

I’m not going to let you look at this WOD and feel anything but inspiration.

Whether the Games knew it or not, when they assigned this WOD, they assigned us “CrossFit.”

Let’s just rename 11.4 “CrossFit.”


We don’t CrossFit because it’s easy. We CrossFit because it’s hard. We CrossFit because we know whatever the WOD throws at us each morning only makes us stronger when we walk out of the Box to face life. We come back each day for the challenge to improve ourselves. There are days we excel. There are days we struggle. There are days we walk in wondering how in the world we are going to complete this workout.

But we realize that we’re racing no other person but ourselves, no other time but our own, no other barbell but the one right in front of us.

And we beat that WOD.

Or we give everything we’ve got until there’s nothing left knowing that tomorrow, we will beat this WOD if it’s the last thing we do.

Eventually, we beat that WOD. And with a chuckle, we look up and say ok, “What’s the next challenge?”

11.4 is everything CrossFit is meant to embody – a challenge, a little something everyone can do, and a little something hard mixed in that everyone strives to accomplish at one point in their CrossFit lives.

But most importantly, this WOD is an opportunity.

It is the opportunity to compete against yourself. It’s about seeing where we currently are and reminding ourselves of where we want to be.

It is the opportunity to look yourself in the mirror and be completely honest that you’re not going to let fear overcome your opportunity.

Hell yes I’m worried about OHS, but more importantly, I’m excited about them.

I’m excited that this is my chance to say I knocked out 30 at 120# in a very short time before heading to Muscle Ups.

I’m excited that this is your chance to do the same.

To kill those 60 burpees and throw some weight overhead without a care in the world except realizing this is more than you thought possible at first glance Tuesday night.

I plan to compete this week with a Box of people who don’t look at 11.4 and say “Oh no!” but instead say “Oh HELL YES” because they see it as an opportunity to get better & challenge themselves.

Who understand CrossFit is every bit as mental as it is physical – and are mentally strong enough to say “Bring it on 11.4!”

Your rank and the number of reps you finish of 11.4 in the 2011 Games won’t really matter 20 years from now. Your attitude and willingness to fight through the workout will.

What really matters is that if we head into it with the right attitude and desire to compete with everything we’ve got, we will all walk away better people for fighting to the final second.

We improve ourselves and our lives.

That’s what CrossFit is about.

So what do you think now?

Still scared of 11.4? Still worried about Muscle Ups?

Or are you motivated beyond measure?

So what you say now?

How about I answer for the both of us – And I say this:

Bring it on 11.4. Let’s see what you’ve got. I’ve got your Overhead Squats and then some right here. So do your worst. I refuse to back down.

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    About Jake Thompson

    Jake Thompson is the Chief Encouragement Officer for Compete Every Day. Before launching the motivational lifestyle brand, Jake served as a consultant, writer, and social media enthusiast to a number of companies in a variety of industries.