#FailingWithPassion #MondayMotivation

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Quick re-cap, about 6 months ago 2 mates set off on a health and wellbeing challenge to improve their health.  We used a set of measures that were publicly available at our crossfit gym – The Ninja Standards.  These are the standards the In2Crossfit athletes need to meet to be in the competition team for In2Crossfit Clapham.

Motivation – not judgement 🙂

We shared our goals publicly so that we would be held to account and provided with the support and motivation we knew we would need.

Our challenge ends on July 2nd.  When we need to complete a weigh in and update our progress against the Ninja Standards.  We called our challenge NinjaOrNotIn6Months.  I started this Blog.  Sorry for the long silence!

As I write this now I have to acknowledge that the “OrNot” bit of the name is the most likely outcome.  In truth it always was, we knew that, people who worked in the industry and set the goals told us…..A lot!!

But in setting our goals we wanted a set of aspirational and inspiration goals that would provide us, and hopefully 1 or 2 other people, with the drive and motivation needed to get going, re-start, re-focus, or just maintain the levels of effort and drive that any type of personal change requires.

Encouragement about baskets….

Anyway – there are 3 weeks left and you’ll be pleased to know – we haven’t given up.  In fact – we are failing with passion!

I started thinking about this blog post a little while ago – I competed in a few comps – nothing major, just the:

In2 Teams at London Inferno

European Inferno Racing Event in London and then one of the Box Battles events against Royal Docks Crossfit.

In2 Drinking Team at Box Battles

Both were really cool events – it allowed me to experience the team culture, work with friends from the gym as a team and to meet other people involved in the sport.

At both of these events I was inspired by a couple of people that reminded me what Crossfit is all about.  And in fact it’s probably what most of life is all about.  Here are two examples:

  1. Inferno Racing: I’m 37 years old.  My partner is 28.  I’m 105KG’s (on a good days) he’s around 68KG’s.  I’m 6’3”, he’s 5’8” (He says 5’9” yeah yeah Imraan).  When we are standing together we look like one of the oddest pairings you will see at a comp.  Given all this info you’d understandably think that i’m going to be able to lift heavier and produce a much bigger power output over a sustained period.  Mass moves mass after all.  Here’s the shocker, you are only 50% right!!
    Imraan the calm before the hurricane

    Imraan my partner consistently out lifts me!!  He out benches me, his back squat is bigger than mine and on competition day his Dead Lift ladder was a massive 180 KG’s where mine was a pathetic 160KG.  Now let me give you some context here.  That was a PB for both of us. Imraan knew he had 165KG’s going in to the comp and was looking for a PB – but a 15KG jump on a DL was always going to be massive.  He’d already completed 4 lifts (100,120,140,160) so to complete the 180KG was an insane achievement it’s 264% of body weight!  The Ninja Standard only requires 200% of body weight.

    My 160 lift a 30KG PB

    This both shows what an achievement it is and how far off the mark I am at 105KG’s with a 160KG DL.  With the high’s must come the lows.  Over the course of the weekend there were a number of cardio based activities where sustained effort produced the final score.  Remember physics from school?  The net force on an object is equal to the mass of the object multiplied by the acceleration of the object.  Imraan just couldn’t maintain the levels of acceleration needed to make his mass effective against other teams with much greater mass that could produce lower accelerations to deliver bigger scores like me.  In the face of this we were left with really only one option.  Fail With Passion!

    Imraan assaulting that bike – me soaking up the breeze.

    We went down fighting, we split work differently to most teams – Imraan would do more box jumps, I would do more 60KG power cleans.  We would play to our strengths and we’d bring everything we had to each and every challenge we faced.  We finished the weekend around 65th out of 70 teams.  We had a great time, hit some great PB’s and we did it all with passion.


  1. Box Battles London.  This is an inter box league run in the London for all the London Crossfit boxes to meet up and experience competition style formats and workouts.  It’s a 1 day event with 3 – 4 work outs and it’s pretty social.  Certainly we used this at our gym to give less experienced crossfitters their first experience of competition.  A lot of our elite team didn’t take part, so we came away from the event having coined a new phrase to describe the team that did take part.
    Total SPAT’s

    SPAT or Sub Prime Athlete Team.  Look out for us at competitions around the UK, we’ll be easy to spot,because just like you we’ll be giving it our all despite maybe not making the podium finish.  Apart from this event birthing a new team (credit to Jacqui Bowen for this idea), the event was significant because we didn’t win the final either.  In fact when it came to the final one of our best athletes had to leave early, another had picked up an injury and I was asked to step in to support Tim Spires our only remaining RX male athlete along side two of our best RX Female athletes.  The events was a relay race with weighted walking lunges, dumbbell push press and box step overs.  The Team from Royal Docks built a decent lead before our team could even hand Tim the proverbial baton.  We had suggested to Tim that he didn’t need to finish the race, once it became clear they were going to win.  Tim looked me dead in the eyes, his own face set with a steely certainty and said “We’re finishing this”.

    Event Brief From David and Jess

    It was another even more impactful Failing with Passion experience.  We did finish it and Tim had the entire crowd shouting and supporting him to get through the push press and box step overs.  It was quite something to experience and it will stay with me.  It was if the entire box had heard Tim’s statement as if they felt the same passion we did.  Win or lose didn’t really matter, it was the expression of oneself in the field of play that you were measured by – not the score or the win or lose – just the amount of passion you brought to the game.

So, here I sit. Three weeks left on the clock.  What passion am I bring to the final yards of my race against myself?

Well, I can tell you that in the last 2 weeks I’ve got my weight down by about 2KG’s.  Any fat I lose is KG’s I don’t need to lift in any of the remaining standards.

I’m signed up to another Inferno Racing Event.  Sadly not with Imraan this time, but i’m hopeful my new colleague will produce results just as inspiring

No Pressure Steve

and I’ve prioritised by goals.  Some of them I don’t think can be achieved in the time remaining – some I think can.  I am focused on meeting as many of the measures as possible in the deadline.  Then, should my fears be correct and I miss some of the objectives I will know that I will have failed with passion!

Plus I fully intend to cheat and just keep going!  The goals won’t have gone anywhere, I might not have met the aspirational goal of 6 months.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t keep chasing them!!

After all in life there are lots of things where I’m not a podium finisher.  I won’t win the open, but I still love golf.  I’m not going to The Games, but I still love Crossfit.  I haven’t made The Times Rich List again this year – but I am still swinging my 7 iron, attending class at 6am every morning and still creating my own little pile of riches.  Life might be about this, life might just be about passion!

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