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Tom’s Post: Learning How to K.I.P

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I decided to title my guest post for Juli’s blog, “Learning How to K.I.P.”, where K.I.P stands for “Keeping (it) In Perspective.”  Many of us, as athletes, business people, stay-at-home parents, students, and human beings, may occasionally need a friendly reminder that at the end of the day, we’re going to the gym to work out, and that is should be fun.

CrossFit (the fitness program that I follow) can have a strange ability to consume many aspects of a person’s life, from their sleep patterns, to their diet, to their dating habits (I’mTalkingToYouJuli).  Yet, while there are many positive outcomes that can come from hard work in the gym, we sometimes forget that our lifting, running, jumping, and throwing are supposed to be FUN!

I’ve had the honor of coaching some amazing individuals in my years as a CrossFit trainer.  Almost every single milestone that one of them hits makes anything I’ve “accomplished” as an athlete, myself, pale in comparison.  That’s because their achievements are rarely about the number of pounds they put over their head.  They’re not about the time they dropped re-doing a workout.  The focus isn’t just about how low (or high, depending on the circumstance) the number on the scale is getting.  The reason that I am so pumped when I hear these success stories, or even better, when I get to witness a special moment in person, is because of the profound impact that their accomplishment can have on the REST of their life.  When someone walks in the door of the gym for the first time, and after a few months of hard work they hit their first pull-up, or make it through their first 200m run without stopping… those have potential to be life-changing moments.

There are times, however, when we can become our own harshest critics.  If EVERY lift isn’t a PR, if EVERY run doesn’t feel fast, it can be easy to get down on ourselves.  “I’ve done this before, why can’t I do it now?”   “I wanted to work out today, but work ran late so I had to miss the gym.“  “I ate poorly this weekend.”  With every one of those situations, your best course of action is probably going to be to relax!  One off day doesn’t mean you’re getting weaker.  One missed class at the gym doesn’t mean you’ve lost all of the progress you’ve already made (your body could probably use the rest, anyways).  One “cheat meal”, or a vacation full of indulgence, doesn’t mean you will never reach your goals with food.  Instead, view those “set-backs” as opportunities to refocus yourself and get back on track.

With nutrition, find food that is good for you and that gets you excited to cook (like the meals Juli shares with us on PaleOMG.com).  With training, set specific goals on things you would like to accomplish, and work towards achieving those goals.  Having milestones can be great in boosting our motivation and confidence levels!

The truth is, a lot of us tell ourselves that we’ll “never be able to” do things.  When those things that we knew we’d never accomplish actually start happening because of our hard work, those walls of self-doubt slowly start to come down and the floodgates open for what we believe we can accomplish in life.

But please, realize that most people in the world don’t care if you can Squat Clean 300lbs or run a mile in 5:00.  If we remember that most of us are trying so hard in the gym so we can keep up with our kids or grandkids, or carry groceries upstairs by ourselves, or see our blood pressure drop without the use of “drugs” (just a clean diet and a regular physical exercise)… then it will all make more sense.

By “Keeping it In Perspective,” we can remind ourselves that being active and healthy is what life is all about.  Let go of the pressure, and have fun with what we do!  Remember to K.I.P., my friends!

Tom is another one of my friends that has A LOT of abs. I love posting these pictures.
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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.

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46 thoughts on “Tom’s Post: Learning How to K.I.P”

  1. Tom is hot. And this was a great post. I just started cross-fit in May, and one day I finally could do hanging abs. I actually let go of the bar and jumped up and down like a five year-old. Even though the workouts totally kick my butt (I’m not that strong or fast yet and still overweight) it’s usually the happiest I am during the day. I love my gym and my trainers. 🙂

  2. Thank you for this! I see people who are so over-the-top with their diets and excercise and I wonder if they enjoy life at all. Sure, train hard and eat clean but remember to have FUN and not stress out about having an occasional beer with friends or missing a WOD once in awhile. You can be badass and have balance, too!

  3. What a great post. I could definitely use this reminder every once and a while. Especially the part about just relaxing and taking a little break if things aren’t going “perfectly”. Thanks for sharing, Tom!

  4. I find I have to edit myself a little around my non-CF friends and talk about something other than how weak my wrists are on OHS or how psyched I was to climb the rope because they don’t care and, honestly, they shouldn’t. This is my journey; they have their own journeys. It’s as easy to get self-absorbed about fitness as with any other topic. Share the road.

    1. Dana — thanks for mentioning “sharing the road” w/ non crossfitters. I think the same goes for non-paleo eaters. I’m sure I’ve done my share of annoying my friends with my WOD and zone talk, so thanks for the reminder! At the end of the day, it is MY journey, and I can just continue to try and lead by example 🙂

  5. Great post! My box convinced me to start training for the open but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It started to consume my life and I wasn’t enjoying my training and stressed about my workouts.
    I’ve decided not to take is so seriously, but I’ve ‘laxed too much and now it’s tough to make it into the gym at al. It’s summer that means partying!
    Ahh well, as long as I have fun and keep getting “better” that’s all that counts to me.

  6. Awesome post! I’ve actually been feeling a bit of the “never be able to do” bug in other aspects of my life and I really think your words apply. What you said was exactly what I needed to hear to get my mind out of that pattern of “can’t do”.

  7. Ab porn is even better than food porn keep ’em coming Juli!
    I also really like this post, even when I give myself a cheat I’m terrible about feeling guilty and beating myself up afterward, and I’m a huge fan of CrossFit acronyms so this is awesome! Thanks for the reminder Tom 🙂

  8. Thanks for the post. I really needed to read this today since I have been feeling frustrated with my performance lately. It can be hard to remember to keep it fun and be patient.

  9. Tom- you wrote such a great post! My favorite thus far. It’s awesome to know that even a badass like yourself can K.I.P. which reminds all of us to do so as well! Thanks!

  10. Great post – thanks Tom! I am my own worst critic and enemy, and my husband constantly reminds me why we workout and live a healthy lifestyle – not to PR and win races, but to overall BE a healthy, happy individual! Always good to hear it again, and I needed this today, so thank you!

  11. Awesome post Tom! Since I’ve started eating paleo and heading to the box about 3-4 days a week, I’m suprised at how the hour I spend in the gym is the best hour of my day and the results I’m seeing by eating clean are really awesome. Now that I’m on track, I’ve kind of settled down and realized that when my shoulders are effing killing me (like right now thank you thrusters) that I am allowed to take the night off and relax! Or when I have a cheat meal or snack, geez life goes on! This is they way I want to be for the rest of my life so some chocolate is not going to kill me!

  12. Tom will be mine, oh yes he will be…maybe ok maybe not. But he is hot, where is all of that manly goodness in NYC? But great post, nice to have a reminder that CF should be fun! But i’m just gonna say I may or may not be printing his picture out and pasting it above my bed. Awkward? I think not. Great post 🙂

  13. Great post. It’s really easy to think our fitness goals are life goals, whereas fitness is really just a lifestyle that helps us with life…that feels like a lot of the same words in there, but you know what I mean 😉

  14. Alright so I’m having a major problem and was wondering I you could give me some ideas. I am getting wisdom teeth out on Monday and won’t be able to eat a lot of solid foods for 2-3 days. What can I make ahead of time that will still keep me on my paleo routine? Thanks! Ps your blog is freakin’ hilarious and I love to read it!

  15. I was just thinking about this today, actually. CrossFit is definitely my go-to training, and sometimes I don’t get out and do things because I’d rather go to the gym. But today I went rock-climbing outside for the first time ever and did pretty damn good considering… struggled on a hard 5-10a but made it to the same point my buddy did who’s a much more experienced climber than me. This comes from my CrossFit training.

    I train so I can get out and do things, and do them well.

  16. Nothing no one above me has said. You do have hot friends. Thank you for pictures of Tom… it made me go into my weekend with a smile. And I already forgot what he wrote. But I bet it was dreamy. 🙂 hehe

  17. Thank so much for this! Today marks 30 days of CrossFit!! I can not explain how accomplished I feel! And this blog hit home today! I have a hard time remembering that I am human and this is where I have to learn how to K.I.P!! Thank you!!! 🙂

  18. I come to this blog daily and I enjoy every bit of it. Im fairly new to CrossFit. I’ve been doing it a little over a month and I can say I have not been KIP! I thought I was a beast before CrossFit and when I started and I noticed that I couldn’t do the workouts like others I was really down. I started to compare myself to the other gym goers and in my mind it started to become a competition and I was losing everytime. This blog post came just in time. I really enjoy CrossFit and now I know that its really about my personal best and not everybody elses.

  19. Wait, one more thing. You and Sergio need to take it easy on the shirtless pics on this website. You can both do better than trolling for compliments from internet chicks. Sorry; couldn’t help myself. Catch you soon my man.

  20. I needed a post like this. I was out of crossfit for 5 weeks due to an illness, and this week was my first week back. I found myself getting really frustrated comparing everything I could do before, to now. I will definitely kip everything in perspective this upcoming week, and enjoy it. Love your blog and recipes by the way 🙂

  21. Stephanie Hobbs

    Thank you for posting this. I sprained my ankle last Friday and its been really hard to not be able to exercise like I normally do. But reading this reminded me that I can take a week or two off and its okay. I wont lose all the progress Ive worked for, and people will still love me even if I have to take a break from my weight loss!

  22. I love this post… cause K.I.P is usually something i struggle with and have been working on. This was so helpful! We start focusing on what we cannot do or have not achieved yet, or what we perceive is a fail, rather than enjoying the journey of building up to get to where we want to be, and if we do what we do with joy in our heart, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. I continue to learn this lesson, slowly but surely. Thanks Tom!

  23. Great article Tom! Important topic and well written. All the punctuation in the right places too…don’t know what you were so worried about.

    Here’s a thought I had (and Facebooked, because I don’t have a blog and what’s the point of having a thought if it doesn’t end up on FB right?): Though you strive to be more, never think yourself not enough – me

    And for Tom’s admirers…Juli is being nice. She didn’t show you his green eyes or you’d all be hopelessly in love 🙂

  24. I just injured myself at my first crossfit competition and havent done any type of exercise in over a week! This is nice! Thanks! I’m gonna kip now!

  25. Wendy malmkvist

    Thanks for this post. I think we get too caught up in our failures and pay too much attention to other’s successes that we forget why we started to crossfit. I’ve never been competitive in sport, but somehow there are days where being competitive is all I think about and I don’t like it. I want to workout with my friends and family and just enjoy it. To embrace all that crossfit has offered me and do it because I love feeling like a kid again.

  26. Nick, better yet, it’s a 21-15-9 woukort which means its supposed to be fast. Look back through your journal and see how long your other 21-15-9 woukorts have taken you. If you scaled correctly for those you were about 7 min or under. To be honest, 10:00 is way too long for Fran . How about you get it in under 7:00? You’ll have a much better appreciation for Fran and all of her glory if you’re under 7:00. You probably won’t thank me for this today, but you’ll see what I mean later down the road.

  27. Thank you. I missed my work out on Saturday, i was dissappointed in myself, trying to figure out when to “make it up”. I did get my kids (7&9) out on a 6 mile bike ride, it was amazing. They are amazing, I forgot that one of the many reasons I work out is so I can enjoy those moments with them. KIP blogpost just reminded me of that.
    Thanks again

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