What did you change? by Michele Letendre
This year was clearly something remarkable for me in my competitive career. Tons of people asked me what I changed this year to progress so much. Aside the fact that I worked my effing butt off, here’s the skinny: I changed my diet, I changed my schedule and I changed my training volume. In reality however, nothing would have been as effective as changing my attitude towards competition and training. Yes, I take competition seriously, yes I want to win and be better, etc, but the biggest change is in my everyday training regiment.
Last year, I was alone and although I qualified for the games, I found everything to be extremely difficult to do. It wasn’t until about a month before Regionals 2011 that I started getting some help and support from friends in the gym. This was a huge mistake on my part, rather than seeking out help, I expected people to give it to me. So I trained on my own, I had a full time job that I hated (I was an Insurance Broker, need I say more?) and I lived alone. The changes started after qualifying for the Games in 2011 when I left my job and started coaching part time in order to focus on my training for the Games. I immediately saw a difference in my performances but I was still stressed and I wasn’t really having fun.
My very dear friend, Louise Hodge, who unfortunately for me and fortunately for her now lives in Kelowna B.C., reminded me that Crossfit was in essence a way to better enjoy life on a long term basis (remember how Crossfit began as a fitness program?). In reality, my situation was great; I get to be fit as a profession and to help others to do the same. So, why on earth was I so freaking stressed out last year? I pretty much got lost in competition and forgot about me as a person. Like in every profession, we have to take the good along with the bad, so all the sacrifices you make as a competitor are not going to be worth it if you don’t love what you do and are happy doing it. Funny enough, nobody loves rowing followed by burpees and wallballs (unless you’re a freak) so, how do you make it fun? Training partners to share the suck with. And, on occasion go out after training, get shit faced at the bar and complain about how everything hurts!
I took a job as a coach at Abattoir Crossfit Plateau and they welcomed me with open arms and heavy weights. I found new friends and training partners so I was never alone. They always pushed me to my limits. Then I met the owners of Deka Crossfit in Blainville: Frederic Dancose and Maxime Dufault. Not only have they become my training partners but have become my closest friend throughout my journey for the games. At the risk of sounding corny, I just couldn’t have gone this far without all of these people.
In essence, the corny sayings are true, surround yourself with positive people and you will have positive feedback. And although I still find myself training alone on occasion, I enjoy my time more and cherish the time with my training partners.