The word benchmark as defined by Merriam-Webster:
- “a point of reference from which measurements may be made
- something that serves as a standard by which others may be measured or judged a stock whose performance is a benchmark against which other stocks can be measured
- a standardized problem or test that serves as a basis for evaluation or comparison (as of computer system performance)”
The phenomenon of the benchmark workouts, as established by forefather and founder of everything CrossFit, Greg Glassman, “measure and benchmark your performance and improvements through repeated, irregular, appearances..”
All of which brings me here to you today to provide some anecdotal charm to the concept of benchmarking. I am not here to brag or boast. I am not here to recap my entire story of how I got fit, rather I am here to tell you of my progress. Why, you ask? Progress is what keeps me motivated, its what gets me out of bed every morning. Each day, I work to make progress in all aspects of my life, in other words, to become a better person, daughter, sister, friend, coach, athlete. Thus, I am here to tell you how tracking my progress of workouts, has been so awe-inspiring and defining for me.
This past weekend I completed the Hero WOD Murph in honor of Memorial Day here in the states and fallen soldier, Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy. For those who do not know, CrossFit has coined several WODs, workout-out-of-the-day(s), in memory of fallen American soldiers. Murph is infamous. It is long, repetitive and grueling. It is a 1-mile run, followed by 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 air squats and another 1-mile run. I proudly claim to have finished Murph this year, as prescribed (minus the 20 lb. vest), in nearly 40 minutes. Now, forget my time (I sure did), cause that is not what is important here, but rather the words I stated right before. I completed Murph as prescribed. I pulled and pushed using my bodyweight and that is my progress.
As a coach, I don’t yell out “count your reps” or “note your time” or “how many rounds did you do” to embarrass you. I want you to hold yourself accountable, as I do each day. I want you to remember how you did today, so that you beat it tomorrow. After all, aren’t we all trying to get better at something?
So today, take a moment to capture how we do something today, whether it be an assignment at work, a conversation with mom, a lab in school, a workout at the gym, a meditation on the couch. Not how you do it. Then, tomorrow or the next day, do it again and track your progress. After all, progress makes you perfect.
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