CFV Archive

A tale of Red Hooded Flower Girl.

On a beautiful countryside, lived a village of happy healthy people. In this village, there is an wise old lady who owned a large field of the most beautiful purple and red roses. There were hundreds even thousands of them!

One day a Red Hooded Flower Girl stumbled across this field of dreams and was infatuated by the sight and smell of the vibrant meadow. 

Deeply obsessed with owning some dreamy purple and red roses, the girl looked for the person who cared for these roses. 

After finding the wise old lady who was grooming for her flowers, the girl asked in a shy soft tone, ‘Excuse me my lady, is it possible for me to take some roses to liven up my home?’

The wise old lady replied with a gentle sweet smile, ‘Why of course! But you can only pick one a day.’

After hearing the crackly reply from the lady, the girl became upset because the girl lived a distance away and wasn’t happy about leaving with just 1 rose. She was planning on leaving with 4 or 5 of them! 

The girl bit her lip and answered with a quivering voice of disappointment, ‘Okay, one it is then.’ After her response, she spent the 1 hour searching and choosing the most beautiful rose she could find. By dusk, she went home and cared for her one rose.

Waking up the next day, the girl was greeting by the sight of the magical rose that she picked the day before she was filled with joy and it made her happy. She skipped back to that field of that wise old lady.

Upon seeing the girl, the wise old lady lifted her straw hat, grinned warmly and welcomed her, ‘Are you back for another?’

‘Yes! I’m here for a purple rose this time!’ The girl replied with a little bit more confidence than the day before.

‘Go on ahead sweet child.’ The wise old lady exclaimed.

The girl spent the next hour searching and picking the best purple rose that she could find and skipped home with content.

This routine happened for 2 weeks and before you know it, the girl’s home had a bouquet of 14 exquisitely amazing red and purple roses.

The girl became greedy and wanted to pick more, so she questioned the wise old lady the next day, ‘Excuse me ma’am, why wouldn’t you let me pick more than 1 flower per day? Why can’t I leave with 2 or 3?’ said with frustration and hurriedness.

The wise old lady stood up slowly from her pruning, placed her hand on the girl’s shoulder and explained, ‘Because my child….. if you only had limited time a day, I want you to only focus on choosing the best rose with all your attention given to detail to that rose. With only one rose allowed to be chosen per day, you can be assured you would be choosing the best looking one. You wouldn’t rush through the process and fill your home with half flourishing roses would you?’

Hearing the response of the wise old lady, the girl reluctantly agreed and continued her search for the day.

Weeks became months, months became years. The red hooded girl had now become a woman and owned a sizeable rose field. 

Looking out at her rose field of vibrant colours from her kitchen window, she smiled with complacent and was satisfied with what she had accomplished.

‘one rose a day’.

How much fitness do you actually need? (reflections with me)

The answer is: yes.

In all seriousness, this is something that I’ve contemplated a lot. And I hope that me sharing my experiences will maybe have you reflecting on the same questions as well and maybe your outlook on your current fitness journey.

I’ve been practicing and ‘coached’ in strength and conditioning training for almost 7 years before I joined CrossFit. The reason for me joining was because Youtube recommended me a video to me called ‘What is CrossFit’ and the rest was history. 

At the start everything was fun and exciting! I went in everyday not knowing what to expect and I was just ready to have fun and break a sweat and improve on my work capacity. (Doesn’t this sound a lot like you?) I wasn’t amazed that people could squat snatch 60 kilos, or even perform a couple of strict muscle ups and run 400m decently well (CrossFitters really don’t like running huh?), but it was the fact that they did it all in 1 workout! That to me was impressive. The athlete that could do everything!

The first couple of months went by and my improvements were showing, I could lift more weights, I had better control over my body movements( gymnastics) and I was building a decent engine. At this point I was still having a lot of fun learning and some friendly competitive banter with the people at the box! (Talking about you Janson (in the deepest of voice)).

Then came the competitive bug. I remembered when it happened. It was after the 18.1 open workout where I was heading into the box when Tom outside the corridor mentioned that I did really well and I had placed 24th in Malaysia in that workout. At that moment, I was consumed by obsession over every workout. I placed an unrealistically high standard for every workout and I stalked the leaderboard day and night. Even after the open, I was so concerned about beating the clock and the people around me, sometimes pushing through beyond what my body was used to with bad form just to get the WOD done became my new ‘norm’. 

That feeling of dry heaving in my mouth because I was so nervous before a workout happened every time I stepped into the box. Every WOD that I wasn’t able to perform the way I wanted to frustrated me and placed me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. I would go back and reflect on all the ‘what ifs’ and questioned myself ‘why didn’t I go 10 bar muscle ups unbroken in that workout. Why the hell can’t I hang on to the bar? Maybe if I kip the $H** out of my shoulders I would be able to’. Sometimes even screaming with a rage of a deep disappointment to vent out ‘Why did I fail!!!’

I started losing my joy working out. I no longer worked out for myself but every ‘PR’ of mine didn’t seem so great if it wasn’t the best for the day compared with everyone else. I no longer had fun during WODS. In my head it was a fierce competition and I can’t lose to anyone. 

I started training more and more once maybe twice a day, obsessed with being the top of the leaderboard. Then came team series where Ridz and Myself formed our team ‘Witness US’.

Long story short, I strained my rotator cuff because I tried to go 10 unbroken bar muscle ups (bad idea for me) all for a ‘better’ workout score. I couldn’t go overhead for 6 months and certain movements gave me an intense pain deep in my shoulder joint that kept me up from sleeping.

I learned my biggest lesson. Here it is.

How much fitness(work capacity) do I actually need?  And why?

Why do I need to be fitter than my athletes and friends who I care about who are also working on improving on their fitness? 

Why do I feel proud when my fitness sh*ts on their fitness? Why do I place so much self worth on the leaderboard? 

Why does doing better or equal than my friends gives me a confidence boost?

Why do I compare myself with others? 

Why do I not appreciate my progress when I compare myself with the progress of others?

Why do I get angry and upset when I’m not ‘First’ in the WOD?

Why do I care if I do a workout scaled or RX?

Why do I beat myself up when i didn’t top my previous Personal Best?

Admit it, we’ve all been there. I just have big enough kettlebells to confess 😉

Don’t let your EGO, get in the way of you having FUN when you workout. Accept that you will make mistakes in a workout and that’s okay! Swallow your pride and do your best regardless of how everyone else around you is doing.

When it comes to your fitness, I personally don’t think it should be a competition. Run your own race, be humble, encourage and support the people that are running their own races as well. 

When it comes to life, the only ‘competition’ should be quality of life lived.

If you are competitive and competing with others, then you should only be competing against the people that matter; Matt Fraser and Tia Clair Toomey. 🙂 (just saying.) Not the competition in your own box.

How much Fitness do you actually need?

If you have plans to make it to the CrossFit games, then you need a lot. Like a lot. Like a lot a lot more than your average CrossFitter.

If your goal is to stay strong, healthy and sexy till you’re 93, you don’t need to train 2-3 times a day, you don’t need to do any workout RX. Heck! You don’t even need to finish the workout within time cap! But you do need to focus on living a more optimal lifestyle! (Stay tuned for more, bigger things are coming.)

Have a smile during every workouts and laugh at your failures, bloopers, missed reps, trips on your ropes, jelly legs and silliness.

Focus on Mechanics and Consistency before Intensity.

The only race you need to worry about is your own.

Thank you for reading. This is for you, future self ego that may resurrect and lead me to worry about the size of fitness of others instead of appreciating and working on the size of my own. 

And this is for you. (The awesome person reading this)

Setting goals- Do you really want it? (part 3)

It goes without saying, if you haven’t checked out part 1 and 2 of setting goals, reading this might feel like you’ve been thrown in the deep end of the ocean with no floatation.

So let’s do a quick recap. You have set your “S.M.A.R.T” goals, for example, ‘I want to do 1 strict pull-up by the end of the year or earlier.’ This is fantastic, the destination has been set!

Next is figuring out the reason why you set that goal. ‘I want to be stronger and doing 1 strict pull up is important to me because it shows me the progress I am making!’ Now you have both valid reason for your goal.

WOOOOOAAAAAHHHHHH WE’RE HALFWAY THERE…WOOOOOAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! (cracking high pitched Bon Jovi singing with no shame!)

This part is the hardest part. Are you ready for it?
Are you ready to hear the $1,000,000 tip that allows you to achieve your fitness goal?
Can you handle the truth?
Are you mentally prepared to realise your dreams don’t need to happen only in your sleep?
Come closer……
pay attention……..
open your eyes…….
here it comes……..

You have to work for it.

(Gasp!!!) Blasphemous!!! Ridiculous!!! How dare you say such things!!!

A story goes, a thirsty horse seeks a drink, the cowboy led him to clear running water. But the horse needs to drink to quench his thirst.

If you really want something, you have to put in the time and effort to get it done. Same thing for your fitness goals. You have to work for it.

Using the example above as a guide, if I want my first strict pull up, I need to spend some time before or after the CrossFit class to get it done! Result isn’t going to show itself in a week or 2. But consistency with effort and commitment builds the gust for the Winds of Change. (Sharmin said I’m poetic, I agree)

Stay focused on what you can do today, and do it to the best of your abilities.

Every thousand mile journey begins with a single step.

So get ‘steppin’.


p.s. – If you tell me that you want a strict pull up but you aren’t willing to put in the time and effort to do the progression exercises, I want you to know that you and your pull up goal will be in my prayers tonight. 😀 (love you still though)

Livin’ on a prayer (and the song carries on).