Tim Ferriss' book Tools of The Titans includes an interaction between the author and coach Christopher Sommer, former men's gymnastics national team coach, who explains the value of "the single decision." It's a great section of the book and we wanted to (re)share it here with you:
We all get frustrated. I am particularly prone to frustration when I see little or no progress after several weeks of practicing something new. Despite Coach Sommer’s regular reminders about connective-tissue adaptations taking 200 to 210 days, after a few weeks of flailing with “straddle L extensions,” I was at my wits’ end. Even after the third workout, I had renamed them “frog spaz” in my workout journal because that’s what I resembled while doing them: a frog being electrocuted.
Each week, I sent Coach Sommer videos of my workouts via Dropbox. In my accompanying notes at one point, I expressed how discouraging it was to make zero tangible progress with this exercise. Below is his email response, which I immediately saved to Evernote to review often.
It’s all great, but I’ve bolded my favorite part:
“Dealing with the temporary frustration of not making progress is an integral part of the path towards excellence. In fact, it is essential and something that every single elite athlete has had to learn to deal with. If the pursuit of excellence was easy, everyone would do it. In fact, this impatience in dealing with frustration is the primary reason that most people fail to achieve their goals. Unreasonable expectations time-wise, resulting in unnecessary frustration, due to a perceived feeling of failure. Achieving the extraordinary is not a linear process.
The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home.
A blue collar work ethic married to indomitable will. It is literally that simple. Nothing interferes. Nothing can sway you from your purpose. Once the decision is made, simply refuse to budge.
Refuse to compromise.
And accept that quality long-term results require quality long-term focus. No emotion. No drama. No beating yourself up over small bumps in the road. Learn to enjoy and appreciate the process. This is especially important because you are going to spend far more time on the actual journey than with those all too brief moments of triumph at the end.
Certainly celebrate the moments of triumph when they occur. More importantly, learn from defeats when they happen. In fact, if you are not encountering defeat on a fairly regular basis, you are not trying hard enough. And absolutely refuse to accept less than your best.
Throw out a timeline. It will take what it takes.
If the commitment is to a long-term goal and not to a series of smaller intermediate goals, then only one decision needs to be made and adhered to. Clear, simple, straightforward. Much easier to maintain than having to make small decision after small decision to stay the course when dealing with each step along the way. This provides far too many opportunities to inadvertently drift from your chosen goal. The single decision is one of the most powerful tools in the toolbox.”
-From "Tools of The Titans" by Tim Ferriss
WOD For 07-28-18:
In Teams of THREE, For Time:
A) All Three Working At The Same Time, Each on a Different Movement:
150 Wall Balls @ 20/14 lbs to 10/9 ft
125 Calorie Row (FMM = 115 Cal, FFM = 105 Cal , FFF = 95 Cal)
100 Lateral Bar Burpees
B) One Person Working at a Time, Completed in Order as Written (i.e. 75-50-25):
75 Power Cleans @ 115/80 lbs
50 Power Snatches
25 Squat Clean Thrusters
For Part A game plan how your team will split the work into pre-set rounds & reps with planned transitions. For example:
5 Rounds of...
Athlete A - 30 Wall Balls
Athlete B - 25 Calorie Row
Athlete C - 20 Lateral Bar Burpees
(Everyone rotates to repeat this 5 times until Part A is complete)
For Part B there is only one person working at a time, and reps can be split in any fashion as long as the movements are completed in order as written (75 > 50 > 25). We recommend smaller sets and quick transitions to keep the pace as fast as possible with good technique.