This post is intended to humble, to give perspective and to give guidance.
Perfection may be achievable in 10,000 hours of practice. Let’s go right now, no time to waste. But wait, 10,000 is a long time. Training 1 hour a day for 365 days a year at Raleigh CrossFit may be an awesome and impressive way to spend your time, (Yes we are fun and we work hard.) but 10,000 hours will take just over 27 years to reach a perfect condition with your favorite Olympic lift. Now you may understand why achieving a 10.0 score is difficult in the Olympics!
When you get frustrated because your pull-ups are fast enough or your back squat not heavy enough, keep the idea of practice in perspective. Continue to work at it, building with each rep towards improved mechanics. For a little inspiration, read on.
Anders Ericsson, a psychologist, developed an idea that basically states that in order to perfect a skill, one must spend 10,000 hours practicing it. It was also popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his book, “Outliers.”
To break this down, let’s look at the numbers.
We know there are 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. If you wished to perfect your back squat, you would need to train only your back squat every day, 24 hours a day for 1.14 years before you perfected it. Unless you are a machine, and even then, machines break down, you cannot train a movement at Raleigh CrossFit for 24 hours a day. And as much I love seeing you all, I want you to sleep and have a social life. I know a few of you who are ready to sign up.
Let’s take it a bit further.
If you trained one movement, 2 hours a day, it would take you 13.7 years to perfect your back squat. Still, quite a feat to do, but possible I suppose.
If you trained your back squat 1 hour a day, it would take you 27.4 years to reach perfection. I will let you add that to your current age.
And a bit more, if you trained your back squat for 15 minutes each day, 365 days a year, it would take you 109.6 years. Hmmm. Even with advanced medicine, not sure this is going to happen. Coach Bobby… get Hannah on this ASAP! (FYI, Hannah is Bobby’s little girl, who is about 1 month old.)
Now, you could argue, some folks just have the genetics or “talent” with certain tasks. This is true. This fact may cut down on your training time, but there really has not been a case study done on this combination of practice and talent. Although, this guy “Dan” is working on the theory now. Some news coverage of Dan and his quest.
So the next time you roll your eyes at yourself for missing a lift or when you just want to throw your jump rope across the gym, remember, perfection, while obtainable, isn’t realistic. Just have fun. Train hard and you will continuously improve. By the way, there will be times when you hit a lift and that moment, that feeling of perfection, will inspire you even more. So train for that moment. Train for the moments that make you feel great. Hopefully, you experience moments like those every time you train with us and more.
** See you all this Saturday for 31 Heroes.
** Also, reminder, next Sunday at 10-11a the rowing clinic will take place. What a fun weekend you all will have!