You Have to Learn How to Finish What You Started (Part 2)

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(In part 1 of this series, I discussed the importance of finishing what you intend to do in the WODs. If you set out to do 5 total sets, you must do 5 sets. Anything less and it may be a sign that you gave up on reaching your goals. if you have a habit of not finishing with the WODs, more than likely you have the same problem with your personal life as well. This is a sign that you are the kind of person that looks for the easy way out and lacks not only toughness, but character. If this sounds like you, we must put all of our attention in destroying this bad habit of yours.)

I have always said that the WODs are the best indicator of one’s personality. I can give you all sorts of psychological test to revel your true self, but nothing works better than having you do one of the CrossFit girls. I’ll know immediately if you are a fighter or a quitter. It won’t take long before I learn if you are the type of person that whines about the small stuff or the kind that person that embraces hard work. You can’t hide your true identity. All flaws and insecurities are exposed with mental toughness training. The problems that you have with your personal life will be the same issues that you’ll have in the WODs. Everything is reflected in the workouts, but even more magnified than ever.

No weakness is more evident than one’s lack of ability to finish what they say they do. As a coach, I can see this pattern in just a couple of sessions with those that continuously fall short of finishing their intended goals. Working with these clients are usually the hardest to deal with as they are loaded with excuses on why they can’t finish projects. However, the good news is that you don’t need to spend years of psychotherapy to cure them.

If you have issues with finishing, the only way to rid you of this debilitating habit is to counter the behavior with an oppositional action. In other words, you must constantly do challenging tasks which you must finish. The tasks that I have in mind are no other than the WODs. The good news is that the WODs are set up for daily tests for you to practice and hone in on the “art of finishing.” The bad news is the WODs are probably a lot harder than the activities in your life that you are used to avoid finishing or have been procrastinating for months to get done.

After a couple of WODs, I have doubt no doubt most of you world rather work on your personal unfinished projects than stand another round with “Fran” or “Barbara.” Given the choice of the two evils, I’m sure most of you could probably finish your long avoided task in a jiffy than doing a brutal WOD. But, unfortunately life doesn’t work this way in which we get a second chance to make up for our shortcomings. Nor is this training about punishing with physical challenges for your past inabilities to get things done, let them linger while they get worse.

This training is about teaching how to persevere through the constant obstacles that will get in your way when you are trying to get things done. It about not looking for the easy way out, but understanding that going through the hard way is how you become mentally strong. With the WODs, there only two options – you either finish them or you don’t. You don’t get credit for doing part of them. It’s pretty much a pass or fail system. The WODs are design to make you feel miserable. You will feel even a thousand times worse if you don’t finish them. The joy comes when you complete them. When the final outcome is so back or white, all your emphasis better be on finishing the task. Nothing is worse than putting so much effort into something and not get rewarded for it. So the choice is yours. You can either feel good about yourself or continue to living a miserable life where you can’t finish reaching your goals.

By facing the WODs and defeating them every time, you are establishing a new sense of habit for yourself. Unfortunately, you don’t have much room for error which means one mishap of quitting before finishing will be a mental regression. So take it one WOD at a time. With the completion of each WOD, you are not only wiping out your past self of giving up easy, but solidifying your ability to stay within the fight and ultimately ending it on your terms.

This skill of finishing challenges must be discovered through the physical training first. Once you have establish with yourself the ability to slay and complete numerous WODs on a consistent level, you must applied the same skill set to your personal life. You must confront your lack of ability to finish tasks in your life with the same dedication and aggressiveness as which how you did with the WODs.

All the lessons that you have learn during the WODs, must be transferable to how you live your life. If your personal life does not improved,  this training will be a waste of time.

(To be continued)

Today’s classic CrossFit WOD –


5 Rounds (time each round)

1. 20 pull-ups

2. 30 push-ups

3. 40 sit-ups

4. 50 squats

Rest precisely three minutes between rounds. Add the time up for all five rounds and then subtract 15 minutes for you total time.

“Barbara” is another WOD that seems to last for fucking ever. You will be tempted to quit many times during this WOD because the suffering will seem to never end. To get through “Barbara,” you must learn how to stay focus on your current task. What will screw with your mind is the overwhelming thought of all the reps you have to do to finish “Barbara”. If you are doing the pull-up portion, you must still focused on doing the pull-ups only. If you doing the sit-ups don’t think of how bad your legs are going to hurt when you have to do the squats next. Put all your concentration, attention on getting through the sit-ups.  And so forth. Aggressively get through and finish one task at a time will help prevent any anxiety that can arise and prevent you from finishing. This will help your workout productivity and drive you to complete the WOD.

What happens to a lot people when they do “Barbara” is that they worry too much.  By focusing on what you haven’t done, can lead to a premature surrender. Dwelling on a problem during a workout, is always a disastrous. When the mind is overpowered with worry, it automatically goes into a state of panic and the threat of not finishing becomes a reality. Once again, you are heavily considering quitting over fighting. When this happens, there’s only one way to get out the bad habit that has haunted you for years. You must retaliate at once with aggressive action statements about you finishing the WOD such as “There is no way I am not finishing today”…”I am tired of always giving up!.. “I will go on no matter how much pain I am in.” 

By fighting and coming back more fiercely, you’ll finally learn the singular insight for what it takes to reach toughness status.  No matter how exhausted you are, the mind has the capacity to always energize you to put the final nails on the coffin of your opponent. By discovering this revelation, you know you can always get through any fatigue your body is experiencing because mentally, you have unlimited supply of stamina. For every workout there is always that threatening moment when you just think you will come undone and quit. When this happens, your mind can reverse the feeling of being punch drunk and pull yourself together with more energy that you ever knew was inside of you. The point is, you always have more in you to drive you to finish.  The goal of this program is to teach you that you can consistently do the near impossible when you are at your worse.

Doing the unprecedented of not only finishing, but finish stronger than ever. This shall become your new habit of having furry to the very end of the fight. So don’t just pace yourself to the end of “Barbara”, but end her with life’s blood pouring out of you in the most aggressive manner possible. This is your new trademark in finishing all WODs from now on. With every WOD that you accomplish, you are ever so closer to annihilating your past inabilities of bringing things to a close. Soon, it will be an afterthought.

Nothing is more gratifying than unequivocally overcoming a personal struggle that you thought was once out of your reach. To persevere in a convincing fashion is the trademark of the tough. This is our crusade.  Now join us.

Scaled back versions of this WOD –

1.  Use a Woody band for the assisted pull-ups

2. Horizontal body rows can done be instead of the pull-ups. They look like this – images (18)

3. Jumping pull-ups are good too. Here’s what they look like – download (2)

4. Do push-ups from your knees.

5. Rest 5 minutes or longer between rounds.

6. Do only 3 rounds total.

7. Omit the sit-ups.

8. An alternative rep scheme can be:

3 rounds

10 pull-ups

15 pushups

20 sit-ups

25 squats


10 thoughts on “You Have to Learn How to Finish What You Started (Part 2)”

  1. This series is really giving me some valuable information on how to get over my inability to finish things. Thanks for providing and can’t wait to read the whole thing when it is done.

    Today’s WOD looks insane. …



  2. Another solid advice piece. This series is really helping me as with all your mental toughness tips. I use to play competitive volleyball for college and I wish you wrote this blog back then.

    Keep the information and WODs coming.

    Really appreciate your writing, Jackson.

    You have no idea, how its helping me.

  3. Nice work jack! Very inspiring and makes you take a introspective look at your own training and mindset. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for doing this. Very useable information and advice. More like a slap in the face for a slacker like me.

  5. Amazing stuff. Got to get off my lazy ass and get things done. LIfe is passing me by!

    Not looking forward to doing the WOD. I need my arms not to be numb so I can work! LOL!

    God bless\
    Miss. Paula

    Reply ↓

  6. Holy cow, just did “Barbara.” Didn’t think I would survived, but I did. Didn’t RX the pullups but did the rows. Still, a hell of a workout.

    Didn’t think I was going to finish, but glad I did. Going to use this momentum to the next WOd.

  7. Did Barbara last night. paying the price today as I can’t get out of bed. Whole body is sore as hell.

    I need a massage!

    T Paula

  8. Great article. I am a great example of somebody that constantly prograstantes
    and avoids work. The only thing in my life that I am consistent with is with my lifting. Hopefully, I can work this connection to my personal life.

    Eric from DC

  9. Hello! Just wanted to tell you what great information this is.I noticed my 14 year old daughter has issues with finishing things. Do you have much experience working with younger adults? If so, should I push her or just let her be?

    Any advice or suggestion will be helpful and appreciative.


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