A few months ago I started training with the EaDo-Elite crew. Seeing advanced athletes training alongside and supporting each other was what motivated me to join the program. Starting my training at EaDo on the main floor I saw a lot of improvement but knew that it was time for me to make the transition to a group that would push me further. As a former Rugby player for the Venezuelan national team, I initially joined Crossfit and other training disciplines to cope with the physical and mental requirements of a high performance athlete.
Soon after my first few weeks at EaDo-Elite I started improving across the board; all my lifts, endurance, and gymnastics. Of course this resulted in sourness from my scalp to my toes. The real magic happened soon after, I started making not only physical gains but also gained teammates, friends and mentors. This has helped me to get further than I could have ever gotten on my own.
Just after I joined the program the coaches came out with a list of standards that needed to be met to maintain a position in the class. This was intimidating for a few reasons, not only were a lot of the movements previously established weaknesses but they were to be tested under fatigue and in WOD's. To my relief soon after the announcement of the standards the coaches had one on one meeting evaluations. We analyzed how achieve the standards, and how to turn our weaknesses into strengths.
At my meeting, some daily accessory workouts were added to my schedule to improve some specific skills. I went into the meeting wanting to improve my olympic lifts, however it was pointed out that by keeping my focus on my METCON and other specific skills (handstand pushups, deadlift lat tension, and running) where I was weak, that my overall capacity would improve. Additionally, there was enough olympic lifting in the program that I would see an adaptation. I trusted the coach’s advice and worked on what he had added to my workouts.
Without notice, I was PR-ing across the board; every benchmark we tested, and every lift increased by 20 pounds or more. I was running faster, I was getting leaner. To my surprise I accomplished all the requirements that I thought I couldn’t, just by trusting experienced coaches.
By far the most important personal improvement was my mental strength. Great athletes are always mentally tough. That strength defines whether you can finish the final reps of a brutal WOD, or push past the competitor next to you. Those couple of meters to the finish line, that set of 9 on FRAN, those 5 pounds over your PR, these are the moments where as little as one rep can change the whole outcome of your personal or collective success. The mental strength that I’ve gained, has helped me to overcome my own barriers, not only as an athlete, but in every single aspect in life. I'm able to push forward and to aim higher every day, not only as an individual but as a team member. The only limit between you and greatness… is you. Thank you EaDo ELITE!
~Rodrigo is pursuing a PHD in Sports Medicine. He is former national level player and an avid CrossFitter.
Photo Credit: Sierra Prime