Human beings are creatures of comfort. We seek our comfort in all aspects of our lives. We like our thermostats set to a comfortable level, our hot water showers, and our comfy couches. What if, however; these comforts are holding us back? What if constantly seeking out comforts are keeping us from growing as people? Seeking out comfort in every aspect of our lives could be the reason you haven’t found happiness.

In order to grow, we must look for challenges. However, it is engrained in our DNA to find comfort. This is called the “velvet rut”. We seek our comfort so much that we never fully grow. If you are reading this you are probably a CrossFitter or someone who likes physical fitness. When most of us started CrossFit we fell in love with the challenges of it. We fell in love with learning new things. Most have never heard of the barbell snatch let alone tried one. A muscle up was even on our radar. But seeing these movements we were drawn to master them. How can I get a muscle up? How much can I snatch? These are common things when we get started but even us CrossFitters we tend to get in the velvet rut. The better you get the more you tend to stay away from the things you challenge you the most…cough cough… the assault bike or running. What about the set up of your workouts? I need the wod wax, I have to have my lifters, my rower needs to be in front of the fan, the music has to be right. These are all signs that you are looking for comfort. These aren’t necessarily bad things either. But they can be if you start relying on them. In a competition you won’t always have things set up the way you want, the music will not be right, and the judging will be off. How will you react when these situations arise? It is important to train your mind for these situations. The best athletes in the world and the best leaders in the world are the ones who train their minds and bodies for the worst case scenario. What will you do when you show up on the competition floor and there is no chalk, will you stop working out and complain or will you just make do with what you have. What will you do if your rower is on the far side of the gym? What if the music goes out? Training against this velvet rut will help you overcome in these scenarios.

Part of what got me into Crossfit in the first place was the constant challenge of it all. I was never the best athlete so I was basically starting from scratch in all that I did. These days it seems that people shy away from challenges. We cherry pick workouts, we move equipment around to make our space as comfortable as we can, and the music has to be just right. This velvet rope mentality is what is holding most people back in life. I always stress that the gym is an analogy of your life. In the controlled setting of the gym will you make do with what you have and accept the challenge before you or will you seek out comfort and stay in the same rut you are in?

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