Whiteboard: Friend or Foe?

Workout of the Day--August 12, 2015

250 Meter Row/200 Run
30 Wallballs, 20/14

Skill: Handstand push up progressions and practice

Sounds simple doesn't it. Simple yes; easy, no.

The Catacombs Endurance team was killing it Monday night.

The Catacombs Endurance team was killing it Monday night.


Whiteboard: Friend or Foe?

If you go to other CrossFit gyms, you might find that they are not as meticulous about recording times, scores, loads, or modifications. You will even find people that will rail against the use of a whiteboard to record scores. I understand their perspective and honestly cast no judgement on that opinion. Periodically, we will have new folks come in that don't want their name or time or score on the board and we have to have the talk about how what we do inside these walls is for ourselves and no one else. If we really believe that, then why all the effort to keep track? You should all know my stance on recording scores to see progress by now...if not, read this post. But I believe the Whiteboard serves an even greater purpose. 

When we write workouts on the board, there is a definitive quality to it. It takes away room for interpretation, negotiation, or wussing out. We don't say: "do the best you can to complete these movements in the rep scheme on the board and let us know when you are done". We say: "Here is the workout. We will scale and modify as needed, but we will complete the workout...every rep, every second." There are no decisions to be made in the movement, waffling over whether 10 is enough when 12 is what is prescribed. We go into it with a clear understanding of the task at hand and what completion looks like. When you answer with your score or your time, you are affirming that you did the workout with the agreed upon modifications and owning your results.

But we can all sometimes suffer from a case of "Whiteboard Intimidation". I unashamedly admit to battling with it myself. It can usually be readily cured with a quick chat with myself where I remind myself why I do CrossFit and that NO ONE CARES ABOUT MY SCORE except me. And if they do, that's their issue, not mine. Yes, I want you all to notice on the days that I PR my snatch (it's been a really long time). And no, I don't want you to ask me why I scaled my push ups and still put up a really slow time. Still, it is an exercise in being honest with myself and evaluating where I am with my fitness. We are all humans on a journey and our worth is not determined by rounds and reps.

So with those two conflicting views, I leave you with an article from the Tabata Times with a catchy little title: 5 Whiteboard Misconceptions that are Ruining Your CrossFit Experience.  It is a little dramatic as most CrossFit related internet fodder can be. But it makes some good points and it is worth a little reflection by all of us. I like it because It is more about a call to be better humans than it is a justification of the Whiteboard. Here is a quote to get you to click on the link and actually read the article. 

Prove yourself when you really do lose count of your reps and you start over to preserve the integrity of your workout. Prove it by no repping yourself when you know you didn’t get low enough or get your chin over the bar, even if no one else is watching you and calling you out.

So what do you guys think? Does the Whiteboard make you better or worse? I resolve that it will only make me better.