The Ego is The Enemy

“The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win. Everyone wants to win but not everyone wants to prepare to win.”

– Bobby Knight

What’s Going On?

Holiday Schedule Changes

12/25 – CLOSED

12/26 – CLOSED

1/1/24 – 9am “Murph” Open to ALL MEMBERS

Overheard in Class:

“If it’s not written down it didn’t happen.”


Tim’s Deep Squats (Thoughts)

I was asked in class about books that I would recommend. So I started scrolling through the titles in my Audible account. I had to mark many of them for another listen because they’re so good. I started to list them in class and a few are below.

Regarding the question about books, however, I was reminded that asking for help can be a big deal for people. The ego has a nasty habit of getting in the way of our development. Historically, I preferred to do things on my own without help. As if I had to prove it to someone. (Probably myself.) Over time, I’ve learned that it’s actually a sign of strength to know your weaknesses and get help in those areas. (For me it’s finance and relationships.) It really shortens the learning curve to learn from others.

So I want to give a shout out to all of our members. The mere act of showing up to our Introductory Class is akin to admitting you know you need something new, different, structured, etc. but you don’t know how to do it for yourself. Congratulations. This was you leaving your ego at the door. Just remember that it doesn’t make you special, and we need to do it daily.

In the years around 2009 when we started CFPA, the “Leave Your Ego At The Door” theme was very common in the CrossFit world. So much of CrossFit was new to so many and it was likely that newcomers didn’t know anything about a clean, jerk, snatch, kettlebell, etc. People need reminders. In reality, it’s still the case. Most people still don’t know about CrossFit and what goes on in an affiliate. A friend that operates fitness events overseas stated that more people are yet to do CrossFit than have already done it. Meaning; as much as one may think everyone knows about CrossFit already, they don’t. There are a lot of newbies out there!

We are finishing up our latest 4 week training cycle this week. Mondays finished off with Clean and Jerks while Tuesday is Snatching. These two movements can be extremely frustrating no matter who you are or how long you’ve done them. They are nuanced and quite particular about being done correctly. They are some of the most challenging movements we do in CrossFit. Maybe you’re using an empty barbell. Maybe you’re over 100 or 200 pounds on your lifts. Great. Keep working. We can always get better and more consistent. There are times when frustration gets the better of someone and they think they “SHOULD” know how to do something or do it better. Get over yourself. Learning takes time.

In fact, in the book Motor Learning (1991) Dr Schmidt states that it takes approximately 300-500 repetitions to develop a new motor pattern. Conversely, once bad habits are in place, he states that it’ll take about 3000-5000 repetitions to re-write and correct a bad motor pattern. This is also why I’ll stop you if it’s not a good pattern. It will save us all a lot of time.

Now, I told you that to tell you this. Yes, the C&J and Snatch are hard. They are also worth it. Olympic weightlifting demands proper mechanics, consistent execution and myriad amounts of intensity depending on the capacity of the athlete. I am proud of the members of CFPA because you have bought into the ethos of doing it right before doing it more. You trust us when we tell you how to perform better. You trust that we want what’s best for you. I believe this trust in the process is why we have so many emails and testimonials claiming that CrossFit Palo Alto has changed their life in a positive way. Thank you for your trust.

While I encourage us all to leave our egos at the door, I also want to encourage you to do what it takes. I LOVE the clip below of Nick Saban. It can be applied to any endeavor. Performance in the gym, on a sports field, in a relationship, at a job. The bottom line is that it takes what it takes. Some people will learn faster/slower than others. It doesn’t matter. My personal experience is that a big part of what it takes is wanting to prepare to win and then being humble in the pursuit of achieving it.


Nick Saban is a living, breathing soundbite.

Influencing (BOOKS)

The Power of Negative Thinking – Bob Knight

I love contrarian thinking and this is a fitting tribute with his recent death.

Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

As humans we can design ourselves to get stronger from trials and testing.

Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life – Steve Martin

Hilarious, of course. Also admirable dedication and grit to succeed.

The Long Ships – Frans G. Bengtsson

Historical fiction acclaimed for it’s authenticity. Phenomenal Viking story.

Send me your influences. Music? Books? Movies? Series?