If you can’t keep resolutions, make them commandments. These are the 10 KAMO Commandments:
I. Make kindness your religion.
Go out of your way to awash those around you in a brilliant positivity. Address obstacles as opportunities, and if you encounter someone traversing a bog you’ve already conquered lend them a hand. This is the way, outside the gym and within it.
Choose empathy. Choose compassion. Be the person that ushers in new members to the gym community. Relinquish your ego by being the seasoned CrossFitter you wish would’ve taken you under their wing on your first day in the box. That person is invaluable, and their purpose is rooted in kindness.
II. Respect your fitness.
Why sell your soul dying for points if you’re going to roundhouse your metabolism at the drive-thru on the way home? Respecting your fitness doesn’t mean you have to wake up to Jocko Willink lectures and run with wolves at the crack of dawn. It means buying into what you toil towards. Being about your purpose, not just prophetzing about it.
Fitness is a triangle and the 3 vertices are Work Ethic, Nutrition/Recovery, and the Discipline in Both. If one of these corners is faulty, the whole structure fails. This doesn’t mean you have to track macros or count calories. You know if you’re respecting your fitness. It never has to be an obsession. Spend an hour at the box, and the other 23, when making life decisions, looking through the lens of is this healthy for me?
III. Be unafraid.
Shooters shoot. This is my personal mantra. Many of the moments of my life that would make the highlight reel began in an instant of overcoming self-doubt. The worst thing that’s going to happen is failure. WHO CARES. I’ve failed a thousand reps this week and it’s Wednesday.
One of my signature coaching syntaxes is “You can do anything for a minute.” This is a half-truth, because you cannot live in space or swim in lava for a minute and continue to CrossFit. What this saying is meant to unlock is the idea of having no regrets of your effort. The struggle is part of the path. Be willing to test your potential.
IV. Lift heavy.
The intro to the #BreatheMoveAdapt podcast has a clip of Mat Fraser saying, “I don’t think the general public realizes how strong they are.” This is that.
Athletes will Nerf their aptitude out of fear of injury as if they didn’t just commandeer a 2,000 pound highway missile to get to the gym. Worldwide a MILLION people die driving every year, but you’ll hop in the whip just to snag a YooHoo from Casey’s. However, nobody meets their maker snatching but that bodyweight rep is a death wish.
Wear your seatbelt and trust your coach. Lifting heavy is so good for you. From bone density to hormonal impacts, the research supports addressing the upper echelon of your lifting percentages in a safe manner as often as professional coaches prescribe.
V. Trust yourself, surprise yourself. Do something unpredictable.
Anyone can talk themselves out of anything. Kill that. It’s bullshit.
This should perhaps be the precursor to the above “Be Unafraid.” If you never step off the ledge in the squirrel suit, the fear of flight is just a mirage of a non-existent future. To trust yourself, and surprise yourself in doing so you arrive at a juncture where the remaining space is reserved to veto the dread that results.
If you’re in a grinder of a metcon and you get to the tail end with 20 Wall Balls left, in the words of my business partner Nick, pick it up and see what happens. You can make adjustments from there, but find out. The key to liberating a higher gear is to step into it.
VI. Leave satisfied.
The one kilo rule states that if you exceed a max lift by those 2.2 pounds that constitute a kilo, your session is over. To safeguard yourself from the destructive tendency of ego, leave satisfied.
Imagine your PR Clean is 245. If you hit 250, rack the weights and move on if when you attempt and miss a heavier rep it will impact your mindset within following components of your programming, or even elements away from the gym.
Even beyond personal bests, in efforts alone, adhering to a decree such as this enables you to have a reason to dig when your internal monologue tells you otherwise. Leave nothing on the table.
VII. Come back hungrier.
This is a motivation piece. If a particular workout (be it loading, structure, or movements) is the furthest possible composition from your wheelhouse that doesn’t mean it’s for naught. So if after a productive session at your box you ask Coach what tomorrow’s day entails and he responds that it’s walking through Hell in gasoline boots DO NOT cherry pick. Keep on the offensive.
When inside a WOD, if a single round goes awry, find the fortitude to persevere in finishing out as if everything went according to plan. Having a rabbit (a fellow athlete of similar capacity to use as a barometer) is a healthy metric to utilize. But if you’re in the final round of a Fight Gone Bad and the mental math implies you cannot surpass said rabbit’s rep count, that’s not an amber light. In fact, you should accelerate for honest data’s sake.
VIII. Any coffee other than black coffee is a milkshake.
Is this gatekeeping? Yes. We don’t care. If you’re drinking coffee for the caffeine you don’t need flavor. If you’re drinking coffee for the flavor adding cream negates it. Educate your palate or switch to Bang.
IX. Recover like it’s your job.
This is a tributary off of the above fitness triangle.
When I wrap up a class one of my go-to sign offs is, When you leave this place, make good decisions. It’s an all encompassing statement. There is no corner of your life where this does not apply. Drink water. Go to sleep earlier than you think you should. Eat good food (the first 2 sentences in the “100 Words of Fitness” are an adequate guide to what denotes “good”). If you’re going to ingest hours of television upon retiring to your chambers perhaps stretch or mobilize throughout.
Feeling good makes every aspect of your life better. There’s a reason people are nicest on vacation. This condition is kept up by the elements I listed above to compliment your discipline in fitness.
X. Keep Going.
To start and stop is much more difficult than to continue. Moving forward, even slow, is progress.
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Whatever you’re doing, do just that. Having a bad day, keep going, it might just be a portion of that day. Bad week? Keep going, it might just be a portion of that month. And so on.
The only way out is through.