What does it take? Amanda West #staydedicatedandearnit

It’s been 52 weeks from when I started offering Individualized Design or ID. Amanda was one of my first clients. Our goal was to make her one of the best in the world. This is her story. 

What does it take to move from the top 1% in the world to the top .08%? From 298 to 211?

It takes Dedication. Responsibility. Patience. Trust. 

Dedication. It took putting this goal first. It meant making this goal a priority. It meant staying committed to a process that could feel maddening at times. This madness was 3+ hours a day at the gym, 5-6 days a week, working on weaknesses. Weaknesses are generally not things we enjoy doing, but Amanda faced them head-on. 

#staydedicatedandearnit is a hashtag I save for special performances. It means a member didn’t give up after a few weeks, months, or years. Amanda definitely earned it this year. 

Responsibility. One of the 4 expectations (aka rules) we have at the gym is to “Take Responsibility.” Your progress ultimately falls on you. You have to take ownership of your journey. Amanda understood this. She knew that following her program, her diet, or her mobility work was her choice and hers alone. She took responsibility for her actions and it showed. 

Patience. Remember when we discussed staying dedicated day in and day out, working on weaknesses? What I didn’t mention was the timeline; 52 weeks in this case—a full year working on things she wasn’t great at. She had the patience to wait for the payoff she hoped would come, and the patience to understand that a retest after the first 3, 6, or 9 months might not tell the whole story. 

Trust. Not only did Amanda have to put in work on things that were downright miserable at times; she had to do so with the understanding that some of her favorite movements and strengths could (and did) suffer as a result. I explained to her at the beginning of last year that we needed to make her a more well-rounded athlete if she wanted to improve that last .023%. This would mean sacrificing some of her strengths. It took a lot of trust in the process to accept that taking a step back would mean moving forward. The perfect example of this was her deadlift—a lift she was stronger at than all but 2 females in the masters division at the 2017 Games. 2! (https://heatonminded.com/crossfit-games-complete-list-of-strength/ ) Amanda’s PR last year was 359; this year, it’s roughly 90%. Not everyone would be willing to give that up, but she did, and for that I am grateful. 

While we missed the mark by the slimmest of margins, .0003% or 11 spots, we still moved much closer to the well-rounded athlete we need to be for that last few spots. In the end, it was one new movement that caught us off guard. I take responsibility for that and it will not happen again next year. 

The bright spots over the last year’s training: From a very uneasy, injurious- prone overhead squat position to a strong, stacked position resulting in new Jerk and OHS PRs. A very large improvement in overall work capacity, leading not only to her highest placing on an individual event, but also the Open. And finally, Amanda’s improvement from 1 very rough sMU to multiple, technically- sound reps—including reps on the minute with confidence.

Six more months to get that last .0003%! #staydedicatedandearnit

Austin Kemink