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Chasing Excellence by Ben Bergeron

Date: May 26, 2020

Chasing Excellence by Ben Bergeron

Am I a fan of Crossfit? Not particularly. It's just not the type of fitness I personally enjoy. Did that stop me from being inspired by this book? Absolutely not.

As a business owner you can get inspiration and new ideas from many different places but sometimes it's the motivation and self-belief that can require some continued work. It can be that one golden nugget of information that you take away from reading a book that makes a difference in your business as it personally resonates with you.

In the Crossfit Games you compete in an arena and as with many other types of sporting events you have the external distractions of the crowd, checking the weather is in your favour and adjusting to the equipment provided. As a Crossfit athlete, or even as a business owner, you have the continual internal challenges in your head:

  • this discipline / event is my weakness
  • they're better at this than me
  • they're faster, can lift more weights, can climb higher than me

Ben Bergeron talks about your mindset and making sure that you pay attention to the right details, the ones within your control and over which you have power.

One of the athletes trained by Ben, Katrín Davíđsdóttir had a particular event that was her nemesis - legless rope climbs. It was this event that had kept her from qualifying for the games in 2014. In the 2015 Crossfit Games Ben's approach with Katrín during the competition wasn't to pump her up with motivational one liners or empty promises but instead to reframe the event so that it would be manageable and within her control. How did he do this?

He asked Katrín if she thought she could do one rope climb. He then took her back to her mindset during her training in the gym.

Ben told Katrín to imagine that there were no crossfit games, no crowd, no competitors. To ask herself "when would Ben say I'm ready to do another rope climb?" and when she thought it was right, to do one more climb.

Ben's approach was to lower Katrín's expectations rather than raising them like we're normally told to do, and in doing so he was able to get her to perform at her peak potential. Katrín went on to complete 3 legless rope climbs in the competition which was a win for her even if she didn't beat everyone at that event.

Within the book are some amazing quotes from different people such as:

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see Henry

David Thoreau

Sometimes when you're in a dark place you think you're been buried, but you've actually been planted


Excellence is the gradual result of always wanting to do better

Pat Riley

I'm not going to give away the competition results. You'll have to read the book to see if Katrin beats her nemesis and becomes the 2015 Crossfit Games Champion.