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A Bright Thing About Bright Spots

Each Friday we celebrate the growth, specific achievements, and people of our gym in what we call “Bright Spots Friday”. It is an opportunity for us to celebrate and affirm all the effort, progress, dedication and relationships that make CrossFit Northland the great gym it is.

However, it is easy to fall into the old habitual way of thinking, namely, that the only thing worth celebrating is a heavier PR on the barbell, or a quicker time in a metcon, or finally getting the gymnastic move that’s been haunting you for years. Yes, these are all wonderful Bright Spots, but they aren’t the only Bright Spots.

To be honest, a new PR, a faster WOD time, or finally getting a muscle-up are the results of hundreds of smaller, less-glorious Bright Spots. That one really big Bright Spot only occurred because of the compilation of smaller Bright Spots.

So let’s discuss one great aspect of Bright Spots. There are more than this, but I don’t want get too long winded (I’m kinda known for writing and talking more than necessary).

Bright Spots are growth and process focused. A Bright Spot is more than a single accomplishment, and is more than what shows up in the Wodify leaderboard. A Bright Spot is anything that recognizes growth or progress, no matter how small.

If you haven’t worked out in 5 years and today you worked out, that’s a Bright Spot. If normally you could only do 3 ring-rows before needing a break and today you did 4, that’s a Bright Spot. If you do 15 t2b in three sets of five where-as a year ago they would have been done as single reps or knee-up’s, that’s growth and it highlights a year’s worth of process, programming and persistence. Let’s celebrate that! Write it down, tell a coach, shout it from the top of the rig!

A bar-muscle up occurs after a person has gone through the process of developing strength and technique in the pulling mechanics; going from ring-rows to assisted pull-ups to kipping/strict pull-ups to hesitation in the hollow position to finally elevating the hips and folding forward over the bar. That one big achievement was the sum of repeated effort, training and energy. Yet, each Bright Spot is worth celebrating.

Each one of those movements represents growth, and each one of those movements occurs with smaller degrees of progression. Each progression and each step forward in those movements is a Bright Spot. By focusing on the process of growth, and the progression forward we recognize how far we’ve grown and reminds us of how far we have already come. That reminder is good motivation to keep going and to keep moving forward.

This is why we want to highlight our Bright Spots board in the main-space of our gym, next to our daily workout itinerary. Each class we gather and discuss what our warm-up, weightlifting and metabolic conditioning is going to be for the next 60 minutes. Directly adjacent to that board is another whiteboard that highlights all of our Bright Spots from the previous weeks. The majority of these are not the sexy and glamorous Bright Spots. They are scribbles that are commending you on your daily effort, persistence, and growth-no matter how small. Let it remind you of how much you’ve already grown, and inspire you to find a Bright Spot for today.

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