The "S" Word

Published October 21, 2016

The “S” Word

-by Rachel Binette


This word doesn’t belong in anyone’s mouth. Thinking it is destructive. Speaking it gives it power over us and everyone around us. 


The word is “should.”


“I should have pull-ups by now.”

“He should be squatting 300lbs.”

“She should know better.”


We often think the “S” word without knowing it. “Should” holds all of our highest expectations for ourselves and for others. When we become discouraged, the word “should” is at play. Let’s use an imaginary CrossFitter as an example, call him or her Shouldsy McGee. Shouldsy is discouraged that they can’t do double unders. Shouldsy WANTS to string together double unders in workouts, and he or she always comes to WODs where they can practice. But after a couple of years of CrossFit, Shouldsy is still leaving with whip marks from their jump rope and is only stringing a few double unders together. Shouldsy is now frustrated. 


“I’ve been CrossFitting for 2 years, I should have double unders!” “I should be better!” 


In the immortal words of Yoda, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”


There is. Or there is not. There is no “should.” 


Should is a word that allows us to create a perfect reality and deny the one that we live in. It absolves us of problem solving. 


The problem is not that Shouldsy “should” have double unders. The problem is that Shouldsy hasn’t earned double unders. Either they are not practicing consistently enough to make a real change, or their practicing methods aren’t working.


Lucky for Shouldsy, a coaches' job is to provide the guidance and expertise required to master difficult skills or gain strength. They have a wealth of knowledge and information that they are itching to hand out--ask and you shall receive. 


We have all been Shouldsy at some point in our lives, related to CrossFit or not. Next time we find ourselves discouraged about something, let’s tease out the “should,” spoken or unspoken, and search for the solution instead. 


Rachel Binette
CrossFit Level 2

American Red Cross: CPR/First Aid/AED
To book a training session with Rachel click here

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