Tag Archives: jim mcdade

Empty the Tank!

This statement will not come as a surprise to anyone. I love CrossFit…and yes, I will fully admit Im slightly obsessed with it. Fear not this is not going to be a propaganda blog post about the glories of CrossFit…I’m saving that for one day soon. It just so happens that in addition to getting a lot stronger physically I’m learning so much mentally in these WODs (workout of the day).

Jim McDade of CrossFit212 rowing back in the day

Last week I had a major “lightbulb” moment in a workout. This particular workout was pretty simple in design, but a BEAST when trying to perform. Jim, who is the owner and head coach of the box I go to (CrossFit212) was an elite rower…do you hear the Jaws theme music yet? Anyway, we do quite a bit of rowing on the rowing machines in our WODs. This workout was a 5,000 meter row…not TOO bad right?? Well, the kicker was the women had to complete it in under 22 minutes. Now, if you’ve ever spent time on a rowing machine you know that is FAST rowing for a long period of time. Now you understand my slight panic. If you didn’t complete the distance in the time frame then the penalty was 1 double under (YouTube it) for every second you went over. Whew. I was going to be there a long time paying the penalty.

Jim immediately sensed my panic & sat with me to discuss what my strategy would be. You all know me enough by now to know that this immediately made my inner “Type A” jump for joy!! The plan was that I would row at 27 strokes a minute & keep my splits below 2:10…a very lofty expectation, but I love a challenge. Ok, so I had my plan & although I was still about to pee my pants I was off rowing. I’ll tell you the hardest part for me was to keep things consistent. Funny enough when I got tired I wanted to chuck my form & just go fast. Jim continued to coach me through stage by stage keeping me where I needed to be. It was right around 4,000 meters in that he stepped in front of my rowing machine and simply said, “Ok, Olivia…at 4,500 meters you are going to sprint & completely EMPTY THE TANK!”

WHAT????? Empty my tank??? No, no, no, no, & NO!!! Immediately, I went to that very “Olivia Place” in my mind…you know the one…the control area. Well, let me tell you she was not happy…What if I started “emptying the tank” & I ran out of gas too early? What if I couldn’t finish? What if I emptied my tank & it still wasn’t enough? Meanwhile, I’m rowing closer & closer to those last dreaded 500 meters. Before I could even really protest I was there…time to sprint!

It was in those last 500 meters that I completely “Emptied the Tank” for the first time in my life. It was the most amazing feeling when I crossed that finish line…AND, I crossed it at 21:27…no penalty…33 seconds UNDER time.

This really got me thinking…what was I saving my gas for all the time??  Really, if you think about it what good does a semi full tank do for you when the workout is over?   I learned what it really feels like to leave nothing on the table & just go for it!!  I’ll tell you what…I left that day feeling the best sense of emptiness EVER!! Sounds weird but it was awesome.

I know now that I want to “Empty my Tank” and give it ALL in every workout…no matter what it is!! I want to encourage you all to explore this idea.  What are you holding back on?? Or, does it come naturally for you to “Empty  the Tank?”. If so, I want tips!! Let’s chat in the comments…see you below.

xxoo Olivia