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Micro Goals: A Tale of Two Wall Balls

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O​kay, AMRAP wall balls for 90 seconds.

You just rolled off the assault bike and staggered to your medicine ball – an object that once felt like a feather and now feels like a cannonball.

One. Okay, not so bad. Two. That one hurt. Three. Has it been 90 seconds yet?

This is the sweaty struggle where we CrossFitters exist, even thrive. The body is fighting against you; your heart is pounding, everything inside you wants to drop that rock. In this wretched scenario, micro goals are your only lifeline. Lucky you, there was a plan all along; a purpose to push through this drudgery. When you hobbled off the bike, you hoisted the ball up to your chest and told yourself…20 reps.

He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Hyperbolic for Wall Balls? Perhaps. But the essence of this quote applies across the board. We are all in class to push ourselves. We’ve all done things in class that would amaze our past selves who were just picking up a PVC pipe. We are here to grow and become more than we are.

Growth won’t be comfortable because growth itself is discomfort, and let’s be honest – discomfort sucks. When we are uncomfortable there is a knee-jerk reaction to stop and retreat back to our precious comfort zone. A micro goal, however, is an outreached hand from the other side, pulling us toward the achievement we desire. A micro goal segments and celebrates each action in the right direction. With these smaller steps, the long journey ahead is manageable, and we can travel further than we ever thought.

B​ack to your wall balls – the clock is ticking!

20 reps then you’ll put it down. Four. Five – now you’ve found a rhythm. You take your attention away from the pain and put it to your plan; the higher force guiding you through your basic urge to quit. Six, seven, eight. Before you blink the stinging sweat from your eye, you hit ten – halfway done!

With a wave of enthusiasm, you sail into the first few reps of the last half. Eleven, twelve…


Okay, rep thirteen hit you in the face.

That shook your rhythm a bit. The ball feels heavy and you feel weak. But you manage to summon one deep squat and good technique thrusts the ball high into the air, easily clearing the wall ball mark.

Fourteen, Fifteen – halfway through second half!

The finish line is insight! Yes, you hurt, yes you struggling to find your breath, and yes your sweaty grip on the ball is failing you. But the finish line is right there! Now you’ll stop for nothing. Sixteen. Seventeen. Three more! The pain is excruciating but you’re smiling. Eighteen. Last two! Nineteen. No amount of pain could stop you now. You dig into that deep squat again and good technique thrusts the ball into the air like a three-point jump shot. The mark should have a basketball hoop because this shot was nothing but net.

Swish – Twenty.

W​ell done champion, well done.

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