Last week I was watching one of our CrossFit Hillcrest coaches leading a class portion focused on pull ups. An athlete wanted to do ring rows instead of pull ups and the coach rejected the proposition. I loved the exchange, and the outcome, for multiple reasons. The coach was right and I will get into the why in a second, but first I want to highlight how invested our coaches are in your success. They aren’t just cheerleaders or clock watchers. We don’t rely on TV screens to communicate the workout or the movements and that is intentional. They are guides by your side on your fitness journey and they take that role very seriously. As we navigate the challenging terrain of CrossFit, we often encounter exercises that test our mettle. Let’s unpack why they were right to insist on a better pull up modification than ring rows. While ring rows offer a scaled-down version of the formidable pull-up, they only get us so far. There are times when they are the appropriate stimulus and times when they aren’t. I am super proud of my 279 day streak on Duolingo. I have discovered though that no amount of Duolingo is going to make me fluent in French, and that at some point I need to suck it up and just stumble through a conversation with a native French speaker. The same is true about the pull up. Scaling down is a crucial step in building strength and skill, but it's the transition to the unassisted, the true pull-up, that signifies our growth. And on that road we need to work on a direct correlate. Scaling is valuable but not all scaling is created equal. So, let's explore the beauty in embracing the challenge, pushing our boundaries, and discovering the satisfaction that comes from conquering the seemingly impossible. I will make a huge sacrifice for all of us and go to Paris to immerse myself in French, and you will work harder on your pull up. Seems like a great deal for both of us.