Don’t Throw Your Vest

In Blog by Cole Sager4 Comments

I threw my vest.

Yep, I was so frustrated that I chucked my vest onto the ground.

I am not going to lie to you, some days can be really freaking rough. But don’t get me wrong, I love this life. I chose it, so I will weather any tough day that is thrown my way. However, the last thing I want to do is feed you fluff and make it seem like training to win the CrossFit Games is all laughs, fun workouts, free product, and great sponsors. Though we have incredible moments, we also face grueling, character-testing workouts and often entire days that are extremely frustrating.

CrossFit Games training is in full swing! This week I faced a workout that just about took my soul.

Starting the workout, I felt fresh and ready to attack it. My mind was operating at a speed much faster than I could get my body to go. I trudged through the runs, fuddled through the burpees, and completely missed a wall ball target. At this point, the workout really started to get on my nerves. I felt like I could go faster, but I just wasn’t. By the time I got to the Double Russian Kettlebell Swings I was beyond frustrated. The difficulty of that movement coupled with the pain that was sinking in, lit a rage in me.

As I gritted my teeth, I fought to give everything I had and finish strong. I hopped on the AirRunner to sprint out my final run. As I poured out my last bit of energy on the final steps, I took one wrong step.

WHACK! That one wrong step sent me flying off the back of the AirRunner, directly into the wall behind me.

Sucking for air and awkwardly pinned against the wall, I felt a surge of frustration pulse through my veins as I struggled to catch my breath. I stood up forcefully, ripping at that dang military-grade velcro that wouldn’t come apart. I was so frustrated that I whipped the vest over my head and threw it onto the ground!

I’m not telling you this to make it seem like it’s okay to act like this – it’s not. That is not what honoring one’s craft looks like. That is not what acting with integrity looks like. I’m telling you this to show you that you are not alone in your daily frustrations.

I know that you can all relate to me on some level. We have all had days where we wake up and just don’t feel on our game. We may be more tired than usual or perhaps have to deal with repercussions of decisions from the days prior. Whatever the case may be, I know you’ve experienced this feeling. The feeling of giving everything you have, but you are only able to pull out a fraction of your potential.

“We cannot control what emotions or circumstances we will experience next, but we can choose how we will respond to them.” – Gary Zukav

Frustration is simply an emotion. We are going to get frustrated. It is inevitable. You know it’s going to come, so don’t be surprised when it does. As Ben Bergeron would say, “Expect adversity and expect to overcome it.” Well, expect frustration. It’s going to come, and when it does, patiently see it through to the best of your abilities. When it passes, will you be proud of how you acted?

So my question to you then becomes: How well can you weather the storm?

Will you be the person who loses their temper, throws a fit, and throws their vest? (Nervous laughter). This attitude breads selfishness, pride, and entitlement. Be weary of it.

Or maybe you are the person who gets so lost in their frustration that it is almost debilitating. Your frustration keeps you from being able to act period, and because you don’t know how to navigate it, you find yourself left with untapped potential.

My hope is that we can all expect frustration to come knocking and be prepared to handle it with grace and willpower. Know that the frustration will pass. Stand firm in integrity. You will be stronger for it and equipped to impact the lives around you.

Moment by moment, we can train ourselves to grow through the frustration, rather than simply survive it. This will breed great changes in our lives and in this world!

Learn from my mistakes… don’t throw your vest. #BeKindWorkHard


  1. Thank you for sharing this! I’ve been perpetually frustrated in training; trying to train and deal with injury at the same time. I get so mad about the situation, it makes me want to scream and act out some days, because it’s holding me back from my best performance, and meeting my goals. I’m not rolling with the punches too well, but this is a sobering reminder that the way I act, is a reflection of my character and integrity, and I need to be ever mindful of that! Anyway, so sorry for your frustrations during that workout, but thank your for sharing it! It really does help me!

  2. A timely message thanks. Had a rough day. A student of mine was stood down after throwing something at me. “Stand firm in integrity” I like it!

  3. would be interesting to know what kinda workout it is, that throws cole sager that hard on the ground?!?!?
    keep on the work cole, lookin forward to see you at he CF Games this Year, im sure you will Rock it!! 🙂

    Greetings from Switzerland, Dom

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