"I can't do that weight"
"My (wrist, shoulder, knee, hands) hurt"
"You want us to do what?"
"Might as well not show up since I can't"
We've all said these things. Heck, pretty sure I said a couple of these this week and I only worked out three times! We think modifying or scaling makes us weak. Whether it is a skill, a weight, or an injury, modifications and scaling are a normal part of our days and you shouldn't feel "lesser" because of it.
Let's talk about physical ability first. The mantra is on our wall: Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity. You don't come out of college and get the first CEO job that you apply for, right? Well, same goes for the process of CrossFit. You learn the moves safely and become good at them and then add on the weight...and then do that safely, become good at it and add some more weight..repeat. Guess what, though? That proficiency is going to take each of us a different period of time. I am unable to do a handstand push up yet, so every time those are in a workout I'm modifying to do pike push ups or dumbbell presses. It doesn't mean I don't get as good of a workout. It doesn't mean that someone else is better than me or that anyone is looking down on me in the gym. When you do modifications correctly, that is HARD! I get an equally good workout for my abilities at the given time.
Injuries. Let's be real, they suck! Not only are you physically injured, but they mess with your head too as in tell you that you can't do anything. ALL LIES! You have to listen to your body and modify where you're able. If you have a knee injury of sorts, then high impact moves such as running, jumping, burpees, box jumps, etc aren't good for that as an example. But we MODIFY...don't squat so low or at all, row or bike versus run, plate step ups versus jumping, etc. The coaches will find a modification that meets your needs. Ben Bergeron spoke in his book "Chasing Excellence" about an athlete that tried multiple times to make it to the Games but didn't until one year he crushed his Regional competition. When asked what was different, he said he got injured. Legs were his strength and he injured his hip in some way so all he could do for a while was focus on upper body strength. When he was able to workout legs again, he had a full package of strength and ability. Be adaptive and look for opportunities to work on those weaknesses as well regardless of modifications.
Here's some common modifications we see/use whether for ability or injury:
Wall balls -- Squat to a bench
Burpees -- 2 squats + 2 wall push ups
Muscle ups -- Burpee + pull up
Power clean -- Front squat off rig
Ring dips -- box dips
Jump rope -- Rig taps or step ups
Heavy weight -- lower weight
Snatches -- Alternating dumbbell snatches
As coaches, we always want you to push yourself to improve and get better. Your success is our success. With that said, don't ditch a workout because you're worried you'll "be the only one" modifying. Any class you attend, there is someone modifying. Talk to the coaches, figure out the best plan for you and don't be afraid to SCALE LIKE A BOSS!