The Transition Curve
The Transition Curve is the physical representation of the emotions we experience in the pursuit of a task. This is relevant to your experience at CrossFit, work or in any of your relationships. Keep in mind, to some degree, you go through this curve on a daily basis. It happens to a different extent depending on the meaning of the event.
At the start of a task you are in “Uninformed Optimism” and have a ton of excitement to get things going. You feel that your success is inevitable. This is the excitement of starting a new job or when you start dating a new person everything is just great. As you start to experience some failure you start to slide down the curve into “Informed Pessimism”. This is where you start to ask yourself why or how you were fooled into getting so excited. You decide to suffer through things at this point because you are stuck in it now but your attitude is generally negative and your results suffer as a result.
As your lack of commitment pushes you further and further down the curve you hit the “Crisis of Meaning”. This is where total burn out occurs and realize it is time for a change. Fight or flight. You either renew your commitment to what you are doing, focus on the positive and begin to achieve again or completely walk away. The latter is aptly named “Crash and Burn”.
When you decide to stay and learn to fight you start to feel success again. You understand better the challenges you will face and you are better equipped to deal with trials in the future. At this point you feel what is called “Informed Optimism” as you have the confidence of experience.
You cannot avoid the transition curve in life or any of its stages, but you can learn to more successfully navigate it. This is done by decreasing the peaks and valleys of the curve, understanding it and knowing which stage you are at and why. When you are feeling success, use this time to prepare for when you will struggle by using that high energy to do things you usually avoid so they don’t pile up on you later. The opposite is true when you are feeling low. Push yourself down the curve so that you can have your crisis of meaning faster and look hard at what you are doing and why you are doing it. Think about what got you through a challenging time before and how you were able to do it.
Whether you use it in a workout to remain poised when your lungs are going to come up and out your throat, or in everyday life when you are staring down that all too familiar curve ball, the Transition Curve is a valuable and effective tool for success.