Strong Starts in the Mind (ft. Coach Marissa)July 18, 2016
STRONG STARTS IN THE MIND
Three strategies to apply in the fight to be mentally tougher
“One thing I can assure you of is the weights don’t care if you’re having a
bad day. They don’t care what your medication today is. They won’t get
lighter because you’re mentally hurting. It’s never going to be easy-and
that’s a good thing. Because life doesn’t care either. Sometimes you get
kicked in the teeth and things don’t go right. Sometimes you hurt and at
times you will lose. If you crumble and fall apart you’ll never make anything
of yourself in any arena of life. So get up, wipe the blood of your face..and
Cancer fighter/figure competitor/powerlifter/coach
I was relaxing by the pool when this idea for a pending blog post struck. I
fully admit to laughing at the irony of me being the one to write an article on
mental toughness. There are days my “grind” is more like a “moderate trot”
where my main motivation to finish a wod is to get to the post workout meal.
Let me say this..those days I pout/whimper/tantrum my way through a
workout I know with no uncertainty it was my choice to take the easy way
out. Those are the days I may drop in a later class and redo the workout,
because the words of my first coach still ring in my ears “you could do
this..you’re just choosing not to.” And he was right. So with that let me give
you three strategies to apply to training and becoming mentally tougher.
1. THE MIND WILL ALWAYS LEAD THE BODY.
I think when the average person signs on for Crossfit they realize a certain
amount of struggle will be involved, and most will typically fall into a totally
normal pattern of stopping when it hurts or they are tired. You have to
realize the body will do what the mind tells it to. It is a skill set to learn how
to push yourself beyond your perceived limits, but trust me in that once you
learn and apply an ability to go to that dark place-you will begin to do things
you’d never thought possible. Most Crossfit workouts are programmed to
fatigue the body to the point of exhaustion. When you feel like you can no
longer go on you will have to a have a different energy source to complete the
task before you. You have to learn to rely on your mind to push through the
suffering. That is where your true power lies.
2. PERFECTIONISM AND THE FEAR OF FAILURE: The Athlete’s Achilles Heel
Crossfit is a sport of numbers. PR’s, mile splits, Fran times, podium
spots..the more you delve into the sport the more you have to deal with that
inner critic or performance anxiety. Big weights can be scary-even walking
into the box knowing your performance will be scored and displayed against
the 12-15 other people in your class can factor into how well you perform
during a workout. Getting out of your comfort zone is difficult and can make
you feel like at times like a wimp-the worst thing you can do is be overly
critical or even hesitant to try. Yes, the goal is to do things right-but many
times people are hindered because they didn’t get that “perfect lift”. In order
to progress we must challenge the body in new ways with heavier loads.
Move as much weight as you can move (safely with good technique) as fast as
you can, and view failed lifts as what they are-part of the learning process.
When your drive to be perfect prevents you from appreciating what you’ve
already accomplished, your perfectionism is out of control.
3. KILL YOUR GOATS: Turning your weakness into strength
In Crossfit a GOAT is a movement that you are not so good at and find
yourself wincing when it’s in a wod. Everyone has their wheelhouse be it
OLY, gymnastics, endurance..but few jump at the chance to do a workout
packed with movements they haven’t mastered. For me this would be double
unders, for others it might be hand stand pushups or pullups. By constantly
learning new and challenging skills, you force your body to grow and get
stronger all over. Crossfit is a sport that is “constantly varied” so we have to
step out and devote time to learning the skills we are weakest at. Taking
advantage of things like Open Gym and Barbell Club gives us a chance to help
you tackle anything you might find more of a challenge.
I hope this gives you food for thought in ways you can apply to your training.
Should you have any additional questions or ways in which we can assist you,
feel free to contact any of the coaches at River to River Fitness.
Crossfit L1 Trainer @ R2R Fitness