The “Never Give Up” of CrossFit

I can’t lie – I want to give up.  A lot.

I love CrossFit – more than I ever thought I would love working out or doing that much physical activity.  But whew – does it ever stress me out sometimes [most of the time].

I find myself checking out the WOD [“Workout of the Day”] the evening before and analyzing the hell out of it.  And then the “talking myself into it” starts.  It usually consists of the following thoughts:

“That’s not bad, I’ve done that weight before.”  |  “Holy mother of all that’s good, look how many rounds that is!”  |  “Ughhhhhhhhh”  |  “Wallballs.  Why does it have to be wallballs?  I hate wallballs.”  |  “God almighty – do they just hate us this week?”

Yes, many of those thoughts are done in a whiny voice [in my head] – but whatevs, I’m cool with that.  The fact of the matter is that – from the get go – way before I even begin the workout or touch any of the weights – the psychological battle starts.

I’m proud to say I’ve been doing CrossFit for over one year now.  What I’ve learned already, though, is how much you have to wrap your mind around the workouts – even more than actually doing the workout.  Maybe you don’t – maybe you’re just amazing – but, for me, they can either be a source of joy or dread.

Your mind – that part of the workout that can be a constant battle – is always at the forefront and can make the workout that much better…or worse.

At times, I kick my mind’s ass.  At other times, it just about does me in.  I really do believe that learning how to “think” through a workout is essential to success.  Once I get through the very long list of expletives I throw out once a workout starts – or the snarky comments I make to the coaches – or the questions of why I actually put myself through this – I find it’s a lot easier to calm my mind.  Sometimes.  Or maybe I’m just dramatic…  Moving on.

I recently finished competing in the 2014 CrossFit Games Open competition.  And I about died. [Again – maybe just dramatic]  Please note – exhibit A – a picture from the mecrossfitend of the fifth (out of five) workout.  It seriously was one of the worst workouts I have ever done in my whole entire 31 years of existence.  I remember looking at my fabulous coach after the first round with a look of defeat because I truly didn’t think I could finish what was ahead.  I had yet to feel *that* defeated in a workout – and it wasn’t the most pleasant experience.

But I did finish.  I started to put my mind on smaller goals – even if they were just finishing 2 more reps and dropping the bar.  I started to listen to the words of encouragement from those watching me complete the WOD.  It was a change in mindset and a determination to not give up that saw me finish the workout – finish the Open competition – and realize a feat I would never have accomplished a year ago.

You’re always told when you’re young to “never give up” – to keep going and “finish what you started” – to see everything through to the end.  After hearing it so much, it’s easy to take those phrases for granted, shrug them off, and just keep doing what you’re doing.  That’s what I’ve always done…

…until CrossFit.

Those phrases can mean all the difference in the world when it comes to a CrossFit workout.  They can flip a switch in your mind that gives you a second wind or a push to finish that you didn’t know you still had in you.  I’ve needed those words – a million times over – since starting CrossFit because I’ve never in my life been challenged or pushed to the extremes like I have now.  But when I look back and see what I’ve accomplished in just 30 minutes – 20 minutes – even 10 minutes…the feeling is amazing!

So yeah – I’m pretty sure I’ll psyche myself out again real soon…probably when the next workout is posted.  And I can’t say I won’t want to just stop after doing one [sometimes horrible] round of the workout.  But I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll battle with my mind…I’ll gain some support and words of encouragement from those around me [because CrossFitters are awesome about that junk]…and I’ll finish what I started.

It’s just all in the mind.

“Think about how far you have gotten.  Not about how far  you still have to go.”

[SAJ]

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