CrossFit South Rockland

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mental Strength

Something I found online:

Many people use Crossfit for the great physical workout.  They see the way their bodies change when they are dedicated to completing their WODs.  You firm up, you feel good,  you lift your loved ones into the air without a problem.  Maybe you stand in front of the mirror and flex a little (in secret so people do know how much you really love yourself now).  You are proud of how far you’ve come.  But many people don’t give their mind the recognition that it deserves.  How does your body find the strength to push through what seems to be the most difficult of WODs?
Being mentally strong is one of the things that separates the ones who complete the WODs from the ones who don’t.  Imagine you’re running a race.  You see the finish line, can barely see it but you know it’s there.  You feel like your legs might collapse or your lungs will burst but you are so close to the finish you can taste it.  What is it that to keep you going?  What is it that brings you across that finish line?  You tell yourself to finish, it’s just beyond those trees, then to that pole, then the through to the finish line.  ”Then I can lay down,  then I can breath,  then I can stop running.”  So you finish.  Sound familiar?
Our mental workout is one of the most intense workouts we get in Crossfit.  Our minds says “just push through,  it’s just thrusters,  it’s easy, it’s light, I can do this.  Just finish and then I can lay down,  then I can breath”.  It takes all we have but we finish.  Then again, sometimes our minds fail us.  Our inner voice gets the best of us and we give up.   Our bodies are fatigued and our mind says the weights too heavy.  ”I can’t”  plays in our minds like a bad song.  How can we come back from this?
Training your mind to be just as strong as your body will help you complete your goals and exceed all your own expectations.  Some ways to help train your brain is to become more self aware of the things you are telling yourself.  Pay attention to what they are thinking during a workout.  What works for you?  Find what works and the next time you are telling yourself to give up or sandbag a workout play that positive talk in your mind.  Honestly, it won’t work every single time.  You won’t Rx all the time or have a three minute Fran time, but the chances are  that you will feel better about your performance knowing that you gave all your body AND your mind had to give.
It also helps to recognize the negative talk.  Find the things you tell yourself when you aren’t feeling like you are at the top of your game.  Recognize them so you know when you need to start your positive self-talk.
Each workout can be a battle with your brain so begin at the beginning.  Set a small goal. ” I’ll go unbroken on the push ups, I can do that.”  Then begin again,  check in when you feel the fatigue of you muscles.  Then when you round toward the end give yourself another little pep talk.
I think that when it comes right down to Crossfit WODs it’s okay to lie to yourself.  ”This is easy, it doesn’t hurt.”  Work on clearing your head and letting your positive voice be the only one heard.  Even if all you have to run on is a little white lie.
Find another reason to finish.  Need more motivation?  Find a small reward to think about when you finish.  Whether it be the idea of how good you will feel when you’re done or how hot you want your body to look, find something that motivates you.  I like to think about the sweet taste of chocolate milk for my post WOD recovery.  Nothing gets me through a workout like the promise of something chocolaty.
Finally have fun.  It’s Crossfit.  It’s fun and challenging and should be enjoyed.
Crossfit Epiphany trainers

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