Everyday we walk into the gym with one goal: to walk out fitter. We want to add 5# to our clean. Handstand walk across another matt. Take 30 seconds off our mile time. We want abs on the beach this summer. Fit in an old pair of jeans. Look good naked.
These are tangible goals. Goals that we can measure. Goals that our coaches help us accomplish. We drill the foundations. Build you up with progressions. Cue you until you are one step closer to those goals. Chest up. Knees out. Keep that bar close. Get tall. Push that floor away. Eat this. Okay, now eat that.
As coaches we take our knowledge and help you guys chip away at, what Crossfit calls, the ten general physical fitness skills: cardiovascular/respirtory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy. We talk about food: what to eat and how much to eat it. We are forever throwing bits of knowledge at you during the hour we see you everyday.
As Crossfitters, we are addicted to this endless growth.
We will buy and do anything to help us be better. From our jump ropes to our grips to our fish oil and meal templates. Next time you’re in class, see how long it takes before someone talks about improving something or other: it won’t take more than 2 minutes.
The other day I had the clock remote in my hand and was about to give my class the “10 seconds on the clock!” warning to kick off the WOD but I stopped. It was a long WOD. Lots of kettlebell swings. Lots of running. And it was hot. Of course it’s hot, it’s Southern California, but it was the kind of hot where sweat beads are dripping down your back and you’re not even doing anything. Everyone was cracking jokes about how it was awful and how they were all going to run to the brewery down the street instead of to the 400 m turn around point. I told them that everything in the WOD is doable. You can always take one more step. You can always do one more kettlbell swing. When you want to quit do one more. Your mind will always give up before your body will.
It made me think about what’s going on in my head when I’m headed into a WOD. What I’m telling myself when things start to get tough.
Our minds have a huge impact on what we are able to accomplish. If you didn’t believe you could be a fitter person, you would have never stepped foot in the gym. If you didn’t believe you could ever do a pull-up, you would have never tried in the first place.
Think about what you’re telling yourself. When you’re doing wallballs are you thinking, “Oh this feels miserable I have to do 50 more of these today and I am really horrible at them!” or maybe “This feel so heavy and my legs are so sore!”.
Have any of our coaches ever walked up to you and said, “Wow you’re really slow today! You just keep getting slower!”
Tune into your habits at the gym and pay attention to your inner self talk.
How do you react to failure? To set backs? Do you let your fears or your self doubt creep into your WODs and take over? What are you thinking as you approach that heavy barbell?
Just this week alone, I’ve heard too many times, “Oh, I can’t do that!” or “This is going to take me forever!”.
Cue yourself like a coach would cue you.
Maybe you're about to attempt a snatch PR: “Make it light!”
Or you’re about to do “Murph”: “Just chip away at it!”
Maybe you’re deadlifting and you hate deadlifting: “You are not weak. Make this happen.”
Or you’re doing “Karen” and you think you’re just the worst at wallballs: “Do one more.”
Fitness isn’t just physical. It’s in your head too. How do your’s compare?