9am class has fun with the agility ladder.
Muhammad Ali once said, "I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was."
How do you think Ali's self talk affected his training, his practice and his competitions? What words do you say to yourself when you're in the middle of a lift, or a workout? There is nothing more heartbreaking for me as a coach to hear someone say, "I don't..., "I can't...", "Yeah, but I did it scaled." We are capable of so much more than we think. In fact, Coach Glassman, founder of CrossFit said the biggest adaption to CrossFit is between your ears.
Have you stopped and listened to the story you tell yourself just before the coach says, "3, 2, 1, Go?" Are the words running through your head positive or do they reflect your self doubt? What if you told yourself a different story?
Our words have power, and a small switch in your vocabulary can go a long way toward changing your mindset. Check out the video below on how one little switch of changing nervous for excited can help you manage your arousal and perform better.
Here are some other word switches that can have positive impact on your outlook:
Eager instead of anxious
Curious instead of afraid
Different instead of terrible
I will instead of I'll try
I get to instead of I have to
We coaches are constantly positively cueing and encouraging, in fact we are downright relentless, because we know for most of you the internal dialog is crap. We know because we've been there. We try to be the voice you want to hear inside your head.
Have you ever noticed how our cues are positive, e.g. we say, "keep going," or "one more rep," rather than "don't stop"? There is a reason behind our specificity.
When you hear, "don't stop," either as an internal dialog or from a "well meaning" encourager, your brain ignores the first word, "don't" and focuses on the second, "stop." Then you obsess about stoping and taking a break. Instead, when you hear, "keep going," or ,"one more rep," your brain focuses on going and more.
Do you lean into tough tasks? How do you react to external objects, be them the weight of a bumper plate or the weight of a difficult conversation, that make life difficult? The lessons we learn in the gym can be directly transferred into our "regular" lives. Check out this short video blog from Jason Khalipa, a CrossFit legend. Tell me in the comments how your work ethic in the gym has helped you in your everyday life.
The Things They Carried
“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward.” -Rocky
I have been blogging about mental toughness for several years now. The idea was born out of a Check-in with one of our members. I asked what is the number one thing I could do to help and the answer was, "Teach me about mental toughness."
Mental toughness can be trained, just like endurance, power, speed, strength and flexibility. That's really great news! You can become tougher with simple and effective practices.
One such practice is gratitude. Keeping a gratitude journal, or just acknowledging the good things in your life, can help keep you focused on what is good in our life. Because I can tell you from experience, it's far too easy to get sucked down the deep dark hole of "everything sucks." One way you can express gratitude is to comment on my Bright Spot Friday post in the Facebook Community Group. I just started posting BSF 2 weeks ago as a way for me to publicly acknowledge my gratitude. I invite you to join me in this weekly practice.
Another mental toughness practice is to not take anything personally. This is one of the Four Agreements (an OUTSTANDING book my Don Miguel Ruiz) that can help you eliminate so. much. suffering. This agreement reminds us that people treat us as they do because of who THEY are not because of who YOU are. Once you wrap your brain around this, and trust me it takes DAILY PRACTICE, you feel weightless. I wish this for all of you.
My last mental toughness training tip for today is to dive deep, I mean really deep, into what motivates you. If you want to lose weight, ask yourself why. Then ask yourself why again. Keep asking why until you get to the root (it's down there in the deep dark I promise) of why you want to lose weight. Whenever you set a goal, ask yourself why you want that goal about 5 times. If you're not uncomfortable by the 3rd time you've asked yourself why, keep going. This practice will make you squirm a bit AND THAT'S OK! Going deep into motivation will help keep you on the path to success.
I have lots of other practical tips for developing mental toughness. You can view them by going into my archives: https://www.truespiritcrossfit.com/workout-of-the-day/category/mental-toughness
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