Alena rows so hard it makes Nanook tired;-)
People are 20% stronger than they think they are. So much of the time, we believe the stories we tell ourselves, and for so many of us, the story is total and complete crap. How often do you doubt yourself before the workout even begins? I hear it all the time! My heart breaks when I hear a True Spirit athlete say, "I can't," or "Yeah, but," or "You want me to do what?"
I want you to discover your power, and you can do that by believing in yourself.
Positive self talk during a workout is as equally important as your physical effort. One of my favorite mental toughness mentors is Greg Amundson. He's an original CrossFit firebreather and redefined the 10 General Physical Skills into 10 Mental Attributes of Elite Fitness. We could all use some training in these mental attributes.
Endurance: The ability to maintain belief in self and others.
Stamina: The ability to create and maintain intense mental effort, focus and resilience.
Strength: The ability to maintain resolve of decision.
Flexibility: (1) The ability to independently choose an emotional reaction to a wide range of external circumstances. (2) The ability to apply versatile methods to the accomplishment of a fixed goal.
Power: (1) The ability to encourage self and others in the pursuit of a worthy goal. (2) The ability to immediately generate an intense state of motivation and positive expectancy.
Speed: The ability to make immediate command decisions in the face of opposition, challenge and uncertainty.
Coordination: The ability to invoke the most productive emotional response at a given time and place.
Agility: (1) The ability to support the needs of others while ensuring personal goals and challenges are fulfilled. (2) The ability to respond to environment and circumstance with deliberate attitudes and beliefs so as to achieve a desired end state.
Balance: (1) The ability to maintain individual physical, mental and emotional wellness. (2) The ability to maintain a state of mind or attitude regardless of external stimuli.
Accuracy: (1) The ability to set and achieve specific goals. (2) The ability to listen and correctly identify internal thoughts, emotions and energies.
In which attributes ones are you the strongest? Which ones need the most work? How will you improve upon them today? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Duane wears the obvious shirt:-)
Sometimes the anticipation of a thing is worse than the actual thing. You may spend hours, days, week obsessing and over analyzing what to say or what to do, and when it comes time do actually doing the thing, you're exhausted. That's because you've worked yourself up over something that you can easily control.
I sometimes do this when I'm training. I might be halfway through my snatch workout and I'm worried about those 3 sets of heavy cleans I still have to do. Or I might be in the first 5 minutes of a 30 min AMRAP and I'm freaking out because it's already hard and I'm not sure how I'm going to get through the entire workout.
Worrying about the future is called anxiety, and anxiety does us absolutely no good. We can't predict the future, we can only control ourselves right now. You have no idea whether the thing you want to do in the future, e.g. compete in an event, have a difficult conversation, attempt a 1 rep max, etc. will be successful or not. There are thousands of factors that can influence the outcome. However, there is one thing for sure, one hundred precent, you unequivocally have control over and that is your thoughts and actions.
If you worry and allow yourself to go into the dark hole of "what if," you will certainly stress yourself out. Your stomach will hurt, your hormones will get out of whack, and you will probably have a difficult time with that thing when it finally arrives.
If you control your thoughts by recognizing that they are just things and are not the truth, then that thing in the future might not be so big and scary. Your thoughts are like clouds, just a thing that comes and goes. Just because you think something doesn't make it true. This holds for negative and positive thoughts.
You can help achieve a positive outcome of future events by focusing on your actions, your words and letting go of your thoughts. If you have anxiety about a thing, take 10 deep breaths then visualize yourself successfully doing that thing.
When you're faced with doing something difficult, lean in. Take some deep breaths, let go of the worry about "what if," do the work and you might be surprised at how fantastic you feel when you finally get to that difficult thing. Good luck!
We Marines have a saying, "Improvise, adapt and overcome." I remember hearing this many time while I was in the service. My platoon sergeant would tell (yell) at us to do this anytime we tried something that didn't work. As a young aircraft firefighter, adaptability saved my life and my crew-mates. An airplane or helicopter on fire does not behave in a predictable manner. We had to continuously adapt our firefighting tactics to an ever-changing situation.
Our lives are ever-changing situations. From, year to year, month to month, day to day or breath to breath things change forcing you to adapt or die. Well, perhaps not die, but It is pure human folly to be rigid in our thinking and decisions when our situations change so rapidly. Adaptability is a mental toughness trait that enables you to learn and start to make different choices.
The more adaptable you can become, the more resilient to change you become. The next time your faced with a change, ask yourself what you have to gain if you don't adapt your behavior to the new situation. Chances are that if you adapt, even if you don't like it, you will have a better experience moving forward than if you stayed rigid.
For example, your job hours are making it very difficult to make it to the 5:30pm class. Your goal is to make it to the gym Tues/Thurs/Sat. How can you adapt to the new job hour situation? How about attending the 6am classes? You could even come to 6am Mon/Wed/Fri eliminating the need to attend on Saturday. Now your weekend has opened up and you may find you have more time and energy to do other things. By adapting to the new situation you have discovered unexpected benefits. How cool is that? Good luck!
Jon and Noah celebrate their win at the Festivus Games in April. They had no control over their competitors, only themselves, and they focused on what they could control to win!
Every Thursday I write about mental toughness or mindset. Our thoughts are about the only things we can really control in our lives. We can't control other people. We can't control our co-workers. We can't control traffic. We can't control the weather. The only thing we can control is ourselves.
The amazing thing about our thoughts is that we can focus them to actually change our mood! How cool is that? I recently listened to this article on NPR about how we can change our mindset from gloom to gratitude with 8 actionable steps. I like anything that gives me actionable steps with a positive outcome.
Here's a quick summary of the eight techniques discussed in the article:
June 21 OutWOD
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