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, the biggest adaption to CrossFit is between your ears.
We coaches are constantly 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.
Next time you're in the middle of a workout, possibly the one you'll be doing today, reword your internal dialog into positive and affirmative statements. It takes a little mental physics, and the rewards will be worth it.
The single biggest and most exciting CrossFit event is just one month away! Of course, we're talking about the CrossFit Games Open. The Open is a worldwide CrossFit competition. It's 3 weeks long, and it is a TON OF FUN.
Every Thursday, Starting March 11, CrossFit will release a workout. There will be Rx, Intermediate, Masters, and Foundations versions of the workout. We have until the following Monday to complete the workout and enter our scores.
The CrossFit Games Open workout will be the Workout of the Day every Friday starting March 12 and ending March 26th. You're going to do The Open workouts anyway, so you might as well participate in the Intramural Open.
The Intramural Open is our in-house event where we support, encourage, count reps and help our teammates do fantastic things. We will divide everyone in the gym into 2 teams based on our birthdate, Team Summer vs Team Winter. Everyone born between March 20-September 21 is on Team Summer. Team Winter is everyone born between September 22 - March 19.
Each week we will have a fun theme, you're encouraged to wear costumes, bring treats, and do other fun stuff to make our hour at the gym a big party place every Friday. Let's have some FUN!
The OODA Loop
When I was an aircraft firefighter and rescue specialist in the Marines, I had to make decisions quickly. When I was driving the firetruck, I had to decide at which angle to approach a burning plane. When I was operating the roof turret, I have to decide where to lay down a path of fire suppressing foam to allow the rescue team to get into the burning plane. When I was on the rescue team, I had to decide how to get into the burning plane and rescue pilots and crew. I had a lot of life or death decisions to make and I had to make them correctly and quickly.
A valuable decision making tool I learned is the OODA Loop. OODA stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. I continue to use the OODA Loop even though my decisions don't need to made as quickly and the consequences of my actions aren't as deadly.
You can even use the OODA Loop in your CrossFit workouts. Once you master it in "easy" situations you'll be more confident making decisions in more serious situations.
OBSERVE - The first step might be the hardest to master. It requires self awareness in addition to situational awareness. How are you feeling and what's going on around you? Are you scared, angry or feeling threatened? Is there chaos all around you? These are things you want to observe. They will impact your decisions. Take a moment to observe what's going on around you AND observe how you feel in response to what's going on around you.
In a CrossFit workout it might be that desperate feeling of not being able to breathe or feeling like your heart is now in your eyeballs.
ORIENT - Redirect your focus on what you need to achieve. What is your mission or objective or goal? In a CrossFit workout it might be a specific time or score. Perhaps you want to get so many rounds in an AMRAP or finish the workout under a specific time.
DECIDE - Based on what you've observed and what you need to accomplish, make a decision that moves you toward your objective. Perhaps you've loaded the barbell a bit too heavy to make the time cap. So you decide to reduce the weight. Maybe you're not able to to sustain a 2:10 pace for the 6K so you row at a 2:15.
Whatever you need to do to make your goal, make a decision to adjust your course of action so you can achieve it.
ACT - Put your decision into action. You've decided to reduce the weigh of your barbell, now do it. The action can always be altered.
In fact the OODA loop is just that, a LOOP. If your action did not move you toward your objective, decide on a new action based on the new situation.
Life is fluid and it is in our best interest to adjust to new situations. How many of us have had to change, alter, modify or completely abandon the course we were on a year ago? Yep, life is unpredictable, and you can develop a systematic way of making decisions that allows you to keep moving toward your objective even when the world is a chaotic mess around you.
Good luck and share with me your OODA Loop experiences.
When I was a competitive athlete, no matter the sport, my coaches always put us through a Hell Week. Hell Weeks are increased training sessions where your sessions are longer, more intense or perhaps you do 2 workouts a day. These crucible training cycles were important for developing grit, stamina, endurance and mental toughness.
At True Spirit CrossFit we have our own unique Hell Week, we call it Femme Fatale Week.
Femme Fatale Week is a special training cycle of increased intensity and frequency. We challenge you to workout 5 or 6 days. We challenge you to workout 2 or 3 days in a row. We challenge you to try something Rx'd for the first time, or to try something you've never done before. Femme Fatale Week is a crucible and it can teach you a ton about yourself.
You've heard me say that you are 20% stronger than you think you are. Everyone who completes Femme Fatale Week learns just how strong they are. You will do workouts you didn't think you could do. You will be inspired by your fellow athletes. You will be motivated to move better. You will be encouraged to try your best.
Hell Weeks teach us about our limits and our tolerances. Femme Fatale Week is our Hell Week training cycle that will get you fired up and ready for the next level. Femme Fatale Week will teach you about your mental toughness and offer you a chance to find out just how awesome you really are. Your coaches know that you're a badass. Join us for Femme Fatale Week and learn it for yourself.
Registration for Femme Fatale Week is now OPEN! We need 24 brave people to commit to Femme Fatale week otherwise the 6 seductive, alluring, and irresistible workouts who are ready to show up Feb 8-13 will stay home.
Record your WOD on Beyond the Whiteboard.
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