Welcome to “Guest Post Friday”! I will be featuring stories and tips from people in the CrossFit Community who have solid input about the mental side of fitness, training and life. Enjoy the post below written by Damon Gochneaur.
One Rep At A Time
I’m guilty. I anxiously await the posting of the next day’s WOD every night. My body clock is set to check the my phone every night after dinner and before foam rolling to start preparing for what the next day holds. And in preparing I usually mean immediately convincing myself of countless, and absolutely legitimate reasons (excuses) on why I should scale, substitute or all together abandon the prescribed workload.
It’s not that I consciously make the small micro decisions resulting in my catastrophic mental lay down. It’s that my mind, for whatever reason, seeks to lessen the emotional sting and disappointment of failure. For in the try, is the possibility that you fail. By failure I don’t mean the literal inability to complete the work. I mean fail in the sense of my expectations, my coach’s expectations and in my minds competition with everyone else in the box.
It’s these perceived obstacles that start to eat away at my own self-confidence and abilities and leave a former college athlete pondering the very logic behind the programming we’re following. But there in lies the beauty of CrossFit. If I’ve learned anything from my CrossFit journey, it’s that life and WOD’s are best taken, one rep at a time. So when I get my pregame jitters, when doubt starts to creep in, I try to keep a couple of things in mind to help get me to a place where I can succeed from, and off the perch of self-doubt.
- I’ve done it before – After nearly 2 years of CrossFit, 1 year in a box, there’s very few things I haven’t done movement wise. Everything else is a function of time and effort. Besides hero WOD’s, they don’t last that long and at the very least I’ll go hard.
- The only person I ever compete with is myself – It’s so cliché I know, but it’s so true in CrossFit. Nobody counts your reps. Nobody watches every rep. Check your ego, it doesn’t help you, it hinders you, Let your coach coach you. The board is not the judge and jury.
- Remember past victories – The ext time you finish a WOD and crushed a goal, or finished RX when you didn’t think you could, write it down in bold in the front of your notebook. That way when you’re checking for what weight to use or what you’ve done in the past, you’ll have that mental victory to key that day’s work.
- One Rep at a time – Remember that when you break it all down, whatever the WOD is, it is nothing more than a series of reps culminating in an end point. There’s finality to the workload. Each rep finished is one step closer to the goal. Every WOD finished is one step closer to fit.