Welcome to “Guest Post Friday”! I will be featuring stories and tips from people in the CrossFit Community who have good input about the mental side of fitness, training and life. Enjoy the post!
Sometimes You Just Need To Go Mountain Biking – by Cherie Chan
“My biceps were shaking so fast I thought they might detach from the bone. My mind keep chanting “relax, loosen your grip and look far ahead where you want to go.” Over and over again I would say in my head; “relax, loosen, look ahead, relax, loosen, look ahead.” It was nearing the end of the day, sun was going down and I felt like I had already been through two days. I had left the hotel at 5am Monday morning in Columbus, OH, having taught a CrossFit level 1 seminar that weekend, I was headed back to Santa Cruz, CA. It had been Matt’s birthday that Saturday, and it was the first time in the nine years I’ve been with him, that I wasn’t there for his birthday. So when he texted me and asked if I wanted to go mountain biking when I got in, I ignored my inner-voice and said “sounds great”.
My inner-voice was doing the math; leave at 5am fly to Dallas by 10am, fly to Santa Cruz by 12:30pm and that’s about 10 hours travel including the time change. I won’t even go into all the bullshit that happened on these flights. “HELL NO, I don’t want to go for a mountain bike ride”. I want to get home, eat some good food, and lay in bed being lazy, watching t.v. next to Matt with both dogs cuddled up next to us. But, I didn’t tell him a word of that. I ignored that voice and said how excited I was.
As luck would have it, I got in early and quickly texted Matt to see how far away from the airport he was. Well, that was a huge miscommunication, because he wasn’t on his way at all. After 10 hours of travel, my blood started to raise in temperature. My immediate reaction was to be angry, how could he not remember he was to pick me up. Then something came over me (and him too). I jumped in a taxi, and the bomb was diffused by us both admitting we had miscommunicated, no harm done and nothing to get excited about. While that may seem like no big deal, think back on your relationships, how many times did you both stop a fight right in it tracks? Yeah us ether, this was huge! He texted me on the ride back, asking if I was still up for mountain biking. I think he thought I would say “Hell No, I’ve been traveling for 10 hours and now have had a pick-up debacle and my body is exhausted”. But I didn’t instead I stayed the course, “I can’t wait, I’m so excited”.
When I got home, to the Redwoods RV park of Santa Cruz, we spent a good two hours enjoying each others company, lazying around. This never would have happened had we fought about the pick-up. Three o’clock hit and it was like we were some kind of mountain biking machines, we quickly scrambled to get our things together to go. Me still fighting my mind, but committed to the ride, I knew it would be great once we got into it. We made it down to the trailhead quickly and that brings us to where we were at the beginning of the story… relax, loosen, look ahead. We went on a two hour local ride at Wilder Ranch State Park, easy terrain, yet still challenging. My legs were dying the whole time, heart pounding and the downhill was so fast I needed a chant to stay focused. During that time, nothing else went through my mind, just the focus needed to accomplish the task at hand. While some negative thoughts did creep in during the ride, mostly when it was hard on the uphills, I was conscious of how infectious that can be and quickly changed my focus to something positive, like the beautiful scenery, how wonderful it felt to be outside, the handsome man riding in front of me. All those things quickly changed my mindset.
Everything that happens to us in life, a shitty day, long travel, miscommunications, kids screaming, being late, getting disagreeable communication with co-workers, bosses or peers, dropping your iPad while writing this etc… (there are so many you fill in the blank) have the power to derail what a great experience we can have in life and each day. The things that happen, are going to happen, period. They are not an excuse to be a shit-bag of a person and effect those around you. Sure we can affect change on some of them, but the reality is we are all going to have negative things, thoughts and feeling happen in our life. What separates people that are truly happy and people that are not, is what you choose to do about those things and how you react too those thoughts and feelings. Easier said then done!
This year is about me taking control of how I react and who I want to be in every situation. So when my day sucks and I’m exhausted, instead of starting a fight with my spouse and being lazy! I’m gonna say fuck it, I control today and I’m going mountain biking. Easier said then done, right? Join me, make the commitment to react to those things in life with kindness, understanding, and the energy you want to have for life, regardless of the circumstances. I’m gonna fight those negative mindsets and resist arguing when a bump in the road pops up. We all have the power to be exactly who we want to be, so what’s stopping us? Only ourselves!”
These are two athletes in the community who regularly work on improving themselves and helping others. I love how they train, coach and live because they are always making a positive impact.
Check out this awesome pic from Matt’s Instagram with the #MentalityWOD