Sand Flies & Creating Mental Challenges

IMG_9512Occasionally I’ll throw out a personal story in hopes that you get something out of it!

So, the other day I went to the beach to unwind and soak up the sun.  It was gorgeous afternoon (I’m not trying to brag about the weather in California, I am just trying to set the scene) and there were only a few people on the beach. I laid down and just as I became comfortable and closed my eyes, I started feeling sand flies on my skin. As I kicked my legs, slapped my stomach and shook them off of me, I realized I was starting to get annoyed, because they were messing up my vibe.

Within a minute of realizing that I was becoming “bothered,” I decided to try something. I told myself that for 1 minute straight, I was going to lay perfectly still, without even a flinch, taking deep breaths to try to be as calm as possible. I actually set my phone timer and went for it. At times, there had to be over 10 Sand Flies on my bare skin. They were tickling, itching, biting, and hovering all around me.

I simply laid still and chilled. I purposefully decided not to react to the “discomfort.”  I was completely calm.  If anyone was watching, they were either intrigued or very confused. After I reached my one-minute goal, I smacked the shit out of them, stood up, and moved my towel about 20 feet more away from the water and all of my fly problems were solved instantly.

Of course, I could have persevered longer, but this was simply a challenge, a test, a reminder…something I do very often when I sense that I’m starting to feel bothered or uncomfortable.

Instead of letting that annoyance and discomfort consume me, I do the exact opposite…I take control over it.

Maybe you find yourself in a traffic jam when you’re in a hurry to get somewhere (you and everyone else). Can you sit and relax and challenge yourself to be as calm as possible? Could you maybe even make the best of it, instead of getting all tense and angry?

Bottom Line: All day long, there are situations and people who can bother you…if you let them. The moment you feel yourself becoming pissed off, flustered, annoyed, or bitter, challenge yourself to stay calm. See if you can take deep breaths and be the most relaxed person around. See just how calm you can become, no matter how uncomfortable it is.

Challenging yourself in this way, in daily situations, will help you be able to deal with every workout, every person, and every environment more effectively.


If you’re a CrossFit Athlete, learn more about Mental Strength HERE

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