It’s “Guest Post Friday”! On Fridays, I feature thoughts from individuals who have strong input about the mental side of fitness, training and life. I select witty and honest articles, that give you practical tips and advice. This article was recently published here by Cory Stephens, Co-owner of Crossfit Knights. Cory talks about a few key areas that you can run through in your head before you start your workout.
Enjoy the guest post.
“Every time you step into the gym there should be a process, a checklist; a mindset. It should include all the things an athlete should and shouldn’t be doing. Think of it as a road map to success.
Punch The Clock
It’s that simple, leave work at work. Worrying about an email, a phone call, some shipment, or whatever doesn’t do anything but distract you from the task at hand. Your mind needs to be in the moment. Not to mention, that taking the stresses of your job with you when you leave every day can drastically affect your life in general, not just your performance in the gym. So leave it at the office, unfortunately, I promise it’ll still be there tomorrow.
Someone once told me, I don’t remember who, “Ego will get you so far, then it will get you hurt.” That has really stuck with me; those are words to remember for sure. I will be the first to admit that I am guilty of this just as much as anyone else. Healthy competition is one thing, but ego is another, and there is no place for it in training. From my experience it leads to very specific things, namely; poor execution, poor form, poor sportsmanship, and ultimately injury. Leave your ego somewhere else, get your mind in the game, screw expectations, and just do the work to the best of your ability on that given day.
Results Are Results
This one is simple. Everything is a result; it may not be what you wanted but it’s still measurable and quantifiable. Never be satisfied with results, always be hungry for more. Take each piece of information and use it. Use daily results to keep your mind in the right spot; driving each day to improve on yesterdays’ results.
You Are Who You Associating With
Have you ever hung around someone so much that you started picking up their habits? A lot of us do it without even realizing. It often takes someone else pointing it out to make the connection. Usually we glean weird, quirky things from other people; but there are good things to be absorbed as well. Like it or not, we are who we choose to associate with. Training the mind is just as important as training the body, and in some cases more important. Hanging around people with a negative mindset will put you in one too. Winners see the goal, they speak it into existence. They have already won the battle in their mind and they exude the confidence in their words and actions. You can absorb that thought process just the same as anything else. Put yourself in the presence of those people, better yet, be that person for someone else.
Perceived Limitations … Who Put Those There?
YOU DID!! I can show you a video on YouTube from NorCal CrossFit of a gentleman, who is paralyzed from the waist down, climbing a rope so he can get ahold of the pull-up bar for his set of strict pull-ups. That doesn’t sound like a person who accepts anything as a limitation. For whatever reason, people in general, have lost the ability to see past the reach of their own hand. Limitations are in your mind. Does that mean that you can hit the rack today and squat 500lbs? No, it means that if you want to squat 500 lbs you can if you set your mind to it and train without doubting yourself. Do not let negative thoughts in your own mind dictate what is possible. Just because you attempt something and fail doesn’t mean you can’t, it means you can’t YET!
Fail To Succeed
Very few of us are great the first time we attempt something. More often than not the first attempt at anything doesn’t have great results. It only makes sense the failing is part of the process of success. Today’s society perceives failure as a good excuse to quit. Failure is part of a learning process; it teaches what not to do, and offers great insight into improving the next attempt. It’s crazy to say this, but a person should be happy to fail, it means you are one step closer to the goal. Accept failure as part of the larger process and embrace it as a stepping stone, not a wall that blocks the way.
Everyone has them, whether they realize it or not. They should be an ever evolving part of your mindset. Walking into the gym, you have to have a target in mind. Mostly we know what we‘re doing, but do we know why? Where are you going? What are you doing each day to get there? Goals should be short term and long term, and have a course of action to reach them. It’s a very good practice to write them down; if you do it, log it somewhere. They are not the culmination of anything; they are a compass for the journey that hopefully never ends.
Open Mind … Ready To Learn
Ever watched the Olympics? See some unbelievable athlete snatch 100 lbs more than their bodyweight, then run off stage and hug some little scrawny guy they call Coach. Do you think the Coach can snatch that much? Do you think the Olympian still listens to him anyway? An athlete in the right mindset realizes that things can be seen from the outside that can’t be felt on the inside. A Coach can step back from the moment and see where things begin to break down. You have to be ready to hear what a Coach has to say… then use it.
Now I know what a lot of you are thinking; that doesn’t apply to me. He’s talking about other people. No, I’m not. I’m talking about each and every one of you that step up to the bar, day in and day out, searching for something that you don’t quite have ….YET!”