(This post was originally published in 2015, but it still remains relevant today!)
Do Unto Yourself:
One of the most important aspects of joining a CrossFit box and the community within is the support the other athletes provide. They are there each day as friends and teammates in general and they also provide the support we need to really dig deep when we are at the edge of failure. Each of us has one or two voices that penetrate the sweat, fatigue, fear and fog and motivate us back into action when all we really want to do is put our hands on our knees, stop, rest and breathe. And every one of us has cheered on a fellow athlete with words of positive encouragement and received a “thanks” from the athlete gasping on the floor making a post-WOD sweat angel.
But are the words you say to others the same ones you say to yourself?
When you approach the bar with what seems like an impossible weight, or you are fighting through a conditioning WOD on the edge of quitting, does the voice in your head say the same things that you would say to a fellow athlete you watch and cheer on?
If it doesn’t, and you listen to and believe them, then you are holding yourself back. Those external cheerleaders and coaches help, but they will never be as influential as the little voice inside. Many of us are far more negative to ourselves than to anybody else.
In 2015, resolve to change that.
First, recognize when it’s happening. You may think you are the only one who has this negative little devil sitting inside, keeping you down, but its common – even normal.
Listen to your self-talk.
If you hear words that you wouldn’t use to help a friend you may not be able to change them, but you can find a way overcome them.
One way is to shout them down. Say the words out loud (obviously, this works better in a loud CrossFit box than it does a cubicle).
You’ll hear me coach myself through changes in rep schemes, by reinforcing my pacing, limiting rest intervals, etc, as well as provide positive encouragement to attack a WOD or attempt a PR lift when that voice you can’t hear (but I can) isn’t being particularly helpful.
That little voice is always there. And it is really powerful. If you can change what it says to you inside the box – or even just make it stop for a few minutes, then you can work on it outside the gym, too.
And you will stop holding yourself back.