Quote Of The Day: ” We find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve.” – Maxwell Maltz
CrossFit Journal 51
By : Jim Decker
Forging Mental Toughness
I believe the WODs that become significant emotional events, the real suck-fests, have a far greater benefit than the physical improvements they inflict.They require and reinforce mental strength. All WODs, require these attributes. But Linda, Murph, Fight Gone Bad, and some of their cousins really require you to dig deep to get through them. Whether you are feeling strong and are headed to a personal record, or you are supporting a big fat boo-boo lip and are in the middle of your own pity party, the clock continues to run. It is only over when you finish that last quarter-mile, the last pull on the rowing machine, the last clean. You must find a way to get from start to finish, as best you can, solo. No one can give you a cup of fortitude, a neatly packaged perseverance bar. It must come from within.
I am endlessly fascinated and impressed by civilians who CrossFit. All the military, law enforcement, firefighters, MMA champions and the like—we CrossFit to survive. Train hard=fight hard=come home safe. Got it, no ambiguity there. But what about the teachers, the businesswomen, the engineers, website designers, and all the rest who don’t (on a literal level) engage in mortal combat? What drives them to put themselves through the grueling events?
It seems to me that no external stimulus could be the answer. CrossFit is hard. People quit (some even before they try) every day because it is hard. I think the drive must be internal, a competition with oneself, a continual test of one’s own limitations. This is where mental strength is born. External competition, while good and healthy, will only make you work just hard enough to beat the competitor to your left and right. Internal competition will push you farther, faster, and harder than any opponent ever will.
In the past two years, I have had the opportunity to watch most of the elite CF athletes in action. In all of those workouts, I can’t think of a single time, not once, that they looked to the studs working beside them to do anything but cheer for their “opponents.” Even when gasping for breath like a fish out of water they will use that precious air for words of encouragement. But don’t be fooled: there is competition going on. You can see it when the eyes glaze over, when they stop talking, hearing, even feeling. You can see them internalize. They are looking inside, calculating, strategizing, trying to control their breathing, going to their happy place…whatever you want to call it. They are forging mental fitness.
XFA family not only is CrossFit physically demanding but it strengthens and challenges your mental toughness. So lets all take a look at how deep and hard we really push ourselves and leave nothing left in the tank when you’ve finished that last rep!!
AMRAP in 20
3 Hang Power Cleans 135m/95 w
3 Pull ups
6 Box Jumps
9 Sit ups