Quote Of The Day: ” I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.” ~Micheal J. Fox
I found this write-up on Fear from CrossFit Park City written by a guy named Doug. I thought it was great and wanted to share it with all of you. We can all relate to this and it’s about recognizing what we are afraid of and working on overcoming those fears!
Let’s talk about fear. Fear plays an important role in our lives; it protects us in dangerous situations, heightens awareness, and can be very helpful if not life saving. Fear can evoke a fight or flight response, an important and powerful emotional and biological reaction. We all know what this feels like. Our heart races, we become hyper-aware, we sweat, and adrenaline is introduced into our bloodstream. These symptoms are a classic reaction to external fears. Spiders, heights, public speaking, and thrusters are good examples of these external sources of fear.
The fear I’d like to talk about is just as deep seated; however, not a reaction to life and death situations. I’m talking about the fear we have learned in reaction to things that make us uncomfortable. This internal fear could be evidenced by the self-doubt, anxiety, nervousness, or self-consciousness that many of us feel in the gym (not to mention our every day lives). This fear takes many forms. Fear of failure, fear of losing, or fear of looking foolish in front of others just to name a few. What if I look stupid? What if I miss? What if I fall over? What if other people don’t like me? What if I finish dead last? What if I don’t meet others expectations? What if I don’t PR? Have you asked yourself any of these questions in the gym before? I’d be surprised if you hadn’t. What do you do with this fear? It can be motivating, drive us to do better and overcome; however, it can also be detrimental and debilitating.
The symptoms of this fear can reach far into your life, and they show up in CrossFit as well. Have you ever intentionally miscounted? Have you ever given up or quit because you’re not having a great workout? Have you ever not come to the gym because you’re ‘not good’ at what we were doing that day? Do you make excuses like ‘I’m tired’, ‘I didn’t eat well today’, ‘my hands hurt’, ‘it’s too hard’, or ‘I’m too sore’? First, I have done all of these things before. Why? I’m afraid. This is something that I am constantly working on, and I’ve seen in everyone at the gym at times. It is not something that I claim to have personally defeated or overcome, but being aware of this can improve your performance in the gym as well as your daily life. I must preface this by saying that all of what follows is easy to say and hard to do. It looks very simple, but takes dedication and major effort (remind you of anything)? So, if we struggle with these things what can we do to help ourselves?
First, be aware and inquisitive. Try to recognize these feelings when they come up, and ask yourself what you’re feeling, and why you may be feeling it. If you have the ability to recognize your emotions or thoughts in the moment then great! If not, take a minute to think about it after the WOD, it can be easier to think then and many things are clearer. Make notes about your mental performance in your logbook, reflect, remember, and record the thoughts and feelings which helped or hindered your performance.
Second, practice honesty. If you are making excuses, reacting to your fears, or selling yourself short, acknowledge it. If you are holding back because you’re afraid, try to admit it. This may begin as a completely internal process (if you’re going to be honest with only one person, it may as well be yourself), however, as you feel more comfortable with this concept, try letting someone you trust know about these things as well.
Third, strive for accountability. Ask someone you care about to hold you accountable. Close friends, spouses, workout partners, or trainers are all great people for this. Let them know what you’re shortcomings or fears are and the things you’d like to be working on. For example, you could let your trainer know that pull-ups scare you, you’re not good at them, you’re afraid to finish last, and you make excuses about your hands hurting when they come up in a WOD. You want to get better, so when they hear you making excuses, to please call you out in a straightforward caring way. In short, ask them to let you know if they think you are short-changing yourself, making excuses, or holding yourself back.
We CrossFit because it’s fun, but it’s also about increasing work capacity and functional movement. Recognizing your fears and shortcomings and working to overcome them will ultimately increase your work capacity, overall fitness, and quality of life. Be aware, honest, and accountable. Practice functional movement for your mind.
21, 15, 9
Deadlifts M- 225# W- 185#
42, 30, 18