CrossFit, its clearly a strength and conditioning program. Its clearly a physical training program. However at the heart of CrossFit, and at the core of what we do here at Paradigm is an often overlooked principle of CrossFit. Its mental development. The value in CrossFit comes not from the development of strength, but from the exploration of what lies within each of us, our true capacity. Many of us find ourselves capable of so much more than we thought possible. This isn't because we double your strength. We free you from your mind, the perceptions and self doubts that have kept you in your comfort zone, the status quo, the easy. By pushing the limits of your exposure, we have found Athletes within you, within people who thought just getting off the couch was a feat, people who had condemned themselves, those of us who lost hope in the inevitable aging.
Without ever calling attention to it we made you stronger between the ears. Time has made it possible for you to face even the most daunting of physical requests with even a glimmer of confidence. However I think its time we do talk about it. Explain what its like to be a mental athlete. Because although you've all gotten stronger mentally, theres so much more to give. You have confidence in yourselves now. You know you're becoming capable, but to believe is always the difference.
We have all been there mid workout, feeling like death and still three rounds left. Or in that competition when the whole field has passed you and knowing you've already redlined, you don't have another gear. Going full mashed potatoes because you're CNS can't keep up. Its in these moments a victory waits. We all have a choice every day in every workout, to push through, to back off, to quit, or to forge on. That choice goes deeper still, addressing the voices in your head as the dark place closes in. Those voices telling you its over, just ride it out, surrender. But is it? What if the only thing that stands between you and defeat is a choice. A choice to see the outcome you want, to visualize, and attack.
Before you write me off and think that Im crazy. We have all had at least one moment where we've thought we couldn't and assuredly we proved we couldn't, adversely we've thought maybe theres a chance and we've landed that PR. You cannot do 100% of the things you cannot do, but that rule isn't true for optimism, the possibility is always there. This idea is especially important when you're staring at a WOD that scares you to death, or that you've considered impossible. Outside of a bar that is too heavy, or a skill that you don't have, nothing is outside the realm of possible. Seeing the outcome you want, not the outcome you think you deserve, or a false reality you've conjured can be 100% of the difference between simply surviving a workout, or being just a little bit better every day.
My challenge to you for the week ahead is to take a moment of clarity. See the workout, visualize the workout, see the outcome, achieve your goal. Quiet the voices by visualizing and preparing yourself for the task ahead mentally. Stay calm, stay focused, and stay the course.