One of the best lessons I have learned is that you have to believe in yourself or no one else will. People say it but they never explain it. Here is what I have learned. You have to believe in yourself and realize that all those feelings you have, anger, peace, love, hate, frustration, guilt, all of it is just a feeling. At the end of the day that is all it is. What you do with it is what makes you who you are. Fear can destroy you and can lead to anger which can lead you to frustration. So how do you deal with that? Wow, glad you asked. It is not easy but I realize that it is just a feeling. Nothing comes out of it until I act or don’t act on it. You have to ask why do I feel this way and how do I keep it or change it. When I feel fear I try to figure out why and push through it. Fear is an odd feeling and one of the few that really limit us. Anger and other negative feelings are similar. You have to figure out why you feel that way and change it. Here is one of the things I have started doing about once a week. I leave a positive note for someone to find or read. A few weeks ago I left one for a friend who was waiting for a decision. Last week I sent a note to someone who gives me a positive boost on a regular basis. To release the anger and negative pieces you have to find a way to find that inner peace and quiet the mind so you can see a way through.
As always my time working out has been my calm. Yeah it sounds weird but when I lift or run or even walk with the dog it sets my mind to quiet. I focus on my body, my form, what is happening around me and finally I settle in a place where I actually zone out. Yeah I zone out and I can usually solve some big questions in my life. Sometimes that is work sometimes it is personal but that moment of resolution and that time for reflection is so important. What I have seen over the past few weeks in doing the Whole Life Challenge is that I do not think I can eat sugar, wheat, or corn like I used to. I have felt better, healthier and oddly I feel mentally stronger than I have in a long time. Eric Thomas said it best “One day will be your day. One day can’t be your day if you give up. If you quit no day will be your day.” So don’t ever give up on yourself. You can be your hardest critic but you can also be your biggest supporter. So you quit before; well that is just an opportunity to start again. Figure out why did you quit? Once you answer that question then you can learn for that and move on. Every beginning is the end of something. What will you end to start again?
So I have been going to the box 5 days a week (except for those weeks were mother nature decided to block me). Overall I would say that the people at the box that I go to are super nice. They want to help you and most important they talk to you. I know novel idea. I will remind everyone that I am from Texas where you go to the market and people talk to you like you are long lost friends. I am not used to the North East mentality of “I don’t need to know you”. I remember having issues with the 20 inch box and the girl next to me actually taking time out of her WOD to say “Are you OK”. Sure it didn’t cost her 20 seconds but it was the simple act of being nice that makes it important. I know that if something happened that the people at the box would help out. I think this is critical as you could hurt yourself (whack yourself in the chin for example). I know regular gyms say someone will help you but I really doubt it. Sure CrossFit costs more than regular gyms but consider this, how much would you have to pay for a membership and then a trainer to develop a program and push you. You have to add up the cost of the membership and 5 days of training. I say I come out a little cheaper than a regular gym membership. In some cases there are only 3 or 4 of us in a class. I had one class where it was just me and the trainer.
I liked the gym I used to go to and I have to say the instructors were awesome (I have mentioned to the ones I worked with if they ever need reference I would be more than happy). It was the people at the gym; from stares from men as I run on the treadmill to glares from people when I tried to join a new class with one girl even saying “You do not belong here. You will not make it through the workout”. I just thought challenge accepted! Guess what, I did make it through. The box that I go to (the only one I have been to) I have people saying “You can do that” or “You got this”. I have to say it is sometimes the support of the other members that make a difference.
So thanks to the men and women who have supported not just me but others at the box. Thanks for giving pointers on how you do it without judgment or arrogance. Thanks to the trainers for pushing me beyond what I think I can do. It’s the job of the trainer to help you; however it is not their job to care. That is the key piece of success here. Caring what you do, how it affects you, and if that is the best solution for you. I want to go to the box every work day because of this.
This week was tough. It was a week of finding your one rep max for different movements. This was the week when that support from others really pushes you to add 2.5 lbs and try it. You fail, that’s ok. Get the weight back up and try again. Once again, failing is an act where failure is a mental state. I felt bad that I could not do more weight but I remember what one of my first trainers told me “We start where we start and now we can improve on it”. I just have to remember that as I am going through the CrossFit Open. Every day is an opportunity to get stronger and YOU choose if you want to take that opportunity.
Good luck to all of you and Godspeed on the Open…