I’d never been someone that regularly worked out or had been very active. 9 months ago I started to do CrossFit. Since I’ve been a lazy fat a** until then, I nearly died after a 10 meter run. I couldn’t do a single push-up and had no idea that there was a proper technique for rowing. And please didn’t expect me to know what a snatch or thruster was. The only thing I have always been good at was grinding. I could always end up a little higher in longer workouts or runs because I simply (almost) never pity myself in a training. After 9 months at UnScared I’ve met a lot of people and have seen a lot of athletes during a long workout which made me realise even more what big of a difference the right mind settings make.
Just now I did a 750 meter row x 5 with 3 – 4 min rest in between and finished up first. I’m quite short with 162 cm which makes it harder for me and I know that I’m sometimes the only person believing I could actually make it but it’s not an excuse to give up before it has even started. So I tried to focus on the positive things. That’s what we girls always have to do. So luckily, I’ve got relatively strong legs but most important I push through where other athletes might not give everything they can. It’s a mind fuck. I like this example so much since rowing is something that all of us should be able to do. It’s not a muscle up. Of course I’m not saying that you win all workouts with it. I’m just emphasizing that it helps you to get through a long workout. The worst moments I experienced in a WOD were the ones in which I started to think “Why am I doing this to myself? I can’t anymore!”. From that moment it just goes downwards.
Afterwards I had a really nice conversation with one of the other girls at the box who also started with CrossFit only a couple of months ago. She told me that the fittest girls in the box are a motivation to her to give more and try harder. And that’s how you should consider that, as a motivation. Don’t believe you can’t do that as well (sooner or later). Everyone once started and couldn’t do a single push-up or didn’t know how to row but you can change that. If they can, you can as well. Often I’m the only one believing I can beat the other scores. If you fail, then you at least tried. If you are successful, then you’ll be super proud of yourself. Always keep that in mind. Your mind sometimes does half of the work.
So before and during the workout I keep the following things on my mind:
• If they can do it, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do so as well. If you can grind a little harder than they, then you might win this or come closer than usual. If someone else tells you otherwise, then prove them wrong.
• Set yourself a goal! That can be a score of another person that already did that WOD or just something that your guts tell you by experience.
• Never look at what’s ahead of you during a WOD! Pace well but focus on that moment and not on the (loooooooong) minutes coming after that. Focus on what you are doing right now!
• Give your last bit at the end of each workout because: every rep, every second counts. And afterwards you are done with it anyway. So why slowing down right at the end? You’ll have enough time to rest afterwards.
• Ask your coach or other athletes to cheer you on! Nothing helps more than people screaming at you to give a little more. That’s why we love the CrossFit community so much.
And last but not least, be proud of yourself afterwards and always try to enjoy CrossFit! That’s why you are doing this. Winning doesn’t always mean to finish up first. It can also mean that you give your everything and achieve skills and numbers that sounded impossible to you a couple of months or years ago. Grinding just a little harder will make you feel proud. I promise!
Photo credit: Nico de Waard