sled push

sled push

Monday, September 19, 2011

What's In Your Head?

I have been stewing on this blog for the past two days and I hope that I will be able to articulate what is in my head.

If you crossfit, I'm sure you've heard the quote by CrossFit Founder Coach Glassman, "The greatest adaption of CrossFit takes place between the ears."

I completely agree. In my humble opinion, CrossFit is about 30% physical ability and 70% mental. I am sure if you ask other CrossFit coaches, they may give you a different percentage, but mental ability will be high.

For example, it doesn't matter how damn strong you are, if you can not let yourself drop under the bar, you will NEVER squat snatch or squat clean any significant weight. If you cannot trust yourself to put your feet over your head, no matter how strong you are, you will never do a handstand pushup. And if you cannot disengage from the pain, you will never have a sub 3 minute "Fran".

These are obvious examples, but here's what got me thinking about all of this in the first place.

This weekend, I was talking with a friend of mine, who had just done Fight Gone Bad. She knew that I had done this WOD the day before and what my score was. She said, "Girl, you beat me by 3 points!" She was excited because she had done this as RXd. She just had surgery a few months ago and I was really excited for her because she has worked very hard to get back to where she was before.

But I told her that I was mad at myself because I KNEW I could have done better. How much better, I don't know, but when round three came and I knew I had already PR'd my old score, I slowed down and just coasted the rest of the workout. Why did I do this? Maybe it would have helped to have some crazy firebreathers next to me knocking out a 405. I know it wasn't because I couldn't physically do more.

You know what it was? It was my head! I had started talking myself out of "killing it" because I had already reached my mark.

What is that Michelangelo quote? "The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim to high and falling short, but setting our aim to low and achieving our mark."...BINGO!

She also told me that she thought that I was one of the hardest training coaches that she knew. Am I? I certainly didn't feel like it at that moment.

Not long after this conversation, I watched a video of a friend lifting a 300lb deadlift on Facebook. This friend is my size and weight, and Holy Moly, that girl picked 300lbs! Wow, I am nowhere close to that! Why? Because I am scared of another herniated disk. There. I said it. The answer is "FEAR".

So then, I just started beating myself up. Do you do this?
If you were in my head Saturday, it would have sounded something like this, "I could have worked harder during FGB.", "I can't deadlift twice my bodyweight.", "I struggle daily with a 'sugar demon'", "I don't have six pack abs," and of course, "I can't do a freakin' muscle-up!" I just continued to tear myself down in my head.

This of course put me in a lovely mood for my family and the poor guys had no idea what was wrong with me.

Today I talked about some of this with my coach. We also discussed my inability to do a muscle-up. He said, "There is no physical reason why you can't do a muscle-up."

Did you read that, folks? No. Physical. Reason.

I said, "Well, it's not because I don't want to. I do! I feel like it is my job as a coach to be able to do this. This is the only movement I can not demonstrate."

He asked, "So, what do you think it is?"

I thought about it for a few minutes and finally I said, "I'm scared. I'm scared of hurting my shoulder, I think." I went on to explain that whenever I step up to the rings, my heart starts racing, I get butterflies in my stomach and I get nervous as hell. This didn't happen when I was learning how to do pullups, or double unders, or handstand pushups, but it is there when I step up to those rings....It's in my head! "The enemy is my inner me!"

So, I finally had to reset myself. Just sit down and ask myself, "What is going on in your head?!" I can tell you, that if I were to have done a WOD with my friends Saturday, I would have sucked...seriously. Why? Because I had spent the entire day beating the crap out of myself.

As I took some time to really refocus my thoughts, I asked myself, "What makes a good coach?" and I found this great quote. "A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are."

I feel that I do this. I am not saying this to toot my own horn, but I always look at where my athletes are going, not where they are. I see their potential and I do my best to help them see it, too. I LOVE coaching. I LOVE watching my athletes surprise themselves everyday doing things I already knew they could do.
I was told by one of my athletes, "I love the way you break down these movements so that I can see them in slow motion and in small parts. It helps to make it all click in my head."

I think I will take that any day over PR'ing a lift or a muscle-up.

Sometimes it just takes 1 positive comment to turn your thoughts around and let your head help you rather than work against you.

So. What's in your head?


Rest day

Sunday WOD

5 rounds

35 Double unders

200 meter run



work to get 1 rep max on Front Squat

Pr'd at 150lbs! YAY!!!


75 KBS (35lbs)

75 Pushpress (33lbs bar)

When you set the weight down, run 200 meters

time 8:14

Did 75 KBS unbroken and 57 Pushpress unbroken


Saturday, Day 12 of Whole30

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, apple with almond butter

Snack: Larabar

Lunch: Grilled chicken with lettuce and tomatoes, 1/2 cup of grapes & apples

Snack: almonds and raisins

Dinner: Stuffed Red Peppers (made with ground beef, chopped spinach and sauce)

Dessert: Frozen grapes

Sunday, Day 13 of Whole30

This was not my happy day. Really missing my comfort sweets but I made it through!

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, 2 pieces of Canadian bacon, apple with almond butter

Snack: Larabar

Lunch: Left over Stuffed pepper (so good!)

Snack: nuts, seeds and raisins and some turkey meat

Dinner: Steak and baked sweet potato

Monday, Day 14 of Whole30

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs, 1 piece Canadian bacon

Post WOD: Progenex

Snack: Larabar (don't really know what I would do without these!)

Lunch: hamburger patty with salsa, broccoli

Snack: Ground beef with spinach (left over mixture from the stuffed peppers)

Dinner: Cubed Steak (seasoned only), cauliflower, broccoli

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