I know many of you have a love/hate relationship with CrossFit. I know I do. I been doing it for 7 years now and sometimes I love it and other times I can’t stand it. There are some major problems with the trend that CrossFit is heading towards, but I don’t want to rant about it about it right now. I’ll save it for a more extensive blog.
One thing for sure, CrossFit got me in the best shape of my life. I got to give credit to where credit is due. I took my first CrossFit class in my early 40’s. At this time, I was out shape, had high blood pressure and having major troubles getting chicks to look at me. Before CrossFit, I was your typical guy that wanted to be big like “Arnold” so I spent 20 years of my life force feeding chicken breast and protein drinks down my throat to bulk up. During this time, I did some running for a while, but that screwed up my knee so I had to quit. Also, as a kid, I wasn’t very good at sports as I was short and bony. I was that loser skinny boy that teams would always pick girls over me in kickball. When I did play baseball, they stuck me in right field where I prayed nobody would hit the ball to me.
So my cardio was poor and my athletic skills sucked, making me a poor candidate to making it through my first month of CrossFitting. So I struggled big time. But, worse of all – I was reliving me childhood where I was always the last one to finish last. The only time during my first month of CrossFit when I didn’t have the shittiest score was when that pregnant lady was in the class. With my past habit of quitting on myself, you would think I would have tore up my CrossFit membership. But, I didn’t. As a kid I never got to experience the fun and challenge of playing competitive sports, so I found the whole experience exciting. With CrossFit, I was experiencing real physical competition for the first time and I loved it. Still, I was humiliated by my childhood failures on the playground and now reliving the shame in these CrossFit classes. I defiantly took a stance against my current shape and my pathetic past as all sorts of memories kept rising up during the WODs. I thought of my 9th grade baseball coach that told me to never swing the bad and to crouch down low so I can get a walk. Or how I got my high school Letterman’s jacket by not playing on the varsity tennis team, but by selling those most candy for our year round fund raising.
It all started to boil in me as I kept seeing my name last on the whiteboard. I was so damn sick and tired of being awful that I vowed to do all I can to change. During the WODs, I pushed myself harder than I ever thought my body could take. As physically fatigued as I was during the workout, my mind was not tired. It was stimulated and pissed off. Whenever I want to quit or felt I was being passive during “Fran” or “Helen”, my mind was screaming at me to keep on going. I had no idea where I was getting this new level of determination and strength. In retrospect, I was learning how to activate my will. I was making the connection with my thoughts and letting my mind lead my body.
It all seem to happen so quickly, but I began to start crushing my times and finishing not only at the top, but way ahead of everybody else.
Nobody was more shocked than I was at my sudden athleticism in my early 40s. Not only did I finally felt like an athlete, but I was starting look like one too as I my body comp improved drastically from doing CrossFit. Everybody at my CrossFit box was bigger, taller and stronger than me, but I now I felt like I had the advantage. I knew I was mentally stronger than everybody else.
CrossFit was the beginning towards my journey towards mental toughness obsession. I owe a lot to my CrossFit trainers and brothers and sisters.
The point I want to make in this blog was my tipping point for my change. It came down that I was just so sick and tired of being pathetic that I had no choice, but to do something. The shame of failing over and over in the past and being weak, just start to build up in me that I could no longer look myself in the mirror. I just had to take action.
So what about your life? Is there a part of your past, that you were so embarrassing weak? Is your weak past still affecting you now where you stay remain mentally weak? If so, get so pissed off about it and do something about it now. It has to get to the point that you can’t live with sure anymore if you did nothing about it. Use your anger and harness it towards making a positive change in yourself. If not, that anger will eat you alive and make you bitter.
As the strength in your mind starts to develop, you will learn that mental toughness is all about learning how to turn a bad situation into a positive one.