(In part 1 on this series on being intimidated, I talked about how one of my CrossFit coaches, was the last person I ever expected to be intimated during a competition. Once you give into being intimidated, it makes you vulnerable to more occurrences of giving into your fear. The effects of letting yourself get intimidated can be disastrous. It starts to eat away at your confidence level and makes you doubtful of your skills. When this happens, your enemies and competitors can sense the fear in you and will go after you seeking your blood. To avoid letting your foes having the mental advantage over you, it must be top priority for this mental toughness training to never let anybody bully or intimidate you.)
In the animal world, the predator at the top of the food chain is the aggressor. When picking his prey, the hungry animal may not pick the smallest victim to be his next meal. The animal in power usually attacks the one that is most intimidated. This is very interesting in understanding the psychology of the aggressor. It may not matter how large or small the next victim is, but the fear that is being projected is more crucial. The most powerful animals must have a natural instinct to decipher those who are most fearful. This instinct to sense fear in others have evolved to humans as well. If you are involved in a competitive setting like in an athletic endeavor or cutthroat business environments, your competition can easily spot out those that are easily intimidated and in fear. It may be in their body language, sound of their voice or just a look, but once the foes locks in on it, it will be clear and obvious to them. Like hungry vultures, those with power will show no respect to those that quiver as they will walk over the weak and obtain their prize.
If you are competitive athlete, you must learn to manage your fear, particularly when you are up against a formidable opponent that intimidates the fuck out of you. Being fearful is normal and is always there. However, with fear it can motivate you to fight back while being intimated can cripple you. If you feel inferior, you won’t be able to perform at your best. The competition is already lost before the battle has begun.
If you are a CrossFitter or participant in this mental toughness training, you must learn not to be intimated. The WODs will be daunting and purposefully intimidating. They are designed to cause you to tremble and to create mental doubt. The challenge for you is how you handle the fear. If you let it get in your head, you have already lost. However, if you learn to stand up for yourself and declare to fight fire with fire, you can neutralize the fear until you eventually overcome and prevail over it.
Facing intimidating situations is a huge part of the mental toughness process. They will not be going away in this program and certainly not in the real world that we live in. The better you learn how to be the intimidator instead of the one that cowers in fear, the more likely you will come out ahead whenever you face a powerful foe. Here are some tips to help you achieve the intimidator statues.
1. You Must Do Your Preparation Work – Always go into the WOD or personal adversity feeling like the aggressor. This is the first mental strategy of this program and one of the most important. By preparing yourself to come out with an aggressive mind-set you will be less intimidated by the huge obstacle. What your preparation will do for you is to make you focus on yourself. You can only control yourself and how you will respond in the workout. The WOD is a fix object and there’s nothing you can do about it. Instead of wasting your time worrying about the workout, you should be getting your mind ready to fight and have an aggressive plan to overcome it. The same goes if you are intimidated by your competition. You cannot control your opponent, you can only control yourself.
In terms of this mental toughness program, you are learning to put all your attention and focus on your thought patterns. The goal of this system is for you to learn that your thoughts are your true source of power and strength. This is the huge mistake my coach made during his warm-ups at the CrossFit throwdown. Instead of focusing on creating aggressive thoughts in himself, his attention was elsewhere. He was watching his competition “show off”. By watching their show of strength, he fell for their mental tricks. I”m sure every competitor there knew my coach was watching them as then they decided to even more to put on a show for him and the other weak-minded competitors. They had my coach where they wanted him – he became totally psyched out. When he began to put his opponents on a pedestal, it was over before it even began.
The recipe to defeat a great opponent will always be the same, regardless if it’s a intimidating WOD or opponent. You must have relentless and unyielding to any thoughts to giving up. So during the preparation process, you must gear up your thought patterns for the battle. The first thing you must do is understand what your “why” is. By understanding why you need mental toughness in your life, will help you endure the upcoming punishment. The stronger you understand your “why”, the more determine you will be to duke it out to the very end.
Decide and commit a one hundred percent during your prep time that you will go all out and refuse to quit. By going in the war already knowing that you never surrender, you will become the aggressor and improve your chances of outdueling your opponent.
(To be continued)
Today’s Litvinov WOD –
Deadlifts – 5 reps
Push press – 5 reps
Spiderman sprints – 20 yards (approximately). Here a good demo of what a Spiderman crawl should look like – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwWLTzooiNI
This is one of the toughest WOD that I have posted on this site. I did it again recently and I struggled big time with it. By the third set, my tongue was hanging out of my mouth and I was on my back seeing stars. As rough as this WOD was, I was able to bounce up from my rest period very quickly and headed back toward the barbell for the next round. No lie, but I would say my recovery time was less than one minute between every round. That’s very fast considering how exhausted I felt after each round.
There was a introduction CrossFit class right next to me while I doing this WOD. It was probably very perplexing to them as I laid there on the ground as if I was dead and then all of sudden, I was able to stand right back up with rush of energy as if I was as good as new.
No doubt, the reason for my fast recovery time was due to my preparational work. I knew going that if I wasn’t emotionally prepare to handle this killer, I would have be intimidated very early on and that would have made the whole training session worse than it what it was already was. In order to avoid being fearful of this WOD, I struck first. I made sure I went into this with a very strong “why”.
During my prep time, I got myself ready by delving into my needs to be mentally tough. I drilled myself over and over by asking myself this one question – “Why do I need to become mentally tough in my life?” With each time I asked myself this question, I came up with answers to help me understand why I must have toughness in my life. Although each response was very similar, I was able to find nuances and just subtle differences to strengthen my “why.” In fact, I came up with something that I haven’t thought in a while that really drove to the edge. It gave me a strong perspective and a better understanding at why I am fighting. Its not that we forget, but sometime we just need a reminder.
Th deeper in thought I was with my self-discovery and understanding my “why” for this training, the less concern I was with the intimidation factor of this WOD. In other words, I came out of preparation period, not giving a fuck who my opponent was. I knew who ever it was better watch out because I was ready to kick some serious ass.
My “why” was so strong that I was able to sustain the emotion and aggressiveness from it throughout the WOD. Even though I was breathing abnormally hard and near total muscle fatigue during the recovery period between rounds, all I had to do was to think of my “why” and I was ready to go to it again. In a very instant, my breathing calmed down and I was fully energized again. There was no stopping me with this WOD today.
I was in that CrossFit zone where I felt fucken invincible.
This is what having a strong and concrete “why” did for me and I know can do for you as well.
Come out fighting with this WOD and don’t stop until you are done. This is how you find the intimidator in yourself.
Scaled back version of this WOD –
1.Omit the Spiderman sprints.
2. Do only the deadlifts and Spiderman sprints.
3. Do only three sets total.
Acceptable alternatives –
1.You can do military presses instead of push presses. Also, you can use dumbbells or a barbell for the presses.
2. You can run in place or do jumping jacks for 30 seconds over the Spiderman crawls.
3. If you are limited by space, you can do 10 burpees or jump rope for a minute instead of the Spiderman sprints.