The only absolute in life is that it is full of disappointments and letdowns. You may be very successful with where you are in life, but a potential tragedy that can negatively alter your life is right around the corner. You can eat strictly organic foods and shop only at Whole Foods, but a deadly disease can strike any time. Although this may sound like a negative outlook, it is not. On the contrary, it’s a very positive one because when you are mentally tough you expect the unexpected, but more importantly you know you can handle the darkest of obstacles.
A key part of mental toughness development is the physical work. If you think the high intensity in the CrossFit WODS are only about getting you to only look good without your clothes, you are wasting your time. Yes, the WODs will make a drastic improvements on your physique, but this only a small part of this mental toughness program.
The workouts are all about preparing you how to deal with the upcoming boulder that’s going to try and run you over and lay you out flat on the ground. As you begin to defeat the WODs on a regular basis, you will see how the training will have a direct effect to your daily life.
The training is going to suck, but the rewards from all the hard work will be hundredfold. The strong sense of accomplishments from whipping ass in the WODs will mold your frame of mind to become upbeat when faced with a difficult challenge. You will still be fearful and doubtful, but a sense of optimism will be the new foundation in how you view your opponents. In other words, no matter how big and bad your adversity is, you know you will still defeat it.
This confidence begins in the WODS and then you must apply this fighting spirit to your personal life. Slowly by slowly, you will begin to overcome the minor adversities in your life. This training is about teaching you how to connect the dots from one victory to the next one to gain momentum in your mental capacities.
But, the real test comes when you buried under the darkest of human events and your lifeblood is pouring out of you. When the devastation comes and your life has been turned upside down, your challenge has arrived.
As your guide towards mental toughness development, I look forward to seeing how you will handle this crisis.
When your worst nightmare is a reality, you will see how this training has transformed your mindset. Instead of dwelling on your failures, you will and must gain a different take on the situation. Instead of searching for sorrow, you will and must search for positive insights and experience instead. These two factors may not seem like worthwhile consolation prizes, but a new insight and valuable experience can be very powerful learning tools no matter how badly you were used and misused. It is new introspective knowledge that will make you mentally tougher. The key always is to see how any adversity can enlighten you and make you stronger. If may not be recognizable, but if you wish to be mentally tough-skinned, you got to look hard at any opportunity for personal growth in the adversity and learn to decode the most unusual and less-obvious signs.
(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.