Saturday, 15 December 2012

Every workout has a hidden gem - WOD 3 of the London Throwdown

The final workout of for the London Throwdown qualifiers put the power in the athlete's hands to decide how to break down provided all required reps were completed:

75 burpees 
75 pull-ups 
75 thursters @ 35kg 

My first decision was to break these down into 5 rounds or 15 reps a piece. Some of the previous workouts I'd been apprehensive about but I felt confident approaching this. Body weight exercises I tend to be ok at and the thrusters were very light. No worries right? ...WRONG! 

I made sure I warmed up properly, I mentally prepared and then went for it but as I worked through the first few thrusters I noticed something didn't feel right. When you've been doing CrossFit for a while you develop an accurate awareness of your body's work capacity, your lactic tolerance, your strengths and weaknesses etc and as I moved through the burpees on the 1st round it felt like the 5th. I felt gassed as hell at a point in the workout I knew I shouldn't be. Mentally I started questioning myself as to what might be causing this: the weight and the pressure of not being able to come up with a solid answer started to make what was physically already demanding even harder. Every burpee I dropped down for I desperately felt like staying there...DESPERATELY! I knew I wasn't going to get a good time at this rate, I wasn't going to qualify and when you feel depressed like this it sucks your motivation away like a Dyson. 

But then I make a conscious decision. No, maybe this wouldn't be a remarkable time, but there is an opportunity right now to develop that mental fortitude that is so essential in CrossFit. The harder and more horrendous the more guts and mental strength it requires to push through and all I started thinking about was this: "do your best and your best will always get better" If I could persevere and make it through the other side I knew I'd be a stronger athlete for it. 

I made it through (eventually lol) and I've never felt so physically fucked after a workout ever. But I was proud that I hadn't just called it quits because it would have been easier. In summary though, my advice for you is this: your mind can only focus on one thing, thought, image etc at any one time. If you replace a negative thought "this is horrendous", "what's the point?" with a different thought (not necessarily positive, I like to think of it as productive) e.g. "if I complete this workout, regardless of time, I will be a better athlete" and keep repeating this to yourself I can promise you that you won't have as hard a time. I don't want to delude you into thinking it's going to be easy once you do this, it won't. But it will feel more like you're being pulled to the finish than having to drag yourself there. The only essential ingredient for this to work though is that being a better athlete needs to be important to you. If it's not important it won't create enough of a drive to propel you through. So if you're more of a recreational CrossFitter just fill the gap with whatever inspires you e.g. "if I give my all and get through this workout, the stresses at work will feel like a walk in the park", "if I give my all and get through this workout, I'll be a better role model for my kids". 

I hope you found this helpful, I think it's something where the principles can be applied to any area of your life so if you you find yourself in a similar situation why not give it a go! 


No comments:

Post a Comment