Friday, 15 February 2013

Separating identity from performance

In this video from the Lake Tahoe gathering with some of the CrossFit elite, Chris Spealler eloquently expresses how separating one's identity from performance really takes off the breaks when it comes to excelling at the sport. 

Spealler explains that doing this doesn't mean you don't have high expectations of yourself, you can still be disappointed with the result but if you've given everything you've got you shouldn't be disappointed with your performance. 

"It's a battle everyday, every time I go in the gym, every time I get ready to hit the clock, I have to decide that my time on that workout does not dictate who I am." 

He asks the group when they feel they perform their best and says that in his case it's not when he's paying attention to the other competitors or worrying about what people will think of him if he loses, it's when he's focusing on what he can do and doing it to the best of his ability. If you think about this it makes total sense. You can't control what your opponent or competitors are doing but you can control what you chose to focus on and whether that's something within or out of your control. 

He goes on later to remind everyone that not every workout is going to be perfect but the difference between  a perceived great day (PBs etc) and a day where nothing seems to come together is the meaning you put on it. You're going to miss reps but the second you become a victim of that you're defeated. It's just a rep! Forget it and carry on. 

"I will not stop picking up the bar, I don't care if I feel like crap, I will not stop this workout" 

You need to believe you can win regardless of who you're up against (even if that doesn't seem likely, even if it seems impossible). If you don't set out with the belief that it's possible for you to come out on top you almost certainly won't.

"I walked into the games thinking I'm here to win, I am going to win, I believe I can win and I let myself be vulnerable enough to allow myself to believe I was going to win, but if I didn't everything was still going to be ok because it doesn't identify me." 

I heard a phrase that really stuck with me "it takes no guts to be skeptical" and I bet you can think of plenty of people you know who ramble on about how unrealistic something is, all the reasons why you can't do something bla bla bla. In the Pursuit of Happiness Will Smith tells his son "if people can't do something they want to tell you that you can't do it" and that if you want something, go after it. To achieve great things I believe you need to put yourself on the line emotionally, it's the skepticism that people use to stop themselves from getting hurt because if you never believe it's going to happen and it doesn't you never said it was going to in the first place so it's no big deal. 

(5.10 onwards) 

Train hard, prepare as much as you can physically but condition your mind to believe that you are an athlete to be reckoned with. Regardless of the result you will always be you so don't be afraid to take that leap into believing that you can win. Stay focused on what you can control and doing this to the best of your ability :) 

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