To the uninitiated, a CrossFit box may look like a medieval dungeon filled with all kinds of torture device. To a CrossFit practitioner, the box is indeed a medieval dungeon filled with all kinds of torture device.
That said, as CrossFit practitioner I need the occasional reminder on why I go to the box, why I sweat it out (and put up) with brutal WODs, why I fight through the pain after a workout, why I chose to change my life.
If you’re feeling like you’re losing your motivation, here are some of the lessons I’ve learned doing CrossFit that, I hope, could help you hang in there.
You are much stronger than you think you are.
Ask anyone what they felt the first time they stepped in to the box, and you’ll most likely get, intimidated. Because, who wouldn’t be? It’s loud, it’s sweaty, it’s intense.
And, unfortunately, a lot of people almost immediately begin to doubt themselves. Can I really lift those massive weights? Can I finish today’s workout? Can I finish today’s workout and still walk out of the box? Can I really do this?
But, what surprised me in CrossFit was, the answer to the questions above is always a resounding: Yes. Something just happens when you dig deeper and push harder to overcome whatever equipment or task is there in front of you.
Because despite it being an intense workout program – that can go from demanding to intense to brutal – CrossFit is more about mental strength than physical strength. In other words, if you think you can, you will.
The next thing you know, you’re not just lifting the weights you thought you couldn’t, you’re doing it for time. And your questions now are: Can I set a new record? Can I break my own record? Of course, the answer is still: Yes.
If you approach your daily life with the same challenging spirit, you’ll be surprised at how much of the things you thought you couldn’t do, you actually could breeze through. This kind of attitude also opens you up to a lot of opportunities and new experiences.
So, when you think you can’t ask for that pretty girl or hot guy’s phone number, remember that time in the box when you said you can’t do 30 pull ups and did 35.
Don’t Give Up Too Easily
I’m not going to lie. There will always be something when doing CrossFit that would make quitting cross your mind at least once. Okay, twice. Alright, a lot of freaking times.
Sometimes all it takes is that first pull up you couldn’t do on your first day. Or that record you just couldn’t break, even after countless hours of training. Or finishing dead last in a WOD for the third time in a row.
But, this is why they say that the real “workout” in CrossFit happens first inside your head. You have to fight that voice inside your head that says, “Quit!” And when you do, that’s the only time you can start to reap the benefits of CrossFit.
For example, when you say your goals for the WOD and you don’t meet your goals. Instead of automatically thinking of throwing in the towel, scale your workout. Ask your coach for options on how you can modify the workout to fit your current abilities.
Once you’re satisfied with your performance in your scaled workout, re-challenge your initial goal. Don’t give up. Keep challenging.
Always Ask “What’s Next?”
This may sound weird, but as easy as it is to give up on CrossFit, it’s also easy to get comfortable at your current fitness level. Too comfortable, in fact, that you stop your progress.
Because, let’s face it, failing sucks. And as much as possible, everyone tries to avoid feeling miserable. So, instead of testing your limit, trying out new WODs, adding more weights to lift, more reps, you remain in that safe space of certainty.
Failing to ask “What’s next?” is like cutting your CrossFit journey short. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Even it means failing at your attempt. Because only in doing so will you be able to discover yourself and all the awesome inside you.