Yesterday, I was told by my on-ramp coach and fellow crossfitter that he has never seen someone mentally challenge themselves as much as I do when I walk into the gym. He said compared to a lot of people he knows, athletes included, my mental game is far more intense than any other he has ever seen, adding when he looks at my face he can see my mind change and that he can even watch me psych myself out.
Well, I wasn’t sure if I should be offended or not. And looking back on it, I don’t think he meant anything by it (in fact, he said that crossfit would help my mental game), but I do think I may have been slightly offended, but I played it off like, “that’s just my nature, blah blah blah.” And to be clear, it is a little bit my nature. However, I’ve been told a lot of things about how I look (so intense, stand offish, stuck up), and I put up a guard when someone comments on my character. And the old me would have gone off on him. But I’m a different person these days, and his comments made me think a little. And by a little I mean the 5 mile drive home.
However, it wasn’t until later that day when I saw a Facebook post by my crossfit gym, Crossfit Infernal, that things really started to sink in for me. They asked their followers to comment on the following statement, “However Infernal has helped changed your life lets us know!!”
And right there, it all came together like a wall ball hitting me dead center in the chest, knocking me to the floor. The mental comments and this question! It all just melded together for me at that moment. But instead of writing my comment on their page, I wanted to share it here.
Crossfit for me is more than wanting to look good in the jeans I’ve been hanging on to for 3+ years (yes, I’ve been saving them). And while fitting into my old jeans and looking good in my clothes is a part of why I do crossfit, it’s become much more. It goes deeper than what is on the outside and has really become part of who I am these days.
From the moment my alarm goes off at 4:45AM, my mental game begins. First, it is convincing myself to get up to get to the gym. Of course I’d rather stay at home in my bed for another hour and a half. But I convince myself that I need to get to the gym, although I’m not sure why.
Once I’m at the crossfit gym, the mental game continues, and YES, IT…GETS..INTENSE. And YES, wall walks psych me out. They make me cry. I get emotional at the gym sometimes. And for a while, I was embarrassed by it. But I’m not anymore. Really, sometimes I just can’t hold in the tears. I’m on my own journey there, and it’s very different from everyone else’s journey. And if they see me cry there, it’s because I’ve made a breakthrough, and that I’m comfortable enough with them to share how I really do feel.
Every day I step foot into that gym, I face my fears. Fear I won’t be able to do the workout, fear I’m going to quit, fear of others judging me, and the fear of doing it all on my own. And that is a scary place to be. While I wait for them to yell at my 6 o’clock class to take a lap for our warm-up, I’m really trying to psych myself into doing it. I’m digging deep, and finding the will within myself to just do it, without regrets, never looking back.
The mental game continues throughout the day, especially with me trying to start a new business, being a wife, a mother, sometimes a chauffeur, a cook; you name it, I’m playing the role. There is always doubt and fear. But crossfit has taught me that I CAN conquer my fears. I CAN absolutely get through it all if I take a step back, dig deep, and mentally talk myself through everything.
Crossfit has taught me to love myself and all the layers that make up the person I am. It’s taught me to be strong, both physically and mentally. It has helped me figure out who and what I want in my life. And some of those people are right there in that gym – total strangers who want to see you succeed.
So yes, my on-ramp coach/fellow crosffitter was right when he said he sees a mental challenge going on when I walk through the doors at the gym. It’s me, playing through how I want to see that hour go down. I’m picturing myself completing the workout, not matter how long it takes me. It’s me prepping for how I want to see myself get through the day. And when you take away the intense look, and sometimes the foul language that gets me through it, the mental game is all positive.
I am a lucky person to have found an outlet like crossfit, and grateful to have them in my life.