A healthy mentality goes a long way in CrossFit. Whether you’re in the middle of a workout trying to finish out the remaining reps of a movement, or striving to make it in to the gym every week. Success in this sport is dependent on the strength of one’s mind to continue pushing forward.
It comes with no surprise that the best athletes in the world point to a healthy mentality as a large contributor to their success. That being said, it raises the question – How can we better optimize our mentality to continue growing as athletes?
Mentality of Champions
Katrin Davidsdottir, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet (CLB), and Mat Fraser are only a few names in the sport of CrossFit known for their iron-mindedness and “nose to the grindstone” mentalities. Davidsdottir has been given the nickname “sled dog” amongst her peers. This is because she is never afraid to pursue the hard work that she needs to complete everyday to get to where she wants to be. Fitness equipment company, Rogue Fitness, has even created a custom t-shirt that presents her spirit animal as the logo. This mentality has led her to winning two CrossFit Games titles in her very young career.
CLB has also held the title of the Fittest Woman on Earth. She accomplished this back in 2015. This came about through great strides in character development that she made. Camille learned how to control her emotions and use them as a strength. This has also allowed her to compete at her full potential and put her best foot forward on game day.
Mat Fraser has always been known as the tough guy of CrossFit. He’s known to be the one to putS up astounding numbers on heavy lifts but he has had to come a long way in weaker parts of his fitness these past few years. And he has since done so. We saw a lot of this improvement in his 2016 games performance. This, by no coincidence, was the year he finally was crowned The Fittest Man on Earth. He finished in second place the two previous years, competing at the CFG’s. This victory was due Fraser’s willingness to give all that he had to attack his weaknesses in his training. And this was done all in thanks to his mental drive to get the work done every day.
Mentality of the “Everyday Athlete”
We’ve seen how Games athletes use their mentality to accomplish their goals, but what must we do to improve our thinking when it comes to our fitness?
One way, is to keep our mindset aligned with our goals by not allowing ourselves to get too comfortable. This involves actively seeking out the “not so fun” aspects of our training because this is very important to our growth as people. But why would we like doing something that we are not good at? That’s the point. No one does. What we can enjoy is the journey of becoming better. The process. Every successful athlete has had to learn to fall in love with this process. When we don’t seek out the hard things, the difficult things, we get complacent and our growth becomes stagnant.
Positivity for ALL!
Staying optimistic and positive in the way we go about our training is a great place to start when we’re seeking to optimize our mentality. A positive mentality not only allows us to get the most out of our training, but to enjoy it as we go along.
A way in which we can be more optimistic about our fitness journey is by learning to take challenges one step at a time. Mo Gawdat, in his book “Solve for Happy” writes extensively about our mind’s responsibility in allowing happiness into our lives. He discusses the fact that happiness is as much a choice, as it is a lifestyle that we have to learn to cultivate daily.
It all comes down to staying present and attentive to every moment we are given. When we are present, our minds don’t have time to worry or conjure negative thoughts. Worrying about unfavorable workouts and the challenging reps that lie ahead of us, or the missed lift attempt from yesterday sets our minds in a constant circle of negativity. This weak mentality can become our “ball and chain” for years. Only by remaining present and focusing on the task at hand are we able to stay grounded and receptive to all of the rewards that a healthy mentality brings.
So become aware of how you allow your mind to dictate your thoughts and actions. Because if you learn to master your mental approach, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.
Not a lecture, just my thoughts.
Written by Will Oliver