Mental Fortitude – By Coach Susan
“Burn the questions”… I heard this in a podcast recently and it has become a catalyst for my approach not only to lifting, but also to my life outside the gym. One of our rules in CrossFit Kids is that the words “I can’t” no longer exist in their vocabulary. There is only “I can” and “I will”. When you go to lift that weight or jump on that box or swing that kettle bell one last time…burn the questions. What if you cannot move that weight above your head or below parallel? What if you cannot move one more step? Don’t think “what if”. Just do. Just move. I guarantee you that weight will come off the floor. I guarantee, you do have one more left. Stop thinking you can’t and do. I saw so many of you test your limits and push your barrier at Barbells for Boobs the other weekend. I cannot tell you how proud I was of so many of the athletes competing. I saw people competing for the first time, adding weight, losing bands. I saw 126 athletes push themselves to places they did not think they could go. Try and incorporate this feeling into your every day. That feeling you get when you know you only have 3 more left and your adrenaline kicks in, and you move twice as fast as you did through your first 20.
If I look back at a list of all the things I told myself I could not do, I can’t help but shake my head. If you told me 5 years ago as I was sitting at a desk working as an analyst, that I would be starting my day happily at 5:30 am, running a real estate team and be given the ability to coach in between work and family, I would have said you are crazy. I walked into CrossFit in a lot of back pain and very frustrated with where I was physically. During my intro I laughed when a box was placed in front of me and I was asked to jump on it. I simply stated although tall I “had no ups” and could not jump onto a curb let alone a box. The coach looked at me and said if you do not think you can…you won’t. I now see the power of this statement and relish in the fact that I can now jump on boxes as high as my children. Every fall, I complete some type of 30-day nutritional challenge. It is always easy to identify the nutritional benefits these 30 days bring, but what I missed until this fall was the mental benefit of committing to something wholeheartedly for 30 days. The benefit of saying “Yes, I can” to achieve a bigger goal.
This month I’m asking you to try something. Try to commit for just 30 days to take the word “can’t” out of your vocabulary. Try to “burn the questions” in your mind that allow the negativity to creep in. Can you imagine what you could do if you stopped thinking you could not? As much as I will be the first to tell you to work harder and move further than you think you can, I am the first to tell myself “no”. So this too will be a challenge for me. Now when that clock goes off, don’t say “what if”, say “I will”. Let’s push harder and faster than we have before. Let’s use these 30 days to prove ourselves wrong and add in things and do things we didn’t think we could.
Turn off any outside distractions that eat up even a few minutes and use this time to focus on the things you love and are passionate about. Stop thinking you cannot make that change and just do it. Stop thinking you do not have the energy or you cannot handle today’s WOD and go get after it. Prove yourself wrong. I guarantee you, you can. When you are in that rut or frustrated at your most recent time or rep count – go back. Go back and look at your journal and see where you were when you started. This is the truest look at where your journey has taken you. Burn the questions and just go for it.