Mental Strength

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Annie Thorisdottir – 2011 & 2012 CrossFit Games Champion

(Copyright CrossFit 2012)

Apparently I am stronger than I think I am. Mentally stronger, that is. The past month or so I’ve had a lot on my mind and have been struggling with all the negative thoughts that have been swirling around. The biggest frustration for me is that these negative thoughts have been affecting me at the gym. The gym is my outlet where I put my thoughts to the side and just lift heavy shit and do crazy gymnastics stuff. But lately it seems that I have misplaced my motivation and drive.

I had the opportunity to go to the final day of the CrossFit Games a couple weekends ago and it was amazing. These athletes are just flat out phenomenal. As I watched them fight through these insane workouts I had a few conversations with myself, such as can I ever get to this level? Physically I know I can do it. Mentally I’m not so sure. To be at this level is a HUGE commitment. Am I willing to make that commitment? Can I mentally handle it?

I watched an interview of Annie Thorisdottir from Iceland who is the women’s champion for 2011 and 2012, and the first competitor to win two years in a row. In her interview she said, “I think my strengths are, that I can usually keep on going. I… I don’t really need to stop and rest. I can push myself pretty hard.” This really stuck with me. Many times during a workout I either get burned out or I start to think too much, lose my focus and stop and rest for a few seconds. It is during these workouts where I question my drive and commitment. Why did I stop? Did I really need a break or did I just give up? I know I am committed as I workout 4-5 times per week. But I want to get better which means an even bigger commitment. Mental toughness has always been a struggle for me.

Well, I proved myself wrong during the workout tonight. I am mentally stronger than I think I am. I was able to put some of that stupid stuff swirling around in my head to the side and used the rest of it to fuel my workout. I told myself that I was going to get a minimum of 6 rounds. I ended up with 9 rounds and 13 reps… in 12 minutes.

The WOD was:
12 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)
3 deadlifts @ 155lbs
6 pull-ups
9 box jumps on a 20” box
12 double unders

As I was going through all the skills during the workout I kept hearing Iceland Annie in my head and I told myself, “You are not going to stop. Keep moving, even if it’s slower, just don’t stop.” I only stopped for a second or two to catch my breath before a couple of the deadlifts, as that is something you must make sure that you are in a proper position and mindset before you lift. But for the other three skills I pushed myself and did not stop. And you know what? It felt freaking amazing. When the clock beeped at the end of the workout, I stopped and grabbed a sip of water and said to myself, “Fuck yeah. You did it. Now you know you can do it.”

Oh, man. I needed that.

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