Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mind Over Matter

June 11, 2012
I am a strong believer that if you think you can do something than you can… you know, to an extent of course. I mean don’t jump off a bridge and try to fly, because even if you REALLY think you can do it, its not going to happen. But if you think about how much our mind is in control of our emotions and feelings… almost like it is programmed and expected to act a certain way in certain circumstances not allowing us to push out of our comfort zone without a fight. When we are in the act of doing something more often than not our brain tells our body that we need to slow down and/or stop well before our body actually needs to.  Why is that? Why are we so worried about being uncomfortable and why do we automatically stop when things get that way?

In the past I would go to the gym, I would work out and push myself to where I was “comfortable” pushing. I was working hard, I was sweating, I would get sore the next day or two and I would go back and repeat. I knew in order to get results I needed to get to the point that I felt the work I was doing was actually doing something, but I don’t think I was actually aware of where that line was. When I was on the elliptical I would work and work and eventually after pushing myself bit by bit, day after day I was able to increase my intensity, or decrease my time slightly… but was I actually getting uncomfortable? At the time, I thought so. Looking back, no. 
In the last 10 months I have never been so comfortable being uncomfortable in my life. Of course there are times that are daunting and “scary.” Like the time I kicked up to a handstand for the first time in 100 years. Man, I thought for sure I was going to fall on my face. Or the first time I approached the 30” box for box jumps. I thought “there is no way in hell I am going to make it up to that box.” Did I break my face? No. Did I miss the box? No. But even if I did… I would have never got close to it if I didn’t try. Attempts and failures are just as important as successes. However, I kicked up into the handstand that day and never looked back… I am not afraid. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and started to trust myself more and more with every time. Now, I can stand next to someone looking at the three-four abmats piled on the floor sweating bullets as they reach for the ground and attempt a kick up to the wall thinking “please don’t fall…” and I can say “I have been there… you can do this!”

“Steel” was the exactly the WOD that proved how important it is to push out of your comfort zone. At first glance you might think “oh, a 5 minute AMRAP of shoulder to overheads with only 35lbs? That’s nothing” but when you are in there… DAMN its hard. Likewise, a 5 minute AMRAP of abmat situps, looks easy on paper, but when you are working for those whole 5 minutes… not so much! The method to my madness on this WOD was pretty much the same that it has been for the last 10 months in every WOD I have completed. I needed to continue to think “mind over matter” that the “pain” was temporary and that I will be proud of myself in the end. Push beyond my brain telling me to stop and rest, push beyond the burning in my arms and shoulders or abs, push until the clock stops and time is up. The only way to get better is to push… get uncomfortable… and surprise yourself in the end!

When I am asked if it was hard to give up “food” (after I stop laughing because I didn’t give up food at all) I respond with “at first yeah, it was a little uncomfortable to keep away from my the things I am comfortable with and used to… but as soon as I started to see the positive result… the answer is no, its not hard at all.” When I am confronted with the famous “how do you have the motivation for that” when people ask about my workouts or getting up at 5:00am to workout before work… my response is the same… “at first, yes. It was hard as hell to get up at the but crack of dawn to go to the gym, WOD, than go to work for sometimes 10 hours… but you know what, I knew it was totally worth it and now, no, its not hard at all.” There are no excuses. I knew what I wanted than and I know what I want now, and I know in order to get there I have to push myself to be uncomfortable every day. You know what… I am ok with that!!

Now, go out and get uncomfortable!   

3 Rounds
- Run 200m
- 10 Pushups
- 10 Around the World
- 10 Back Extensions
- 10 Walking Lunges
Group: 9 Fundamentals

WOD: "Steel"
5 Minute AMRAP
- Shoulder to Overhead (35)
5 Minure AMRAP
- Abmat Situps
* Two minute rest in between
(99+144=243 Total)

Front Squats 3-3-3+
65%, 75%, 85% of 1RM)
125 (3), 145 (3), 165 (5)


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