Believe It, Do It

Francey-Pants hits a new Deadlift PR!

As I was watching a rather inspiring lecture video from the CrossFit Journal on the topic of self-talk, I realized that I had actually heard the speaker’s anecdotal story before.  Because this idea made such a mark in my mind, I thought I would share it with the rest of you.  Here are some excerpts from the lecture:

Every athlete deals with self-talk, that little voice in the head telling him or her to quit, speed up, drop the bar or push harder.  How we manage that inner voice has a lot to do with the success or failure of our efforts.  Trevor Moawad, IMG’s director of performance, gave a roomful of elite CrossFitters an important pep talk on scripting a strong inner monologue.

“You can literally convince yourself to do almost anything,” Moawad said before giving some anecdotal evidence about the success of the self-talk strategies.  “All words are simply tools, and you have to decide if you want to use those tools to build something up or tear it down.”

Psychologist Dr. Dudley Calvert tells the true story of a railway employee in Russia who accidentally locked himself in a refrigerator car.  He was unable to escape, and couldn’t attract the attention of those outside.  So, he resigned himself to his fate.  As he felt his body becoming numb, he recorded the story of his approaching death in sentences scribbled on the wall of the car.  “I’m becoming colder,” he wrote, “still colder now.  Nothing to do but wait… I am slowly freezing to death… Half asleep now, I can hardly write.”  And finally he wrote, “These may be my last words.”  And they were, for when the car was opened, they found him dead.  Yet, the temperature of the car was only 56 degrees!  The freezing apparatus had been out of order.  There was NO physical reason for his death.  There was plenty of air: he hadn’t suffocated.  He was the victim of his own illusion!  The power of the mind over the body can produce effects which seem almost magical…

Later on in the lecture, Moawad went on to say that we all, in fact, talk to ourselves.  This self talk is estimated to take place at a rate of somewhere between 800 to 1400 words per minute.

Moawad asked the room, “How may of you think that what you tell yourself  has an impact on how you feel, or how you perform?”  The answer?  It absolutely does.  Words trigger pictures.  We don’t know that positive thinking will work all the time.  But we DO know that negative thinking WILL.

We also know that there exists some definite correlation between what you tell yourself, and how you perform.  Just remember this:  Even the fastest, strongest athlete can be undone by a weak mind!

I know this negative self-talk is something that I personally battle with during WODs, and I also know that it’s holding me back.  I’m sure that I’m not the only athlete that’s affected by this!  We can all admit that it’s very hard going into workouts with a preconceived notion of what’s going to happen.  Assuming the worst WON’T get you the best.  You have to approach every day, every moment, every second separately, secure in knowing that you have the potential for greatness!

Have a look at this video as proof positive of what the confident mind can do!

Today’s Workout:

Buy In – Hang Power Snatch Technique – 10 minutes of practice following a demo and instruction by the coach.  Perform sets of 3, work on proper sequencing of hips versus arms.  Keep weight minimal, focus on technique.

WOD – OPT Pullup Burpee

This workout originally appeared in one of James “OPT” Fitzgerald’s online CrossFit competitions last January.  This will be our second or third go at it, so check scores online for times to beat!

Elite – for time:  50 chest to bar pullups, 50 burpees (complete all pullups before going to burpees)

Zone 4 – Scale to regular pullups

Zone 3 – Scale to 30 pullups, 50 burpees

Zone 2 – Scale to assisted pullups

Zone 1 – Scale as needed

Cash Out – Foam roll and stretch


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