Embrace the Grind
In the CrossFit world, this time of year is heavily influenced by local and international competition. Judgement Day HB, New Zealand’s largest and longest running fitness competition has just finished and we are about to enter the CrossFit Games season with the 2018 Opens (the first step to get to the Games).
Karli and I have been actively participating in the Opens since 2012 and have competed in competitions around New Zealand since 2013, and in all these years the biggest lesson we have learned:
You have to enjoy the process.
The competitions are fun, and the road trips to the events are fun, but the biggest lesson we have learned is to enjoy the process of getting there. Enjoy every workout leading up to the event. Enjoy talking to your wod buddy about different strategies and what strengths complement each other. Enjoy planning the trips and thinking about all the cool things you can do at the event site. Enjoy planning your meals and making sure you get tasty kai in after the final wod.
There is a saying that I really liked when it first was coined. “Embrace the grind”. Wrestlers (the Olympic kind, not the WWE kind) used this saying as a way for them to milk every ounce of sweat into their training sessions. Embracing the work on the journey to their competition so that when they walked onto the arena floor, they were 100% ready and calm.
Next time you are in the box or doing a workout at home, try these tips to help you Embrace the Grind just a little bit more:
Smiling and adopt positive body language. Your smile may turn into a grimace, and freak the living daylights out of the people standing around you…but a smile is infectious. The simple act of smiling can change your entire mood, and help you enjoy the process a little bit more. Your body language can often control your mood, as much as your mood controls your body language. Next time you are about to train and don’t feel 100%, try adjusting your body language (proud chest, walk tall) and smile. If it doesn’t improve your day, at least it will rub off on your wod buddies and make their day better.
Pre Wod fist bump with your WOD buddy. While you are standing in front of your barbell, or on the start line of a run waiting for the sound of 321 GO! lean over to your WOD buddy, give them a fresh fist bump. This is a simple one, but I promise you, its effective. Nothing gets the hair on the back of your neck erect like your wod buddy giving you a fist bump and saying “let’s do this” right before you attack a workout. Sounds simple and weird, but give it a go.
Zone in on today, and today only. Ben Bergeron is the coach of some of the world’s best athletes and one of his most consistent messages is “you can only control your effort in today’s workout”. Meaning that anything can happen on game day. You may get the shits, your rower display may malfunction, you may get a judge that has never done CrossFit before. All of these factors can have a profound result on what happens at the event, and none of which you have control over. All you can control, is your attitude and execution of the workout in front of you. Focus on today’s WOD. Go as hard as you can. Don’t think about tomorrow or the day after or the comp. Just zone in on the work in front of you, and hit it as hard as you can.