Mental Chatter

There are many thoughts that run through our head. We will have thoughts of scarcity, abundance, fear, confidence, ego, humility, feeling swole and on the gain train, and feeling like we suddenly became fat. Which thoughts do we pay attention to, when do we pay attention to them, and how do we ignore the negative? Lets go through a couple common thoughts that you will experience as you work out.

1. I am {NEGATIVE THOUGHT} - Are you really? Did you truly not give enough in the WOD? You did just eat that extra cheese topped nachos but what does that mean? I had a beer so I am writing the weekend off. I didn't hit a 5lb pr on my strict press so this CrossFit thing doesn't work.

2. I have worked out hard enough - A beer is equal to 350+ burpees so have you?

3. I am not seeing the results I want - What do you want? Are you trying to be 6% body fat and lift 400+ pounds on your clean? Did you really give it your all? Did you hold back so that you could still be right in that you had more, that you could have done it? Did you hold back so that if it doesn't work out that you can blame the training program, the trainer, the food, your mysterious metabolism or big bones?

4. I dropped 1 pound but I didn't hit the 10lbs I wanted - Why do you discredit your improvement? You lost a pound and learned a lesson. Why in the face of a success do you break it down as a loss because you set a goal SO high? Why do you think so little of yourself that you always look for the negative to explain why you don't have the life you want and to feel safe and right in a dim-lit version of your dream life?

5. If I lift this really heavy weight with shitty form I will get the body I want faster - Why are you putting yourself in danger for a false hope? Your body does not change that fast. The cold truth of the matter is that your body will take years to develop and you will never be content with where it is. Life is about growth and decay. If you are not growing then your body is decaying. You must give it consistent signals of health and abundance if you want to be lean and strong. The more training days you can turn in that are injury free then you will be closer to the body you want. Shitty form is the sign of someone who thinks little of themselves and is looking to get injured. YOU should be your greatest coach because you are your body.

6. If I reach this body fat percentage, this lift, this time then I will have what I want - This is fool's gold. Bodyfat, lift numbers, endurance do not define you and do not give you some magical life status. The numbers and lifts are given weight by your own mind, both negative and positive. Someone who squats 900+ pounds isn't given a certain pay check level automatically. If you can run a 60sec 400m are you assured to have healthy relationships? You can achieve these stats while having mental and social problems but do not look towards these stats as the solution to your mental and social problems.

7. The gym has no bearing on the rest of my life - False. Do you cheat on your reps? Look for other areas where you also cheat. Did you land on your 100th DU which isn't a good rep but still count it? What else do you not finish completely but call it ok? Do you show up 2 days this week, 0 days the next, and 5 the third week? Why do you expect so much with so little consistency?

8. The Game of Black and White - Of all the thoughts listed above did you group them into good and bad? If you did then you made another mistake that our mind loves to play on us. THERE IS NO GOOD AND BAD or BLACK AND WHITE when it comes to the thoughts in this article. I wear a bracelet that says "Harden The Fuck Up" which goes against the thought of self love that exercise should be. Exercise is us keeping our body happy and healthy. So much of what I write is about being positive. Why would I wear that bracelet? My mind loves to tell me that what I have is good enough. No It Isn't. My body never gave up on me during the 6 workouts I did yesterday but it was my mind that was. This hard line thought could easily drive me into self hatred and a constant need to prove myself by taking heavy weights and high boxes but I tempered it with its opposing thought: self love. I never let my ego into it and stayed at light and fast weights to prevent injury. This thought goes into business - have I done enough for the members of the gym? The soft side of me will tell me that I have had a full day and that I should rest and enjoy some Animaniacs but I really do have the energy to answer those emails, take on that new client that wants quality of life, setup a fund raising opportunity for the MDA, return that phone call, and clean the gym so that everyone can workout in a clean and healthy space. Am I being kind to myself or is a part of me masking itself behind self love so that I will be lazy, dim my light, and thus become unhappy? Negative thoughts will mask themselves behind Positive thoughts and concepts.

You are on a mission to a destination that is straight ahead of you. Positive and negative thoughts are like winds that blow diagonally left and right. Each wind is capable of propelling us towards our goal but we must use each wind and change back and forth between them or they will take us completely off course. We must use the winds of our thoughts, both negative and positive, to take us to our goal.