Signing up for anything new requires a degree of courage, and CrossFit messaging can be pretty intense. Too many people hear the phrase “elite fitness” and feel intimidated instead of encouraged. The little voice in their head says, “What if I’m not an elite athlete, or an athlete at all? This place isn’t for me.” And all that talk about vomit comets can be daunting. The little voice gets panicky: “Is it too late to sneak back to my car? I can’t do this. I’m nowhere near hardcore enough for CrossFit.”
So we’re proud of everyone who overcomes that hesitation and gives this whole CrossFit thing a shot.
But sometimes, that self-doubt lingers. Athletes hold back. They come to the WODs, but they haven’t quite made the leap to considering themselves real CrossFitters or real athletes. Maybe they’re waiting to get double-unders, or pull-ups, or snatches. Maybe they’re waiting until their body looks like their image of a CrossFit body. Whatever the reason, they’re not quite all in. The little voice keeps inventing limits: “I can’t even do a real pull-up, and my squat form sucks, and I get so exhausted doing 10 wall balls that the ball smacks me in the head. Real CrossFit athletes can do all these things perfectly without breaking a sweat. I feel like a poser. What am I even doing here? I don’t even have the socks.”
If this sounds like you, we’d like you to try an experiment. Start thinking of yourself as a CrossFit athlete. As of right now, CrossFit isn’t a thing you’re dabbling in—it’s something you’re already successful at. See how that changes your perception of your performance in a WOD, and even your performance itself.
We know positive visualization can sound a little self-help-ish, but bear with us here. It can really work.
In his insightful post “Effort Alone is Not Enough,” Raptitude* blogger David Cain is talking about life in general, but he uses the example of working out to make his point: “The actual efforts involved in our goals — as in the miles we run or the pushups we do — are often less like choices and more like reactions to who we feel like we are in relation to those efforts. If you always self-identify as someone who isn’t cut out for exercise, every workout will feel like self-spite, and it is… This isn’t a matter of ‘Fake it until you make it.’ You aren’t trying to fool anyone, just to cultivate, as often as possible, a present moment sense of what right now feels like when you’re the person who’s already doing what you want to do… Who you feel like you are determines, at every moment, what actions feel reasonable and unreasonable, doable and not doable, natural and contrived, uphill and downhill.”
In other words, if you identify as a wannabe, a poser, or a couch potato who sucks at wall balls, you are holding yourself back. Instead, try thinking of yourself as a real CrossFit athlete. Own it. Embrace the possibilities that it opens up for you. Because you know what? We’re all real CrossFit athletes. Even, and especially, you.
*We quoted pieces of it here, but do yourself a favor and read the whole thing. It’s really very good.
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