What is success? This morning, I walked up to my trainer after the workout and said: "Today is Day 1 of Week 4. I need some candid feedback." Her reply, without hesitation, was "You need to work on your mental toughness." Yea, I know. The dangerous trap and slippery slope of a week mind in a CrossFit gym is readily apparent. It is THE key thing that, outside physical injury, will end it all in that aggressive environment. I also asked her if she saw potential...a totally selfish question but one I needed answered...I mean, if not, what's the point, right? She does...and she asked if I liked it (I love it) and if I've noticed anything outside of the gym. "Sure. My upper body is tightening up, shirts are a little snugger and I feel a little less mass around the mid-section." Well there you go! Progress.
On the way home, I was speaking aloud and comparing my 17 year regimen of the run. Long run, short run, marathon, 5K, ultra marathon...whatever. I went out, did it, and felt tired at the end but quite accomplished. I'm "trained" to feel that way nearly 100% of the time in running. I knock out a solid 10 miler before work and chock that up to a "job well done" and carry on with my day. No taking myself to the feeling of nausea, to collapsing on the gym floor post-workout, no heart quite literally beating out of my chest...just a solid and easy (for me) run...no matter the distance and with few exceptions. Now, I finish a workout and it's nothing like that. I feel like I gave it my all, I'm totally exhausted, and it doesn't "feel" like it's going to get better, even with hard work. So the question I asked myself, is that a successful workout? What exactly IS success?
Yea, you're stepping inside my thoughts today and this is more inner reflection today and fleshing this out for my own selfish reasons, but I think it's valid for all. How do you/I define it? Depending on what we do, the measure is different. For those in school, it could be a letter grade and for those doing an outreach to the community, it could be the number of people reached or fed, for example. So many variances out there. In this situation where I am mentally "weak," I propose that "success" is giving every last drop of effort, every time, with safety and proper form, and understanding that the only measure or competition is right there in front of me....me. In time, I must have the confidence that "it will come"...the weights will go up/on...the flexibility will increase...the form will become what it should be. What you may notice is the absence of the word "easy" or "getting easier." One thing I heard early on was "It never gets easier." It's true. With "success" comes increased pounds, or repetitions...or pure speed. While a 5 miler may seem like death to the newbie and like a breakfast snack to me, things are quite different inside the "box." As a friend posted yesterday on Facebook, "the only way to get better at CrossFit...is to do more CrossFit." Oh how true.
So negative talk...be gone! Comparison...be gone! Best effort...every time! Success? I choose to define it and do so with every passing day and completed workout. For today, I'll chalk up victory this morning to doing 65 box jumps on a 24" box...a first. Prior to today, that box sat at 18" and I thought I could barely get up on it...guess I was wrong and I had some more to give. Had my trainer not said "flip that box over," I never would have.
Success. Go have some and make sure you know what it is.