Ya’ll are crushing the first week of the Flux Challenge and we want to keep that going. In this first week it’s all about awareness and creating a space for ourselves. Something I want to dig into that can have a huge benefits on our health is positive self talk. Now I’m not going to say you can’t ever be real with yourself because that’s not real. However, we are typically our own worst critic and that is something we can turn around.
Where do we start?
Since we are talking about fitness lets start with our mindset during our Flux classes. Are you a person that watches Emily’s video and the first thought is “I can’t do that or that looks hard?” Let’s dive into that a bit, the truth is you can do it and you’re more than likely going to crush it right? We tend to set ourselves up for failure from the very start. I want to challenge on your Flux days to tell yourself, “no matter what we are going to do, I’m going to crush it.” This is going to take practice but once you master it, there’s not a workout Emily can toss at you that will rattle your mental state.
You’re Inner Voice
The second area I want to challenge you on your inner voice is with your nutrition. Everyone and I mean everyone has an off meal or an off day. That’s okay we are human, it’s how we respond to that off day that can really set us up to be the most successful in this challenge. If you find yourself knee deep in the cupcakes a co-worker brings in don’t self punish and then say “well this day is done, might as well get pizza.” Nope, the reality is it was a cupcake, not your whole plan, not a reflection of who you are, it was a cupcake. You ate it, probably satisfied a craving and now it’s time to refocus and get back on track. Now this shouldn’t be happening everyday but that cupcake (or pizza or latte or whatever) does not mean you failed, it does not mean you are never going to finish the challenge. If you can master saying “it’s okay, I’m still going to hit my goals and I’m ready,” you’ll really set yourself up to crush this challenge.
This week be aware of that voice in your head. Only you can change your story! Keep being awesome!
Stress, it almost feels like a buzz word these days. It seems like people are always under constant pressure from all around to do more, work me and be more. Stress can take a real toll on our bodies, both physically and emotionally. Let’s dive in and talk about different ways we can manage some stress and the effects that can have on our performance.
The Stress Family
The stress family is not one to mess with especially when it comes to performance, we’re talking about anxiety, fear, pressure, nervousness and panic. There are lots of theories out there on what causes these things to arise at the onset of performance but some common symptoms include, clammy palms, negative thoughts, profuse sweating, nausea, inability to focus, and/or trouble sleeping. None of these sound like a good time. Now that we know what it is let’s talk about some ways to manage this stress.
It Starts with Awareness
It is known that some amount of stress can be a really good thing. Going into a workout or an event can cause a bit of butterflies which then turns on our “fight or flight” response, and this is a good thing. It can aid in performance and help us crush that new clean PR. When this turns bad is when we start to doubt or fill our head with negative self talk. The first step is to be aware this is happening. Once you hear that little voice start talking take a second, breath and try to find out where this is coming from. Is this your body telling you, hey you haven’t slept, you at a cheeseburger at lunch, I’ve had no water and now you want to do this? Or are you not trusting yourself, filling yourself with and then starting to panic? If this is the case it’s time to change the story in your head and start crushing some PR’s.
Managing The Story
The first part is making sure you are doing the little things outside of the gym, sleeping, eating clean foods and managing your recovery. Once that’s taken care of we need to recognize the story in our head and understand that sometimes it really is just that, a story. If all things outside the gym are on point, then take time to analyze what you are telling yourself. Yes you can do most workouts, yes some days you just need to move, yes you are a really strong human; it’s about managing the negative thoughts that create too much stress.
One of the ways I’ve found to help with this is on my way to the gym. I like to play upbeat music that helps keep my mood light, some people I know like to rock out on their way, maybe toss in some car singing and steering wheel drum set. Once you’re at the gym dive straight in before you can have all the thoughts. If you’re there early find a foam roller or do some mobility work to get the kinks out. Once in the gym I like to laugh at the barbell like it’s my frenemy. You know that laugh you give when you’re like “oh you say I can’t, watch me.” If I follow this little routine, I don’t get super stressed about my fitness and it becomes a very welcome part of my day. To recap, recognize your stress symptoms, find a routine or mantra that works for you, and keep the workout routine going.
When’s the last time you carried groceries to your car and didn’t lose your breath? Do you remember the last time you started your day without a handful of medications? WE want you to know what it’s like to feel good and move well.
We know a lot about sickness in America. If you watch TV you see pharmaceutical ads every other commercial break. If you open a magazine it feels like every full page add is a new medicine to help with your old medicine. What you’re not seeing is adds for how to move, or how to cook, or how to solve the problems you have. Taking medication everyday or having pain every time you move should not be accepted as “normal.”
Don’t you want to wake up with energy, have energy at night to play with your kids or even learning how to cook, eat and enjoy real whole foods? Feeling energized, reducing anxiety and depression and moving pain free should be “normal”. These are the things that we are really good at providing at Icehouse. It’s more than just moving weights, it’s about changing your entire lifestyle. It’s about the journey of fitness, moving out of sickness to finding energy to keep up with all of life’s obligations and feel good about who you really are.
Once you understand what it’s like to move well and eat real whole foods we can really start finding what you are made of. Dialing in your nutrition and focusing on meeting goals you never thought possible. Can you see yourself as the person who workouts out 4-6 days per week? What if you became the “fit friend” in your circle of friends? How awesome does that sound! This is what we love to do, help you become the best version of yourself.
Strength and human spirit have been on my mind a great deal this week. I read an article the other day about Alex Honnold free soloing one of the most challenging climbs in Yosemite Valley, and it made me really think about the mental side of the human spirit.
Here’s a guy just barely in his 30’s who has dedicated his whole life to climbing. He has practiced this route so much that he has memorized 3,000 vertical feet of movement. It’s phenomenal to me that he was able to train his body and his mind to conquer a task that appears utterly impossible. No ropes, no safety net, just climb (you can read about it here).
This same thought of human spirit and mental toughness came to mind the other day mid workout. At Icehouse on Monday we did a CrossFit bench mark workout in honor of those who lost their lives at Pulse Night Club in Orlando last year. The benchmark is called “Filthy 50” and we have designated it as Orlando 50 after the 49 people who have lost their lives. 10 movements 50 reps work your way through to the end.
It was somewhere in the middle of 50 wall ball shots (throwing a 14 lb ball 9 feet in the air) that I had the thought, “I wonder if the people in the gym realize how strong they really are.” 10 movements 50 reps each and each time after a short rest, they all go back and pick up their bar, their kettle bell, or their wall ball. I wonder if they have been able to channel this inner strength, the one that picks up the wall ball and does 50 reps, outside of the gym?
Sometimes life can through some serious challenges our way. Building this amazing mental strength in the gym can really help with these challenges. Being able to focus and complete the task at hand in the gym when all your mind is telling you to do is drop the wall ball and quit is such an incredible feat. The mental toughness it takes to walk back to the ball, pick it up, and keep throwing is part of being an Everyday Athlete.
This translates to your everyday tasks, whether it’s at work or or in your personal life. It helps you take obstacles and approach them like workouts. Instead of seeing something as overwhelming or impossible, it helps you look at it and break it out in a way that you can tackle it “one rep at a time,” as if it were a workout. At Icehouse we are not only training ourselves to be physically strong but mentally strong as well.
How has the mental strength you’ve built in the gym helped you out there in your everyday life?
Friday Night Lights (FNL) is right around the corner. I’m sure you’re sitting there thinking so what, I’m not a “competitor” I can barely walk after squat day, or I’m never going to the CrossFit Games so what’s the point. Truth is I was one of those people. I didn’t take part in the open for my first year of CrossFit, I didn’t see the point, I mean it’s just for the elite right? I was wrong, very wrong.
There’s something magical about the open from an athlete prospective and from a coaching prospective. It’s the one time of year that nearly everyone doing CrossFit comes together, and yes I mean everyone. There’s people doing open workouts in their garages, in little boxes and giant boxes all around the world. I mean how cool is that, to be doing the same workout at roughly the same time as someone in China or New Zealand?
Here’s the reality, the majority of us aren’t going to the CrossFit Games to compete. Think of doing FNL the same way as running a 5K, doing a marathon or triathlon. You’re not always doing those to win, you’re doing them for the experience. That’s what the FNL is all about.
I’ve set and watched so many people set PRs in the open because the box atmosphere is electric. There’s one night a week where everyone comes together to sweat, or swear in my case, and do some really fun workouts. You get a chance to experience the true meaning of the CrossFit community, which is all of you! So yes you will hear us talking about the open and FNL a little too much, it’s because we love seeing you guys crush your own expectations. It’s the most fun 5 weeks of the year in my opinion and I don’t want you to be the person who regrets not doing it.
Make sure to sign up! We are closing registration at 6:30PM Friday February 17th (to allow time to order shirts and update teams!) First Open workout will be Friday February 24th.