Standing on my left leg, I was wobbly, and nearly fell over, which naturally meant I should swap the plyo box for bumpers on my Bulgarian Split Squat.
As I tossed a bumper to the floor, I heard a voice say, “Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you quit.”
I wish this had been an internal voice, but no, it was my coach, my own personal Jiminy Cricket, busting me before I could turn into an ass.
I hadn’t thought about it, but I WAS quitting just because something was hard–and that’s not the kind of person I want to be. I like to think that even if I broke both legs and had to claw myself 42 kilometers up a mountain, I wouldn’t quit a marathon–so why do I ‘quit’ during a WOD?
But there are more subtle ways of quitting than packing your bag and walking out.
I DO quit during a marathon–usually around kilometer 30. Though I don’t hobble to the nearest aide station and have them cart me back to the finish line in an ambulance; mentally, when it gets really tough, I justify slowing down. My body might cross the finish line–hell, I might even be smiling–but deep down, I know that I didn’t give it my all.
I had quit when it got hard.
This is not a good theme for one’s life.
It is absolutely incredible to me how much of a good WOD (or race) is in your mind. When my brain is in default mode, it reverts to the quitter–I HATE that. She sneaks up on me when I’m not looking, and it takes a not-so-little voice wearing the ‘coach’ shirt to say, “Toughen up! That mountain will not be kind to you!”
I need that voice in my head, because the coach is right–that mountain will conquer me if I quit.
There is a fine line here though. I don’t want to get SO focused on ‘winning’ or on a particular goal that it sucks the joy out of the event. There was a time a couple years ago when I stopped running with my GPS watch, because the more I watched the numbers, the less enjoyable the run became. So, I started listening to birds (and my body), watching deer and looking for amazing sunrises instead of staring at my wrist. I PR’d that year.
I need to have a similar philosophy about Crossfit. I have specific goals, but instead of stressing about them, I need to just show up, do the work, and NOT quit when things get hard. I’m confident I can meet these goals AND have fun at the same time.
One of my friends posted recently about her WOD (and her attitude towards it), and it made me realize just how often we sabotage ourselves. We can have an incredible WOD and PR at our race, and STILL be dissatisfied with ourselves.
We SHOULD have goals, but in Crossfit, they’re more like mile-markers. Places along the route you can point to and think “Oh, right…I WAS there once!”
Whether the mile-markers are down in Death Valley or up in the Himalayas doesn’t matter. What matters is that I keep going, keep trying and never quit because I think it’s too hard.
For the record: my Bulgarian Split Squats were ugly, but I finished them all–and though I looked like I was doing them in an earthquake, I didn’t fall down.
Now that’s a good metaphor for life.
It was my Brain WOD.