Why do we workout? Why do we subject ourselves to the hours of self-inflicted pain, discomfort and somedays, downright drudgery of lifting weights, throwing our bodies around and running until we can’t run anymore?
While most would probably say ‘lose weight’ or ‘get stronger’, a recent post on BreakingMuscle.com speculates that those are simply means to an end. In other words, you didn’t sign up for CrossFit only because you want to get in better shape.
Now, this isn’t to imply that losing weight, gaining strength, improving flexiblity, having more energy aren’t goals that you have. However, if we really dug down deep, the reasons you continue to push yourself to do the uncomfortable is because you want to feel better about yourself.
It just so happens that all the benefits of CrossFit (weight loss, more strength, etc.) are positive side effects of the ultimate quest, feeling better about yourself.
To quote the article,
“The truly great discovery about CrossFit is when we realize we feel better about ourselves based on what our bodies can do, rather than how they look (or more accurately, how we think we look in the mirror).
We may have initially joined a gym because we didn’t feel happy with how we looked or felt. Somewhere, there’s a feeling of inadequacy there. “If only I lost a few pounds, then I’d feel better.”
But how quickly that disappears once we find we’re in an environment that accepts us for who we are, while at the same time encouraging us to better ourselves. The people around us believe we’re capable of things we don’t see just yet, and this leads to victories we never thought possible.
Over time though, that feeling of doubt, or inadequacy, can come creeping back with our physical ability. We adapt, and we tend to forget that we once laughed when someone told us we could do a pull up. Now, we’re pissed we can’t get ten unbroken muscle ups. What’s that about?”
So what happens when you find yourself frustrated with your lack of perceived ‘progress’?
The article lays our 5 tips to help you stay positive and continue to find ‘joy in your journey’:
1) Remember You’re With Friends
Where else can you go where everyone, literally EVERYONE is cheering you on. Sure, there’s the friendly competitions that take place, but ultimately, everyone wants to see you succeed and get better.
Besides, if you’re feeling frustrated with your progress, chances are you’re not the only one that has or is feeling like that!
2) Enjoy Having Time To Yourself
For the one hour or so you’re in the gym, you have permission to forget about everything else going on in your life. No matter how terrible that days’ WOD might be, it’s time you don’t have to worry about helping kids with homework, the guy that hasn’t called you back yet, or your boss at work that keeps asking for his TPS reports.
3) Remember the Progress You’ve Already Made
Chances are you’ve already done things in the gym you NEVER thought you’d be able to do. And even if that’s not the case, just remind yourself that you’re actually there doing things that others only talk about doing.
You’re a doer and your hard work is and will pay off!
4) Don’t Focus On Perfection
Everyone has their kryptonite. Yes, EVERYONE, so don’t beat yourself up too much because you’re not very good at a particular movement. The beauty of CrossFit is that there are so many aspects to it that even if you worked a lifetime you could never reach perfection in all of it and we all have something we need to get better at.
5) Be Your Own Best Friend
What would you tell your friend that was expressing frustration or disappointment? Would you say the same things to them that you tell yourself?
Instead of beating yourself up or allowing negativity to bring you down, imagine you’re talking to your best friend and do everything you can to uplift their spirits.
Ultimately, the demons of disappointment and frustration show up at some point for ALL OF US. However, we don’t have to give them permission to stick around.
Keep these 5 points in mind the next time you find yourself frustrated or less-than-excited about working out and remember, success in CrossFit is more often found in the journey and not the destination.