Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mental Distractions

I find that I have to mentally prepare quite a bit before my CrossFit sessions. I'm always excited about each class, but I also feel intimidated. Voices of self-doubt and insecurity take over my mind - will I be able to do it? Suppose I can't? What if they have an exercise that I'll completely fail at?

I am aware of these distracting and detrimental voices. Today I tried my best to push them out of my head. I kept telling myself - You can do it. Just give it your best.

I also tried to challenge myself - If there are burpees, don't think about it. Just go. Just do it. They're not impossible. The fatigue is just in your mind.

Actually I find my mind to be fatiguing!

I missed the last two CrossFit sessions and I'll be missing several more while I'm away. I think that anticipation - of not being prepared/not practicing enough - was also weighing on my mind. Why is it that I try to bring myself down before I've actually tried? Why do I assume that I'll fail? I thought my self-confidence had improved ... apparently not.

I have a routine for Saturdays now - Our CrossFit session is at 3:30. I have a big breakfast @ 8 a.m. (egg white omelet with veggies) followed by a cup of coffee @ 10 a.m. I then have a banana around 1 p.m. and 2 dates just before I head out the door (though I forgot them today). [Actually, the fact that I forgot them also sent a nagging thought to my mind - you didn't have your dates; you may not have enough energy today. -- Damn, I really know how to psych myself out! How irritating!] After CrossFit I have a protein shake, followed by dinner some time between 7:30 & 8:00 p.m.

The plan is set. It works.
Not having to think about my routine means that I have more time to focus on thinking positively about my performance during training.

I got there a bit early today, and one of the other members of the team was doing a workout. It took my breath away. She was jumping rope, doing step ups, walking with weights, doing burpees + sprinting. I was in awe. I was inspired, but unfortunately, my negative self also said - you'll never be able to do that.

Why do I do that to myself? I know that I am not at that level yet ... but with practice and dedication, I can get there. I know I can. Yet I bring myself down with these negative thoughts. What's more annoying is that I know that these thoughts are bad, yet I can't control them. I guess I just need to try harder.

Anyway. I think having all these thoughts on my mind really got in the way of my performance. Actually, even if I did well I don't think my mind is ready to give a compliment. All I remember is that I was exhausted. I felt drained. I kept telling myself to FOCUS, but I also kept getting distracted.

I don't want to make excuses for why these distractions occur, though I know I could give you at least 12 off the top of my head.

Our WOD was AMRAP in 15 min:
15 clean pulls (used a 20 kg plate)
5 burpees (w/no push up)
10 dead lifts (did 50 kg for the first time; I lifted 40 kg the last time we had it for our WOD)
5 burpees (w/no push up)
10 hand release push ups
5 burpees (w/no push up)

I managed to complete 4 1/2 rounds. I don't know how the others did ... all I had in my mind was - damn, it was tough. I should have been able to push through more. It upsets me that I wasn't happy with my performance - that means I let my mental distractions take over. I've really got to get a grip.

Some people may say, well, at least you went and you tried ... but honestly, that's not good enough. I want to do more. I need to make sure my actions follow my desires.

Our challenge workout at the end was to hold plank pose for as long as possible. I know that I have no ab strength. It definitely hasn't been the same since the surgery. Basic moves that I could do before are more difficult now. That's when flashes of 'The Last Rant' come back in full force. Will I ever get over it? I guess the thoughts are at the front of my mind right now as I've started researching specialist surgeons in the UK and the States to see if this problem can be resolved -- we'll see.

In any case, all these thoughts just remind me how losing weight and getting healthy does not rely on just one factor. You need the desire, dedication, discipline, and drive to get your workouts in, eat right, stay mentally and emotionally focused. These are all important components. These are all things that I want to/need to improve on. I guess on days when I'm feeling mentally distracted I feel like everything else comes crashing down. I guess I should be thankful that I don't let my emotional distress keep me away from the gym, and I'm even more thankful that I don't binge eat anymore! So, I guess I'm making some positive strides. I'm going to try and continue to be positive and take obstacles as learning experiences rather than signs of failure. I really feel like once I can overcome and eliminate these mental distractions, I'll be able to take it to a whole other level. That has to be my focus from now on.

I have to keep working on this cycle -- and hope that I can reach that central goal.


  1. I know what you are saying in regards to CrossFit - the level of fitness that some possess is just mind blowing. It can be overwhelming and intimidating. So here's what I do: on my off time, I practice. I bought myself a $4 jump rope so when the kids are playing outside, I can work on my double unders (still don't have them, but at least now I have hope). Sometimes at night, I go into my back yard and I do planks to increase core strength. Pick an area of weakness - like burpees - and practice, practice, practice. I'm not trying to get to the CrossFit games or be the most elite athlete at my box, I'm just trying to get as good as I can be. You'll get there!

    1. Thanks Jenn. I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds it intimidating.
      Practice is definitely the key.

  2. Hi! Well, I think that you need to have patience to get better at it. You're frustrated, but that's an okay place to be. The best exercises/exercise routines take time to get good at. If everyone could do them easily, then everyone would be doing them. You're trying for tougher exercises now. Don't expect them to be easy. But do expect that you will devote weeks in a row to trying again and again--and again. They'll get better!

    :-) Marion

    1. You're absolutely right Marion. I'm trying to change my feelings of frustration and turn them into motivation to get better at all the exercises I'm struggling with. Thank you!! :)

  3. I wonder sometimes why we do this to ourselves - smart, capable women who continually doubt our own worth and abilities. Others see our strength, but we are so self critical!

    Deep breath, you're doing great!


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