Athletes, Ready!

“Opportunity does not waste time with those who are unprepared.”
― Idowu Koyenikan
The first CrossFit Open workout is now just a couple days away.  Now is not the time to try to “ramp up” our strength or endurance in order to do well in a competitive environment — all the work that you have been doing in the past few months has gotten you to the level you are at, and now the test is here.  What we can do now though is make sure that our bodies and minds are well-primed and focused.  What I am talking about here is Pre-event Recovery.
In order to feel ready for whatever workout might come our way, the first thing to think about is minimizing any aches and pains you might be experiencing.  Over the next few days, do your mobility work in the gym and at home, redoubling your focus on any trouble areas that you have.
Nagging knee pain can be addressed with staying away from high range-of-motion and impact activities (running, jumping, squatting) leading up to the event, as well as using ice (for joint swelling or stiffness), heat (for muscle strains or tightness), and smashing/stretching around that area.  Do not smash with a roller or lacrosse ball directly on any strained muscles, but work on surrounding muscle groups that may be tight and pulling on your pain points.
If you’re feeling good right now, that’s great!  Stay that way by minimizing intensity in your workouts when you come to class.  “Going through the motions” is a good way to stay loose, which might include scaling back loads in weightlifting movements, jogging instead of sprinting, and generally keeping your heart rate at a manageable level.
Right now is also a great time to refocus on hydration and sleep habits.  Start drinking a couple more glasses of water with each meal, and stay away from alcohol and excess caffeine which will dehydrate you.  Waiting until gameday to focus on hydration may be a bit too late, and your performance will suffer.
Get to bed a little bit earlier, and think about solid bedtime habits that will allow you to fall asleep more quickly and enjoy a good night’s rest.  Turn off your screens an hour before bedtime — maybe read a book rather than watching a TV show — that always puts me out quickly!
To foster a positive mental attitude leading up to the workout, practice positivity and visualization when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night.
In the morning, think about one thing that you are grateful for, and one thing you are excited about doing today.  Then spend 5 minutes breathing deeply (5 count in, 5 count out), and visualizing yourself learning what the workout is, creating a solid plan of attack, and then crushing it!  Think about the good feeling of finishing the workout having given it your all.
At night, recap your day in terms of all the good things that happened, and if anything didn’t go your way, pull the lesson out of it and think about how you could respond better next time.  That will frame the experience in a positive way, and you’ll go to sleep without negativity looming in your mind.
Treat yourself like an athlete readying for competition, because that’s what you are!  Eat and drink like an athlete, stay loose and limber like an athlete, and stay positive like an athlete, and you will be ready when it all goes down.
Athletes, ready!  3-2-1… GO!!

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