Patience

We have a lot of new members joining our CrossFit Kent Island community right now!  I love it!  It’s been a solid mixture of folks who are new to CrossFit and maybe fitness in general, and others that have experience and just moved to the Eastern Shore.  Welcome everyone, we’re so glad you’re with us on this challenging but fun journey toward greater fitness and health!

With newer athletes I usually discuss being patient with your training.  The results will come, but expecting results without putting in the hard work and the time can lead to frustration.  We all theoretically know this, but when it comes down to our own training it can be hard to internalize.

In my mental training I often work on visualizing success in new endeavors I am working toward, or visualizing my future self in a positive way, to propel my thoughts and actions forward to that end state.  Recently, I’ve had a hard time with a particular visualization exercise called the “Mind Gym”, where you recreate your ideal training space in your mind in order to have a mental space to do your future training.  I couldn’t figure it out, couldn’t imagine what my ideal training space was.  The hallowed halls of CFKI wasn’t ideal – I honestly don’t like the building itself, only the people inside it and the hard work that happens makes it somewhere I love to be, but not alone.  I tried HARD to imagine an amazing space, an old karate dojo from my childhood, an awesome gym, a completely invented space built on individual things that I love.  But it wasn’t sticking, I couldn’t be there in my head.  I was getting frustrated, and I told myself to be PATIENT.  To breathe, and think about being happy and relaxed and confident, and let the image come.  I practiced that for two weeks, for just 5 minutes a day, and finally heard the sound of the ocean.  My Mind Gym was not a building after all, but a beach.

Patience is something that we all need to practice, and as a newcomer to the CrossFit community, patience can be hard to come by.  You immediately compare yourself to all the people that look like you, but they are beating you in workouts handily.  When will you ever get to their level?  What are they doing that you’re not?  The answer, simply, is time.  The experienced athletes that you see in the gym have put in the time and work, have built the engine they now have from the ground up, just like you will.  You just have to be patient.

Experienced CrossFitters, you’re not getting off the hook.  Where do you need to show patience?  One example might be in expecting a new personal record every time a benchmark workout or a lifting max is on the board.  If you’ve been at this for a while, you know that beating your previous result — from that time you went absolutely balls-to-the-wall — is really difficult!  So when you do get a PR, enjoy it!  Celebrate it!  Beating your previous 1RM Deadlift by 5 pounds is still a huge deal!  And it probably won’t happen next time.  So when it doesn’t, don’t fret.  It will happen again.  Just be patient.

Coaches, and those that aspire to be, we need to be patient as well!  Let’s not expect perfection from a new member’s Snatch technique.  If someone can improve just a little bit, working on one coaching point throughout an entire class session, that is amazing!  The next time, they will improve some more, and then some more, and we all know the journey going forward is endless.  Coaches, be happy with small improvements.  Athletes, be happy with small improvements, even if you can’t see them but your coach can!  Have fun with it, and be patient.

The next time you need to slow your mind down and focus on being patient, try this visualization exercise for a few minutes.  Sit comfortably, close your eyes and breathe deeply through your nose for a few minutes.  Imagine yourself feeling calm, cool, and collected.  As you breathe, you feel strong, and confident.  You might notice thoughts of being rushed or wanting to move on to something else, but you just notice them and let the thoughts float away.  To replace those scattered thoughts, start repeating the mantra  “All good things come with time, I’m ready to work.”

Thanks for reading.  Stay strong, stay healthy, and be patient.

Ryan

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