Flexible minds

by carney on March 19, 2014


Kate gets set to snatch.

Have you ever been driving along, expecting to arrive at your destination and then been delayed by a flat tire, car accident, or traffic jam? I would predict that if you’ve been driving for a while, then the answer is “yes”.

When something like this happens, what do you tend to do? Do you rage? Shake your mighty fist at God, demanding answers that don’t belong to you? Or have you developed the mental flexibility to adjust to circumstances as they unfold? Being able to suspend your agenda and flow with the currents of your life is a skill, and like any other skill it must be practiced if you’re going to get better at it.

For many, the WOD, even before “3-2-1 Go!”, can cause undo strain. On the extreme ends, people seem to fall into two categories: they either think they need to know what the WOD is before hand, so they can prepare themselves; or, they absolutely don’t want to know what the WOD is, because they’ll stress out about it before they even have to do it.

The ideal state of mind is to walk into the WOD with the calm focus and intention to simply put forth your best effort, whether you know what’s on the whiteboard or not.

We email our members the weekly program on Sunday, so they can better prepare for their week. We’ve had some unsubscribe from the email list because it stresses them out knowing what’s coming up.

Sometimes, the WOD gets changed, either due to class size and equipment availability, or sometimes by accident (like when the WOD is misrepresented on the email). This is one of the greatest stressors for those who need to know, because it often forces them to alter their game plan.

Do you get overly anxious when things aren’t going as expected, or do you create more stress for yourself than is necessary worrying over things that don’t require action at the moment? If either one of these describes you, then that’s a good place to do some work.

A simple and direct approach to addressing these fears would be to either come to class not knowing what the WOD is, if you’re the person who needs to know, or do the opposite if you’re one who doesn’t like to know before hand and look at the WOD before coming to class. Then, work with your mind. Write down what’s going for you in your training journal, how you’re feeling and what effect it’s having on your performance during the WOD and in class.

Start noticing when you do this outside the class. The objective is to be able to set your sights on a goal, do everything in your power to meet that goal, and smoothly adjust your plans, and sometimes the goal, as the environment outside of your control changes.

Share a story of a time, either in class or out in the world, when you were successful, or unsuccessful, in staying focused on your goal, but adjusted your mindset to accommodate your new reality.

Workout of the Day

For max load:
Snatch balance, 1-1-1-1-1 reps

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Julia Jones March 23, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Trying to be mindful of the opportunities for me to practice this without letting anger creep into the equation. I hope to see you soon!

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