Working on my mental toughness has been key in these last 2 1/2 months of CrossFit. I realize the strength and conditioning will come as I push myself. But lately we’ve been doing WOD’s that require me to push myself mentally more than physically. For one, I’m realizing the need to let go of my competitiveness. However, that has been a struggle to say the least.
I admit I love to compete. I think there’s beauty in challenging yourself and putting yourself to the test against others. I believe true competition makes you better at anything in life. But I find that mentality hard to maintain in CrossFit. For one, the more I compete against others, the worse I do in WOD’s.
It’s hard not to peek over your shoulder to see how the person to the left or right of you is doing. It’s hard not to try to keep up with them or push harder than they are. I think any competitive athlete can say the same. But if there’s one thing I’m glad I picked up early was that your ego is not your amigo in CrossFit. I can’t actually compare myself with the other athletes in the class. They have different strengths and weaknesses, come in different sizes and have different levels of experience. Some can Rx workouts and others can’t.
The more I try to compete against others, the less I focus on right form and technique. Not only does it take the joy out of CrossFit for me but it puts me in a position to get hurt.
However, I must say there’s a little downside to not competing. For one, the motivation has to come from within to finish. Because your focus is not beating the person to the left or right of you, something else has to push you thru those mental low points when you’re gassed and you still have to finish the WOD.
What I find myself doing is relying on “Daniella Rx”. She’s an imaginary me. Yep, she’s the person I strive to become in CrossFit. She’s the athlete that can Rx any workout and do every exercise “as prescribed”. She might even be the athlete that makes it to Regionals one day? (…. Hey, a girl can dream right? 😉 Lol..)
Nevertheless, Daniella Rx is the athlete I find myself chasing down in the WOD’s. I’m chasing down the athlete I want to become, not the athlete I am now. When I’m running, she’s the girl right ahead of me. When I’m struggling to get low enough on my squats or failing to get my chin over the bar on pull-ups, she’s the one making it look easy.
She’s the one I envision during every WOD. That’s what I strive for now. I’m not chasing you, I’m chasing Daniella Rx.