“The Spartans say that any army may win while it still has legs under it; the real test comes when all strength is fled and the men must produce victory on will alone.” -Steven Pressfield, Gates of Fire
Mental toughness is a test of character, spirit, resiliency…. one’s very soul. It is a rare thing, you aren’t born with it. It is only developed if you dedicate self to obtaining an indomitable spirit. You can wish for it, you can have all the money in the world, you can be a King; it makes no difference when you have to dig deep within yourself.
When a man or woman is tired, in pain and has the option to quit and give up, you get to see who he or she really is. This is not limited to physical pain. The stress of jobs and personal relationships can greatly affect one’s well-being. Becoming stronger in one can help you increase your strength in the other.
Every time you finish that WOD you didn’t think you could finish, pick up that weight you thought was too heavy, or PR, you gain a little more strength inside yourself. Honest reflection can help you improve, but EXCUSES WILL NOT.
If you want to see some real mental toughness, watch the overweight, the broken, the elderly who are busting their asses. Some of you don’t have to, but imagine walking into a Box as someone who has never been an athlete and/or has physical challenges. These are the people to look to for strength. Their spirit is amazing.
Beat that voice inside your head telling you to quit. Remember this is your mind and you have control over it. If you let it, your mind will fail before your body. Make a plan and, even late in the WOD when it feels like you can’t, stick to that plan. Concentrate on form or counting your reps to keep your mind off the pain coursing through your muscles. Every time you walk into the box or get ready to WOD, be there to compete not to just survive.
If you are not willing to give up who you are for whom you want to be, then how will you ever change?
Grow as a team. Make sure everyone finishes. When you help cheer someone to the end you are helping them develop that resilience. The community of CrossFit is what makes it so successful. You draw strength from one another, so get out there and feed each other.
Train smart, an injury or over training will set you back further. Never quit ever and remember ALL IT TAKES IS ALL YOU GOT.