Inhale confidence, exhale doubt.

December 7, 2017

Those four little words pack a big punch for me. Confidence...positive self talk...whatever you want to call it I’ve struggled with it for as long as I can remember. Fortunately I have an amazing support system, both near and far, that help me daily.

 



For as long as I can remember, my mom has always said to me “Just Breathe”.  Before going on stage for a ballet performance in elementary school, during high school marching band competitions, or college film festivals - my family would always remind me to “Just Breathe”. Breathe out the negative, take in the excitement of the moment. Breathe out the self-doubt. 

 

Remember the metcon that was only burpees and running? If you know anything about me you know I H-A-T-E those two movements. And to put them together…why would anyone do that?  While making my whiteboard that morning I had all sorts of negativity going on inside. 

 

Can’t we please throw some heavy power cleans in there? Make me feel a little good about myself? 

No way am I going to be able to finish this workout in the time cap. I’m going to be last on the run the entire time. My burpees are going to be so slow. The entire class will lap me. 

 

During that entire metcon I didn’t smile once. I kept telling myself how bad the run was, how slow my burpees where, how this workout was terrible. Ryan was coaching, and when he saw my sour mood and told me in his ever so gentle way to “Get out of your head” and “Don’t let a workout get you down”. He was right... 

 

 

Did I finish under the cap? 

No. 

 

Was I the last person working? 

Yes. 

 

After that class I knew I never wanted to finish like that again. I thought back to all the times I felt like this  before – at ballet recitals, high school marching band competitions, and college film festivals. That was when I heard my mother’s voice, strong and confident, “Just Breathe”. 

 

I told myself the next running workout would be different. I wouldn’t forget to breathe. I wouldn’t forget to have fun. 

 

 

Fast forward to the next  terrible running workout, only this time the run was longer and there were wallballs and kettlebells. As soon as I saw that list the internal negativity started:

 

Great, all things that elevate my heart rate and get me out of breathe.  

Would I finish under that time cap?  

Would I be the last one on the run?  

 

No. I was not going to do this again. I told myself to relax.  To “just breathe”

 

“3-2-1…run!”

 

As my friends made the turn at the cone to come back, I didn’t keep my eyes down; I looked straight ahead, attempted to smile and cheer them on, and told myself I was doing great.  I was smiling, even laughing during parts!  I was telling myself the run felt “good”, and I only had a few more rounds left. I could finish under the time cap!  My last run and clock was headed to the time cap. I ran back towards the bay doors, less than a minute. I finished a terrible cardio based workout, a huge weakness of mine, and somehow had fun in the middle of it.  

 

 

 

Did I finish under the cap? 

Yup!! 

 

Was I the last person working? 

Yup! 

 

Did that matter?  

NO. 

 

 

How do these two days differ? They had different movements but on the broad scale, for me, they are both my weaknesses

 

.  Escalating my heart rate and forcing me to be comfortable while being extremely UNcomfortable.  But I approached them differently when I showed up, and more importantly I treated myself differently during the workouts.  The first day I kept telling myself how much I sucked and it was going to be a bad day because of this workout.  The second one I went into it with just an attitude of having fun.  Did I enjoy the second day more?  Not really.  Did I show up with the plan to complete the workout under the time cap?  Heck yes I did!!  

 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’ll ever love running and cardio  -  but I know I don’t have to dread it.  That was my plan.  Have fun during the workout, get out of my head and enjoy the morning with friends.  I listened to my coach when he told me to go unbroken and pushed myself without even realizing it.  I took a nice deep breathe before picking up the wall ball, relaxing my heart rate and my mind.  Breathing, what my mom has reminded me to do for so long. The excitement I had after that workout, knowing I finished, made me extremely proud of myself.  That was my “win” for the day.  

 

 

One of my favorite coaching cues is to take a breath.  Relax.  Bring your heart rate down and attack whatever we are working on with confidence.  Always walk up to the barbell confident.  Never shake your head no before a lift or a movement.  Lift didn’t go as planned?  It’s not a failure but more a lesson.  Do we need to engage our lats more, maybe drop under that barbell faster?  Do I get frustrated after a failed attempt?  Heck yes.  But I smile and laugh it off.  Don’t be mad at yourself about it.  Yes, it’s frustrating but having a temper tantrum isn’t going to make that second attempt go well.  Step away; maybe take a short walk around the gym.  Get out of your head.  Tell yourself you can lift it and go for it again.  Did it happen?  Awesome!!  Did it not?  That’s OK.  (see Cam’s previous blog post “So You Didn’t PR, Know what?  November 3, 2017).  

 

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