Originally posted August 14, 2010 by t.
Why are some athletes better than others? How can that one phenom do all those WoDs so much faster? Why does athlete “a” get better results from CF than “b”? How can some girls and guys post the fastest times and highest scores day in and day out? What is it they are doing differently? It’s simple. Just watch one of them. They all have things in common.
Just before the count of 3, 2, 1… go! They change. Some may give a nod and even a slight smirk. Others stare directly ahead with no measurable emotion showing. But each has a visibly notable change in demeanor just before the workout begins. They all anticipate the command of “Go” as they hope to shave even a tenth of a second by starting the workout on the “guh” part of go.
During the workout, they don’t mess about… they push themselves and spare no effort. They waste no time on water. They know it’ll be over before they’re dehydrated. And you’ll not see them going for more chalk either. They don’t look for a break in the chalk bucket and besides, they are confident their grip will last. They do not waste energy on motion that does not contribute to the end.
They push themselves to the point of collapse, and then maintain that pace. It’s at that pace they’ve learned intensity can be optimized. If at this pace they push any harder, they will have to slow for a break. Any slower and they’re wasting time. This pace is uncomfortable and painful.
These athletes induce upon themselves extreme physiological stress. The perceived lack of oxygen and the heart beating at near maximum rate elicits signals from the brain telling the body to slow or stop. But the athlete ignores the signals and tells his/herself that it’s only a warning, not a mandate, from the brain and they do not have to adhere.
At this intensity, the lungs produce fluid to be coughed up while rolling around on the floor after the workout. Add in blurred vision, auditory exclusion, numb fingers, hands, and even arms. And let’s not forget degradation of fine and often, gross motor skills. Hell, some of the women even piss themselves a bit. When he or she is done they’ll deal with the blisters, bleeding and dirty britches.
The discomfort and pain of this threshold dissipates quickly and are replaced with the rewards of accomplishment. And the reward is worth it.
The lowest common denominator… the one common characteristic possessed by all the champions and elite of any sport, competition, military unit, MMA, and CrossFit is their mindset. In these athletes, exist the ability to put aside the unimportant and go focus on the goal. And then do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. But not just acheive it, exceed it and to make the goal insignificant and only a stair step to the next.
So the next time you finish up a workout, presumably today or tomorrow at the latest, and walk out of your training facility, to get into your car and drive away. Ask yourself this… “am I ok to drive”. If it’s an easy “yes”, then one of two things happened at with your workout. Either you took ample time to cool down and recover. Or you didn’t give it your all.