WOD 2: Strengthen Your Mind

https://vimeo.com/karencrossfitter

At 5’7” tall, you might think that I would not be scared of a 20″ box jump but you are wrong. I was scared not because of the box but because of flipping over and hurting my shin or fall face front.

It was Elena, Reps Gyms Owner’s wife who encouraged me to take the first leap of faith. The first time I attempted to jump the box was in January of 2014. I hesitated, before the box, edged towards it but backed away a bit and prayed about it.

“Don’t be afraid. Don’t think of the fear. Just jump.” She said encouragingly.

I wasn’t terrified. It’s probably an understatement. I was petrified!

The fear overwhelmed me and kept me frozen for at least 3 minutes before I screamed in my head “JUMP!”

“Flop!” was the sound that came off when my knee hit the top of the box. It was a bad landing. Wait, it wasn’t a landing period! I didn’t even get onto the box.

“Dear God, please make me a ninja. Don’t embarrass me please!” I cried pleadingly as I desperately needed to jump. The feeling was intense as it built up inside me. Finally, I took a deep breadth and jumped! A loud thud. I had a good landing even though there was somewhat an impact. YAY I made it. My very first successful attempt.

Think about it.

Outside of CrossFit, when was the last time you jumped as high as you could into the air? Maybe if you play basketball or you’re in the military, but for everybody else (particularly for women) the need to jump just doesn’t seem to come up that often. The last time you jumped as high as you could might have been at an age that ended in the word “teen” and so you might have some apprehension when the WOD calls for box jumps.

2 months later. I challenged myself to do it again. The fear came back and it was double-fold. I stood staring at the box again with the sense of familiar fear and panic. Why was I even panicking? I had no idea. However, I was getting angry at myself and kept telling my mind that I could do this. It took me 15 minutes to muster enough courage to jump. I FAILED.

Kim Lee, the gym owner said to me “Karen, attempt jumping onto the tyre one at a time to gain momentum.”

1.) Start small. It doesn’t matter if the WOD is “Fight Gone Bad” and the standard is a 20″ box jump. If you’re not a comfortable, experienced jumper, then use the 12″ box and nail it repeatedly. Then move to the 16″, then the 20″, and beyond. Progress slowly if you have to — but continue to repeatedly challenge yourself and your limits.

I parked my fear aside and FOCUSED.

2.) Focus on the top of the box at first. Stare at it and visualize your feet planted firmly in the middle of the top. Do this for every jump. As you progress, you can move your gaze forward until you’re jumping with the box in your peripheral vision but don’t worry about that at first. Just worry about planting your feet in the middle of the top.

3.) Get mad at the box. It’s a stupid piece of wood and, if you’re scared to do it, that means the box is conquering you. It owns you. How pathetic is that? In my house, we have a saying: “Today, I will not be defeated by inanimate objects.” It sounds really stupid but, the next time you’re struggling with a stubborn jar lid, repeat this saying to yourself and you’ll find yourself twisting off that lid like you’re Superman.

4.) When you’re really tired, deep in the WOD, and you still have to box jump, revert to #2, even if you think you’ve licked this box jump fear. Fatigue can do funny things to your mind, as we all know. Focus and refocus and you’ll get through it.

5.) Add the box jump to your warm-up at least once a week, preferably twice. It doesn’t have to be a lot of jumps: just 10 at a time. Repeated exposure at low levels will help.

6.) If you fall, do it again right away. Jump immediately. Really. The more you postpone the activity, or avoid it, the worse  the fear will become. It doesn’t matter if your shin has a bruise 3″ wide and you’ve left skin on the floor, jump again right away. Don’t wait.

Fear is a funny thing. Not “ha-ha” funny but you know what I mean. Fear is simply a Fake Emotion that Appears Real. That’s what it stands for. It’s a matter of telling your mind that you can do it and say it repeatedly.

That’s what I did followed by gaining the momentum of jumping from 1 tyre to another and then onto the box. Not 1 but 2 but 3 but 4.

Once you’ve mastered your fear of the box jump, it becomes addictive. You’ll want to jump more, and higher, and you’ll find that you no longer want to limit your jumping to the inside of a CrossFit gym. That bench at the park? Jump it. That chair in your dining room? Nail it. Climbing into bed at night? So much more fun than sitting down and swinging those legs over.

This obsession can, however, put you in an odd predicament as a jumping grown-up among those who no longer jump. People will look at you oddly so resist the urge to jump in public places. Really. Don’t be like me. Or else you’ll find yourself in a school gymnasium, right under the backboard, waiting to pick up your 8-year-old son after school, in a sea of non-jumping grown-ups, none of whom seem to have the urge that you do — that urge to jump up and touch the bottom of the net. The net is right over your head, after all, the threads hanging down so temptingly. But you are in a pair of dress pants and a shirt with French cuffs, looking to all the world like a serious English professor, and yet your internal dialogue goes something like this:Don’t do it. Don’t jump. Be normal. Nobody else is jumping in their business suit and their grown-up shoes. Really. Just blend in. Stop it. You’re only 5’7″ for God’s sake, you can’t reach the bottom of the net anyhow. Be normal. Be normal. BE NORMAL!

Oh, what the hell. Might as well jump!

Strengthen Your Mind

https://vimeo.com/karencrossfitter

I want to create a series of my WOD Crossfit videos as I embark  on the Crossfit journey.
Crossfit strengthens my mind and helps me to overcome negativity and weak thoughts.
Everyone has more than 60,000 thoughts in your mind and it’s a matter of labeling the positive or negative thoughts.

How I Started

It wasn’t a fluke. It happened in October 2013.

I have always wanted to be a Personal Trainer but never had the faith to do so. Then one fine day, I decided to go for an interview knowing that I had not had any preparation done to my body. For some reason, I became lazy and used time as an excuse. My energy and strength got depleted, however, I still went ahead thinking that if I gave it my all, I might get the job…..

This particular gym was looking for Personal Circuit Trainers.

“Welcome to the House of Doom!” he exclaimed. “Those who can’t complete the test will not get out of here alive!” lamented with a sinister chuckle.

There were 3 of us; 2 Sports graduates from a local University and myself. A wave of defeat swept over me but I shook away the negative thought persistently. We were told to complete 3 sets of 5 obstacles in 1 minute and rest 30 seconds in between each set. Looking at the obstacles, I told myself I could do them. They looked easy.

Obstacles:

Overhead lifts

Bench Press

Sumo Lift

RX/Chin ups

Running Man

Battle Ropes

As I began my second set, my legs started to get wobbly and arms started to shake. I had chosen only a 8kg of weights for the lifts so when it came to chins up, I needed a push-up support from the bottom to get my chin over the bar and then hold for 3 seconds. We were told to perform 5 chin-ups but I was able to do 3.

“Karen, get onto the TRX!” he shouted.

Phew I was able to pull myself up with TRX and did it repeatedly for 1 minute.

I felt an excruciating pain  on my quads and arms. The 2 guys were also experiencing difficulty but I told myself I could finish. When it was time for the last set, I gave it my all and pushed myself even though my body strength was failing me bit by bit.

“Time!” he shouted. “Here’s the bonus! Everyone stands in a line and battle rope for 30 seconds. I know all of you are exhausted but give it all! Push yourself” he shouted.

I squeezed out the strength of every inch of my muscle and finally he shouted “Change!” We needed to get onto the last exercise which was “Running Man” for the last 30 seconds.

Ok the last 30 seconds I could do this! I screamed and moved like a runner on 2 hands but in a kneeling position. I collapsed at the last count and slowly picked myself up. I received a pat on the back from one of the stronger guys. “Good Work! All of you completed the training and this is called Crossfit” he said encouragingly. “Not all of you qualified for the job but I will be in touch.” He walked into his office.

“OMG! I survived and completed! eshot and WME helped me!”

Unfortunately, I puked because my body wasn’t conditioned to perform such explosive workouts.

However, I felt a sense of satisfaction and went home with an aching body.

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Strengthen Your Mind First