Confidence is not what we’ve been told it is.

“Despite everything we’ve been told, confidence does not come from the experience of winning. True confidence comes from knowing you can give your absolute best effort in any given moment. Wheelhouse workout? Hell yeah. Workout full of weaknesses? Let’s f*ckin go. Never done this before in your life? I’ll figure it out. Confidence is being in complete control of how you respond to your circumstances, no matter what’s thrown at you. Do your circumstances influence your attitude and effort? Or can you perform to your potential anytime, anywhere, on any playing field? That’s confidence. And it’s a superpower.”- Christine Bald, CompTrain

I read this blog that Ben Bergeron and his team put out after the first workout of The Open was released. The story was focused on Katrin Davisdottir and Brooke Wells going after their second attempt of 20.1. The post talked about their mindset of heading into the first redo of the season, mentioning how both were anxious and not their usual selves. They both spoke to this effect of focusing on the outcome instead of putting forth their best effort. I read this blog and thought to myself, that’s exactly what I need to focus on. I need to stay out of my head, focus on moving through the workout and leaving everything I have out on the floor, I always feel amazing when that happens!

Fast forward 5 weeks. Just wrapped up 20.5, like literally wrapped it up 3 hours ago, the soreness hasn’t even set in yet, and everything that I read and agreed with before went right out the freaking window. I went into the workout with a plan. A perfect scheme, not too much volume, attainable sets, and I absolutely love wall balls, I was ready for this workout! Until I was in it. I did the workout a day late, so I didn’t request a judge. I was counting my sets myself and holding myself to all of the standards when I look up at the clock, I was five rounds in to my 10 rounds, but the clock read 11:38.

Wait, what? No that can’t be right, I thought, there’s no way I’m moving that slow.

And that my friends, was the beginning of the end. I tried to move a little bit faster to make up some ground. Then I lost track of what round I was on, I panicked trying to do math, everything seemed wrong. I kept moving but by the time I got back to my rower the clock shut off, I don’t remember where I was or how many calories I accumulated so I rowed another 8 jumped off and by this time its 19:00 on the clock. And I gave up. I looked at my rounds, I had just entered 9 and because I thought that I couldn’t do 2 rounds in 1 minute I gave up. I literally stopped working and just stared up at the clock, so mad at myself. Why didn’t I move faster?

How could I not have finished the workout? What went wrong?

Truth is, I was doomed from the start. Just like how Katrin and Brooke were nervous to head into their redo because of their expectations and pressures of the need to do better, it messed everything up. I went into that workout thinking I have to finish this workout. There is no reason why I shouldn’t finish this workout. But that is the number one reason why I didn’t.. I held myself to an expectation rather than just being confident and tackling the workout.

Most people look at The Open as a test of fitness. Honestly, it’s much more than that. It’s a test of how you handle pressure, how you speak to yourself when no one is around, a test of the effort that you bring to each and every workout. This Open has taught me more about myself and my mental game than any other open before. The Open is designed to challenge yourself against your best self. How far and how willing are you going to go in order to become your best self? The best athlete you can be? It all starts by what is in between your ears, not your physical capabilities.

I may not have finished 20.5 today, but in a way I’m glad that I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, its still simmering on the verge of anger and bitterness when spoken about, but I’m learning more and more to not be so hard on myself.

I want you to ask yourself, what is your why? Why do you do CrossFit? Why do you sign up for The Open?

I bet even if you asked Katrin or Brooke, they would not say to become the fittest in the world, but rather to test themselves against themselves, to find their weaknesses so they can exploit them and make them stronger. I show up everyday to prove to myself that I am capable of amazing things and that I am greater than the negative self-talk that goes on inside my head. Our mindsets are a choice we make before we start warming up, before we even get to the gym. It starts as soon as we get up in the morning and start the day.

So, my challenge to you, make today the best day ever, because you are capable of just that.