It’s 2017… its the time when people start asking themselves what they want to strive for this calendar year. Many of us are evaluating 2016, asking ourselves what we want to change, improve, or even rid ourselves of in 2017.
You may have already made your “resolutions” for 2017, but there’s still time to ask yourself the all-important question that drives our every motivation and action… “What’s MY Why?”
Check out this awesome blog by Coach Nick, written after he returned from Power Monkey Camp…
As a child I never had the opportunity to attend summer camp. I didn’t play any team sports, wasn’t involved in gymnastics, and had no musical talents. Leading up to Power Monkey Camp I had no expectations, and it would prove to be one of the most inspiring, motivating and physically taxing experiences of my life. Not to mention the greatest adult summer camp ever.
On the first night, Jason Leydon owner of CrossFit Milford gave a fantastic presentation on programming, the science of training, and what it means to be an athlete. His gym sent two teams to the 2016 CrossFit Games, one of them taking second place. With one simple question, he set the tone for the week:
What is your Why?
This really began to resonate with me the deeper I pondered the question. What is my Why? Why did I start CrossFit? Why did I become a trainer? Not only why, but how did I get on this path?
Growing up I was always very much the introvert. I was never the most popular kid in class. I always had a small, tight knit group of friends. I was shy, nervous, anxious, quiet, and stressed. I wouldn’t develop a sense of self or really break out of my shell until 9th grade. I absolutely dreaded public speaking and the mandatory class musicals were the bane of my existence.
I would have never imagined being in a position of teaching and conducting a fitness class, especially since I almost failed 9th grade gym class!
After a long second day of training, Ben Bergeron, owner of CrossFit New England and coach to tops athletes such as Mat Fraser, Katrin Davidsdottir, Cole Sager and Brooke Wells, gave an inspiring lecture on competitive excellence and how to optimize your training. One thing he touched on that really struck a chord was to remember that all you can control is you!
The things we can truly control include: recovery, training, mindset, stress, and nutrition.
We need to give our best effort at any given moment, especially in regards to the things we can control. Our best effort shouldn’t just be applied to the workout of the day, our best effort should include our jobs, spouse, friendships, hobbies, and our Self. Stressing about the things we cannot control, such as the weather, other athletes scores, or what Donald Trump said that week, only distracts us from giving our best effort in the areas we can control and the things we should be focusing on. Ben’s definition of mental toughness is the ability to give your best effort, regardless of the competition. So regardless of whatever curve balls life throws at us, try to focus on the controllable and being the best version of you, in any given situation.
Throughout the rest of the week I spent a lot of time with Olympic athletes, campers from Brazil, Alaska, Canada and Fiji. There we many surreal moments in those first couple days from eating lunch with Annie Thorisdottir, working out with Ron Ortiz, conversations with Jeff Martone, watching Katrin and Cole workout, Chad Vaughn lifting, the list goes on. But the one thing that I’ll always remember is that everyone has a story. Even for those who don’t think they are worth sharing, we all have experiences that may influence or inspire someone else.
So I’ll ask you, what is your Why?
To test yourself in ways you never thought possible? To help manage stress? To be strong? To learn some freaking double unders?
If your Why is big enough, it will take care of itself.
I’ll ask you another question, what is the most contagious thing in the world? It’s a negative thought, not a positive action. Most of how we respond to stress, daily interactions or the everyday minutia starts between the ears. What is your self talk like? Do you congratulate yourself after pushing through what may be the hardest hour of your life? Or do you critique every little move, thought or even action? Pay attention to how you view and judge yourself, it can directly translate into getting that big promotion, PR or landing a date with your crush.