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Swapping “Can’t” for “Can” – Changing Your Mindset, a Blog by Felicia

Confidence! Believe in yourself! You can do it!

Three years ago, I walked into CrossFit Off the Grid and stepped out of my comfort zone to try something I would never have imagined myself doing. I couldn’t even lift more than the 15 pound training bar over my head. Today, I did the Rookie Rumble*, my first CrossFit competition, as an intermediate level competitor. How does that happen? To be honest, I don’t know, because I never believed that it would.

From the beginning, I came and I worked out almost everyday. I tried my best, but I constantly questioned myself.

I would look at the whiteboard and think, “I can’t do that.”

I remember someone telling me that I should be able to back squat my bodyweight. My head said, “Yeah right. That will never happen!” Soon I started to verbalize these negative thoughts that were in my head. I would use my sarcasm to cover up my insecurities with movements and lifts that seemed insurmountable to me. Coaches told me that I needed to stop with the negative self-talk. I knew that I needed to do it too. Stopping it was a different story though.

I needed to find a way to believe in myself.

I posted lots of positive self-affirmations and read even more. I tried telling myself, “You can do this,” as opposed to what I had been saying before. By doing this, I saw some very positive results. I considered competing in a CrossFit competition, but by the time I decided to do it, it was sold out. Weeks later, a friend from the box found out that she wasn’t going to be able to go, and was going to sell me her beginner ticket. I went to practice the workouts and was told that I should be doing the intermediate ticket, not the beginner. That night, I had the opportunity to get a ticket to compete as an intermediate CrossFitter. I took the opportunity.

Anxiety! Once I decided to compete, beginner or intermediate didn’t matter, the anxiety set it.

I began to question myself all over again…

I began to stress myself out and undo all of the positive work that I had strived so hard to overcome. Instead of saying, “I can do this.” I started saying, “I don’t know if I can do this.” The negativity returned. I reached out for help and got some amazing advice. I was told to compliment myself after every workout. I was told to find something positive in what I did during that day’s wod. It could be something small. Pr’s don’t happen every day; however, looking for the good in each workout, can certainly change one’s outlook.

Today, I competed.

I went in with an appropriate amount of nerves, not a frantic mess. I felt prepared, but still somewhat worried. The first event was a lift complex. I was only 5 pounds away from my personal best, but that put me in last place going into the next wod. I didn’t freak out. I didn’t panic. I looked at one of the coaches and said, “I am not coming in last. That is not ok. I am going to kill the next wod.” I was still nervous, but I got in there and competed. After wods 2 and 3, I ended up finishing 25 out of 33. I wasn’t at the top and that was completely fine. I overcame my fears, my anxiety, and my negativity. I put myself out there and most importantly, I tried my best and believed that I could do it.

All of us can overcome our fears and insecurities, especially with the support of great coaches and friends in one of the best communities that exists.

*Blog written on October 8th, 2016.

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