Give Yourself Some Credit.
This is going to sound weird coming form a CrossFit Coach and gym owner but last night I finally understood why people love working out!
Last night was our opening Friday Night Lights of the 2019 CrossFit Open and it was our best one yet. The atmosphere was amazing, the gym was packed with incredibly wonderful, supportive, kind, dedicated, funny people and the workout was a genuinely enjoyable 15 minutes of 19 wallballs and 19 calorie rows.
It was fun! I liked doing it.
In the 8 years since I discovered exercise (I literally never did any at all until I was 39) this was honestly the first workout I have ever done that I wanted to do again because I thought it was fun, not because I wanted to improve my score but because I enjoyed it! I genuinely never, ever understood it when people told me how much they loved a workout that floored them. It was really hard, you were a hot, sweaty mess with Fran lung. How can that ever be enjoyable? Sitting on the sofa with the fire on watching a film and eating chocolate, now that I can see as enjoyable!
I beat myself up all the time for not being better, for not working harder, for not learning quickly enough, for not being fitter, faster, stronger. But imagine for one second how hard I must have worked over the last 8 years not having ever enjoyed working out!
I have never stuck at anything. I have never stuck at anything but CrossFit. And I’m not a natural athlete. I don’t come from a sporting background, I never did PE at school (it’s amazing how long it can take to find a lost PE kit - the whole lesson sometimes….) and so CrossFit takes me a million, squillion miles out of my comfort zone every single time I do it.
It has taught me so much about myself and for the longest time, it has only seemed to teach me negative things about myself, like how intrinsically lazy I am, what a slow learner I am, how mentally weak I am, how scared I am of everything, how great I am at avoiding things and putting them off - the list goes on, it really does.
But let’s have a little look at that list in context.
If I have really never found the joy in working out before, then actually, am I intrinsically lazy or actually pretty fucking driven? If for 8 years I have found every workout I do terrifying, am I scared of everything or actually really bloody brave because I did them anyway? If for 8 years I have battled with the negative voices in my head before, during and after a workout, does that make me mentally weak or mentally strong for conquering them?
I think actually, rather than being weak and lazy and scared for my whole life, I have actually been battling these demons for the last 8 years and not noticing all the little victories along the way - or dismissing them as irrelevant and inconsequential, when actually they have all led up to that one workout I did yesterday when I may actually have finally won the war!
This is quite a big moment for me.
For those of you like me, who beat themselves up for not being good enough, I want you to look at all the negative things you think about yourself - all the negative things you KNOW to be true about yourself and re-frame them.
You are here - against all the odds. You got yourself here - it sure as hell isn’t the last step on your journey but by Christ, you have had to battle to get here.