Morning Chalk Up

Mental Stamina and Training for Life

March 19, 2018 BY Tammy Valentine
Mental Stamina and Training for Life
Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Ben Bergeron

CrossFit, like most sports, is a magnet for cream of the crop individuals. These are the folks that give a damn about their health, their nutrition, their families, and their athletic performance. This elite group of individuals truly care about community, dignity, and helping one another be better, as friends and athletes.

A regional competitor once told me she’s a bad mom when she doesn’t make time to train and eat clean. Rightfully so. And with all the cliche mumbo jumbo about the “Process, not perfection, it’s all about the journey” yada yada,  it raises the question, “Why is it so heartbreaking for this different breed of individuals to accept when every lift isn’t a PR?”

As athletes, one of the most important muscles to develop is the one that sits right between our ears. Our brains require training just as much as accessory or skill work to help us propel to the next level. Games Athletes, Mat Fraser and Katrin Davidsdottir have been crowned the Fittest in the World, but there is something else they have in common; their coach, Ben Bergeron. Bergeron is known for his no-bullshit, mental toughness coaching philosophy that can help anyone become a champion of their own life. His secret? Amalgamating a calculated process of unpacking the assets that make athletes better people.

“Why is it so heartbreaking for this different breed of individuals to accept when every lift isn’t a PR?”

A lot of Bergeron’s teachings point back to the doctrine of Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, especially, habit #3, put first things first. This habit is about life management, identifying your purpose, your priorities, and your core values. This teaching is easily applied to training in-and-outside of the gym. When it comes to PR’s and attacking goals, Bergeron and Covey put strong emphasis on mindfulness, attitude, preparation, and effort. As hard as it is for CrossFit overachievers to be eaten alive by workouts, like 18.4, the truth of the matter comes down to mental preparedness.

Games Competitor and Entrepreneur, Jason Khalipa dropped a truth bomb over the weekend with this social media post. His point? Be sure to find the balance between the things that are most important in life: friends, family, health, and working hard in the gym. If you’re aligned with your goals and taking steps to make progress, then you’re doing what you need to do. On the other hand, it’s when you expect large outcomes without taking the time to do the work when expectations are unrealistic. One of the best quotes that relates to this is, “Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do,” Orebela Gbeng.

If you’ve put in the mental training and stamina development, you will hit that next PR, but don’t be upset if you didn’t put in the work to make it happen. It all comes down to training the muscle in between your ears and harnessing the burning desire to crush your goal. Identify your why, create a plan of intention, and go after it.