Photography: Oscar Bravo
After the 2016 CrossFit Games, I wrote a blog about how dissatisfied I was with my performance. At the time, my overall outlook was frustrated and negative. I made the choice to publish those feelings, for two reasons: to offer you an open and honest look into one athlete’s experience, and to benchmark my mentality for future comparison.
It’s taken me 2-3 months, but I’m starting to feel a difference. I’m less focused on the past, and more excited about the future. Better yet, I’m noticing myself grabbing handfuls of moments; being present where I am and making as much progress as I can today. Trying to “seize the carpe,” if you will.
This is both a conscious pursuit and a natural process.
It’s a conscious pursuit because I’m striving to nail the basics. I want to do my meditation every day. I covet sleep as if it is steroids. I do things in training that leave me feeling better than when I walked in the gym. I try to express gratitude. All these things support my well-being and my athletic potential.
It’s a natural process, because it takes time. Every year after the games, every year, I feel like retiring. Call it a hangover, call it depression; I had similar feelings of exhaustion after finishing high-school and university. I think this is a common result for many people. You build yourself up for so long, do what needs to be done, achieve and sustain a homeostasis, and then suddenly remove that chronic stimulus. The body and mind don’t know what to do… but they figure it out eventually.
I know from experience that if I bide my time, if I conserve myself, if I allow my spirit to regenerate, it will eventually spark back to action. As mentioned in “2017 Starts Now,” I’m feeling a natural enthusiasm for training again. I didn’t want to force myself back to the gym right after The Games, with an attitude of neediness and desperation. That would be the wrong door to enter the 2017 season.
I think it’s better to sit back and observe my thoughts. When the balance starts to shift towards acceptance, gratitude, and hopefulness, this is fertile ground for a successful season, and an appropriate time to roll into more productive training.
So, I am posting this for two reasons. I want to document my shift in perspective. I also want to offer support and evidence to anyone else who is in a similar slouch. Be patient with yourself – notice your fatigue and frustration as signs that you have worked hard for something you care about.
If you nail the basics, and give yourself time, you will have the best possible chance for a successful comeback. I’m not much of a surfer, but I think it’s the same out there on the water: you can’t just thrash around. If you work hard, with the correct timing, the wave will pick you up and take you where you desire. If you do happen to miss it or fall off, the next wave will be along shortly for you to try again.