“You don’t control my body!”

 The Boy tells me in response to my efforts to get him to go to sleep.  Let’s just say it was a “go the f*ck to sleep” moment.

I was saying the same thing to myself last night in the midst of the worst workout ever.  Seriously, I don’t recall ever putting myself through so much turmoil in the gym- I couldn’t control my body!  Yesterday unseats my first attempt at “Nate” with inconsistent muscle-ups, as my PR for most frustrating training day.  The “Nate” debacle was quite a few months ago, so maybe I was due for a “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. 

Must get this funny book for the kid.

My frustration was magnified because I came into the gym feeling great and it was my day to work on something I love doing- the 3 position snatch.  I usually have so much fun with these, and enjoy breaking the snatch down and working on improving my technique.  Olympian Cara Head doing a snatch:

Last night, though, I felt like my brain didn’t control my body.  I was all over the place physically and emotionally and as much as I tried to regroup and focus I still couldn’t execute.  I can accept days when I don’t see 100% optimal physical performance from myself- I think that’s bound to happen at times.  What really got under my skin is that I allowed my mental focus to break and let frustration set in.  Not cool.   One of the things I was most proud of at the North Central Regional (http://games.crossfit.com/regions/north-central/leaderboard) this year was that although I didn’t finish “Amanda” I didn’t allow myself to lose focus and get upset by any failed muscle up attempts.  I just calmly worked my way through for the 15 minutes we had to complete it.  A weak mental state really snowballs.  As I worked last night suddenly I was feeling every ache and pain when I usually don’t feel anything while I’m training.  Suddenly every voice, person walking around or crack in the floor became a major distraction.  I have successfully max snatched with people diddling around in my immediate line of vision.  But without proper mental focus I was literally on my ass snatching less than 60% of my 1RM.  I guess it’s similar to when you’re driving- if you’re in a hurry everyone else on the road becomes a bad driver.

The 3 position snatch was just the first item on a laundry list of work I had to do in yesterday’s session, and frankly things didn’t get any better.  After sleeping on it, I woke up feeling ready to look at the bright side this morning.  I genuinely do think you gain a lot from the bad days.  Part of being a competitor means performing when you have to no matter what the conditions are.  It doesn’t matter if you’re tired, sore, in a crowded or loud environment or if you’ve had a rough start to your day.  In some ways I want to leave yesterday as far behind me as possible.  At the same time, I want to remember yesterday because I don’t have a single training day to waste with mental weakness.  Now hopefully my coach won’t get me too bad for that clip I threw at him.

Working through a weakness on the big stage. Not exactly the model HSPU.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress”- Frederick Douglass

Author: Elisabeth Akinwale

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  • For me, a peripheral though nonetheless important take away from CF, and more specifically Oly lifting, is patience, and I am not a patient individual. Unfortunately for me, Oly lifting results in a very high failure rate. I think embracing instant gratification is great however it’s equally if not more important not to become overly emotionally frustrated when the desired end result isn’t immediately met. It’s easy to talk about perseverance, determination and drive but what’s often missed is one’s requirement to be patient with both herself as well as the process.

  • I think this happens in all facets of life, to be honest. That’s what training is about. In surgical training, there were days (and certainly are days) I would walk out of the OR completely frustrated. My hands weren’t working as smoothly as I wanted, I couldn’t get the exposure I needed, and a case that wasn’t hard the day before all of a sudden felt impossible. The thing is, the days I grew the most were after those days. I would come in the following day and was smoother, more focused, and had something to prove. I think it’s after failure that we really see what we’re made of. I’ll bet that you kill it the next time you lift….

  • I was going to ask you how your lifts were going yesterday at the box…to see if you were having a better day. But I didn’t want to make you lose focus haha. So…how was yesterday?

  • Haha! Yesterday was awesome, I had a blast. Actually it was funny, I had to play Let’s Make a Deal with The Man in Charge in order to even get to lift yesterday. The regularly scheduled program had no barbell work yesterday (clearly a punishment).

  • Love your blog! I had a similar day yesterday with the clean. I felt all out of sorts and let my emotions get the best of me. Very frustrating. Bad days make the good ones that much sweeter. Keep it up!!!