The open ascends on us like an ominous storm. We have already felt the first few drops with 14.1 Some of us managed to find early shelter while others were caught in the rain. These storms tend to have a different affect on each of us. Some people retreat to the safety of mediocrity while others move swiftly under the cover of an umbrella which they have learned to carry for such situations. There is another group, however, those who have learned to embrace the pelting tenebrous precip. In an effort to achieve success the latter of these groups is who we must become. We must learn to welcome the discomfort associated with it. This is not as simple as saying that we will do so. We must train ourselves in our approach to such vicissitude as we do for the act itself. We practice moving a barbell but how often do we practice the mindset required to sustain discomfort, and furthermore make that place a place of solace.
Here are some things to carry with you during the next four weeks and beyond….
1. What you are doing is very silly.
Do not ever forget that what you are doing is exercising in front of a camera. As children we play on the playground, exhibiting great feats of athleticism without thought to them. Every day we visit our gym and do amazing things. Why then, does a person standing with a clipboard have any impact on how you apply your athleticism? Your capacity has not changed with their arrival. Remember you are a child on a playground and all of this is silly.
2. This is not the pinnacle of what you have endured.
Think on all of the things that you have lived through. Find the time that was so overwhelming that you truly believed that you would not survive it. Place yourself in that moment. Smell those smells and hear those sounds once again. Now return yourself to the present. Whether you just returned from combat or the hospital or the start of a major sporting even it will put into perspective the nature of your current situation. Personally I think back on the moments prior to walking out to enter a steel cage for an MMA bout or the first time I willingly flung myself from an aircraft in flight. No workout will ever result in such a degree of bodily harm as these things can. Now I am safe and this is not as serious a situation as it was a moment ago.
3. Know your capabilities and make a plan in accordance with them.
For some time I have preached a simple three part training philosophy. Know where you are, know where you want to be and know when you want to be there by. If you want to go to regionals then you need to have a combined score of less than about 400 after the 5 open workouts (or average 60th or better on each) It isn’t difficult to extrapolate what that will take in a given region. Now ask yourself, Do I have the capacity right now to achieve this? Remember, you will not rise to the occasion you will fall to the level of all of your previous training. If an athlete starts at a pace that is too aggressive their score will, without question, suffer as a consequence. Choose your pace and be patient.
4. Be ready when it counts.
I often get beat in workouts. This doesn’t bother me because they don’t count. Sure practicing victory is important for the psyche, however, if you approach a training event fresh so that you can “win” it you are doing yourself a serious disservice. Be fresh when it counts, both physically and mentally.
5. Have fun!
Remember that this is really all just a big game and we are all just big kids on a playground. We are blessed to have the faculty to move, to jump and run. The lowest score on earth is still an example of human movement, it is a pursuit of self betterment. You are better than yesterday, you are moving for those that can’t….. Don’t lose sight of that in all the numbers on the leader board.
~Coach Leo Jenkins @tfblack