Saturday, 3 December 2016

Overcoming the mental challenges

This is a photo with my Crossfit coach and I from about 18 months ago.

I had just completed for the first and only time, the Crossfit hero workout called Murph.

Murph is named after Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2005.

Michael Murphy is also portrayed in a 2013 movie called 'Lone Survivor.'

Crossfit honour Michael Murphy by doing a workout that he liked to do. It is this:

1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 air squats
1 mile run

Long story short, it took me just over 66 minutes to do that lot.

Those that know me will know that I can't do a pull up to save myself so I replaced those with ring rows. I'm not that great at push ups either but managed to get through all 200 of those. The air squats were marginally easier.

When I finished, one of the other members of the 'box' that I attend mentioned that you never feel so good about a 1 mile run as you do at the end of that lot and he was right. It was the best 1 mile I had ever run. Unfortunately I wasn't running at Roger Bannister pace but I managed to complete it which was very satisfying.

As you can see by the amount of work involved in that lot it is a mental challenge as much as it is a physical challenge. Before I started Crossfit I could barely do one push-up so doing 200 in one "sitting" was a great achievement for me. (Although I did pay for it a couple of months later)

How did I manage to overcome this challenge?

1. I kept on telling myself that it was only going to be one hour of my life so it's not going to be purgatory even though it might feel like it, especially when you get to 30 push-ups and you still have 170 to go.

2. I also reminded myself that I was doing it for my health and fitness which is quite important, right?

3. What also kept me going was the thought that once I had completed it, no one could take that away from me. It is like someone running a marathon. They can't take that away from you once you have accomplished it. You just keep going.

4. Finally, I had a couple of Winston Churchill's quotes in my head:

"If you are going through hell, keep going."

And my personal favourite

"Never, never, never give up."

Remember, you might be hurting and you don't want to run anymore but in all likelihood it is your brain telling you that you have had enough. Sometimes you shouldn't listen to your brain because it is trying to protect you, so it is trying to get you to give up. Sometimes you just can't do that. You have to keep going and that is where the big prize comes.

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