Day 4: What Can You Leave Behind?

barbell

I had a really shitty workout today. There are a lot of good reasons why it was shitty: it’s shark week and my hormones are wreaking their usual monthly havoc on everything, it was the third workout day in a row so I was tired and sore and not moving as well as I do normally; it’s Easter weekend so I don’t have the degree of control over my diet that I’m accustomed to. So really it should have been no surprise that it was kind of a crap workout…except that I let some other mental garbage in to mess with my head; other garbage that I haven’t had to worry about in a good while.

Here’s what happened: I had planned to do 4 heavy snatch singles today; WITH the video camera rolling. That piece is important, not only because it’s good material for social media or because it’s a good learning tool (especially when things don’t go as planned), but because the camera makes me freaking nervous, and I wanted some performance anxiety to fight with. I’m going to have to make these lifts under pressure in less than two weeks and I wanted to practice. So, I made the first one but it didn’t feel awesome. Watched the video…and to my surprise all I could see was what was wrong with my appearance: fat on my stomach, flying squirrel arms from gaining and losing hundreds of pounds over the years. I’m not gonna lie, it got to me a little bit. And my defenses were down because I haven’t worried about that stuff for a while. Anyway, I kept going: made the second one, watched the video (same inner critic chirping the same bullshit again.). Missed the third. Started to get frustrated and wondered if maybe I’ve made a bad mistake by committing to a competition before I’m ready. (And that thought was important; I’ll explain why in a minute). Tried it again and made it, but it was seriously shaky. Missed two attempts at the fourth, then gave up and moved on.

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​So. Practicing good mental hygiene is hugely important in the gym (and of course everywhere else in life), and what I mean by that is this: when something goes wrong and tears the fabric of what we had planned, we let the bare minimum of mental crap in through that hole. What I should have done is accepted that today I was worn out, that it was shark week, and that my nutrition hadn’t been on point the day before so my recovery was compromised. Instead I went to a whole new level and started telling myself that I was slow, fat, didn’t deserve to be there, blah blah blah. I let the snakes in.

That’s what I’m gonna leave behind today: the bad mental hygiene that threw me off my game. Training is way too much fun to let that shit get in the way,

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