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.
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,