Enjoy this guest post by April Lowe, CrossFit Games Masters Athlete (2015 & 2016 CrossFit Games) recently featured on MentalityWOD.com and shared with us. She recently finished 3rd place at The 2017 Wodapalooza Fitness Festival and is prepping for The CrossFit Games Open.
What Type of Mentality Helps You Perform Your Best?
I have discovered recently that I perform my best when I approach each competitive situation with a thankful heart. I found this out in the last few months while competing in the MIA Classic and American Open Weightlifting Meets, The Wodapalooza Qualifier, and The Wodapalooza.
As I am reflecting on these last few months and comparing it to my experience at the 2016 CrossFit Games, I realize the biggest difference from then to now is my attitude. See, at The Games, I didn’t feel like I had the mental composure and strength that I do now. At the time, I wasn’t sure what to focus on and how to set myself up for success. I wasn’t able to perform like I felt I was capable of performing, mostly because of my mental game. I knew that I needed to make a change, and begin working on it as soon as I got home from Carson. I hired Dawn Fletcher and we got to work.
We are all motivated by different factors. No one way is right or wrong. I have tried different approaches over the years. I have never competed well in an angry or aggressive – that will never help me PR or move faster in a metcon. Getting super hyped doesn’t work either because I start off too fast and fizzle out. And even though I believe I have always been grateful for what I get to do, I never consistently felt that way in competitions. Mostly, I’ve just walked around in a haze feeling scared, nervous and anxious in competitions.
When I am intentional about finding gratitude in the middle of the competitive event, everything changes. I stop looking at my competitors and comparing, I stop feeling fearful and afraid… I feel less stressed. TIME SLOWS DOWN. I laugh, I smile, I feel lighter. I embrace the nerves instead of wasting energy fighting them. I find ways to ENJOY the moment.
In the middle of all the craziness of a competition, I start giving thanks.
I give thanks for:
- My coaches and the support crew for giving up their time to coach me in the event
- My health, athleticism, and strength
- The opportunity to reconnect with so many friends I rarely get to see
- The awesome text messages and well wishes my friends and family are sending me
- The nerves because I know they are telling me I am doing something that matters
- The ability to live a life that challenges and excites me
- The fact that I get to/choose to do this
In the past, I’d allow my thoughts and emotions to be determined by my surroundings and the people around me. Now, I know how to prep myself mentally, so I can determine my attitude, which sets me up for performing my best. I commit to certain practices that help me feel calmer and more confident.
I’m continuing to work on my mentality because I know that I want to be able to adapt to anything that CrossFit (or life) throws at me. I want to stay present, stay grateful and continue to compete with the best in the sport. I want to focus on what I can control, and trust that the rest will work itself out, hopefully taking me back to The Games.
It’s exciting to have finally tapped into what makes me a better competitor and more importantly what makes competing so much more enjoyable. What type of mentality helps you perform your best? Comment below.
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