Mind my WOD
The WOD as we all know. Is known as the Workout of the Day, which essentially in my view; means - that one workout that I will probably do on that day and I would want to squeeze every damn benefit out of it. The duration of the WOD will perhaps not cross the 15 min mark in a class setting anyway or unless there’s a special program at the Box to “torture” and “test” the limits of members.
During a WOD, I doubt anyone has any time to mingle or even engage in a full conversation, let alone utter a complete sentence. :-) I certainly can’t. You probably won’t be hearing anyone talk as well, except for an assorted noise of barbell smashing, grunting, huffing, puffing from your other mates in fatigue, mixed with House music blasting off the box’s speakers. So there we go - A majority of people doesn’t talk, but I’m sure there’s a lot going on in everyone’s heads.
“Oh my god, why am I doing this?” “My hands are blistering”, “Why are there so many reps?” “Why are there squats again?” “Must we always do sprints like this?” “Why 100 reps AFAP? Are the coaches mad?”
For sure, I do talk to myself or at least to the little evil minions in my head. Not many have shared about what they are actually thinking about during the WOD, but I’m cheekily happy to share these weird intimate details happening between my mind, my little evil minions and myself. As detailed as I hope I could be, these internal “cloud dialogues” could probably be broken down into the following moments, excluding spacing out ones during the WOD.
Many a times I struggle mentally when the class is briefed on the WOD with high volumes of my less than favorite movements. “Less than favorite” usually mean the movements that I personally struggle with form and proficiency. Unfortunately at this stage, there are MANY movements of such, which I struggle with, and I’m naming some examples but not limited to these: 50 Wall-balls, 25 Over-Head Squats, 25 Thrusters, 50 Pull-ups, Squat Snatches or
multiple 200m Sprints, etc. When I don’t like it, I will just tell my head that I love it. Sounds sickening but yes it helps by numbing your mind with more YES than NO.
At such times, I try to break it down into realistic installments of reps for each single movement. At the beep of the timer, I start the WOD by trying out this 1st installment to levels of between a very fine line of comfort and discomfort. At this very instance, I will whisper to my mind to stick with the same number of reps for the next installment. Of course, as the WOD progresses, the number of reps drops when the muscles starts complaining or fatigue sets in. I re-evaluate this by coaxing my mind to repeat the above. This helps me to trick my best friend (my mind) into looking forward to a smaller number of reps than just focusing on the large rep numbers of 50 or 100.
Now, when this happens it becomes excruciatingly tough for me. These imaginary evil minions start to surface, start gathering around your workspace and collectively complain to my head to stop. Silent streams of shouting and screaming into my head occur exponentially. When soreness or muscle fatigue starts to fall into place, a variety of mental trash talking begins. This silent trash talking somehow works for me in most aspects of my life, so this in no way different and it’s nothing more than being a helpful tool for me. So why not right? Examples: “Come on, there’s only 3 minutes left on the clock” “Don’t be a wuss” “You don’t wear manicure!” “We’ve been through worse!” “Never going to get rid of that muffin-top if you stop!” “Don’t waste your time here!” “No retreat, no surrender!” “It has been done before, you can do it too!”
Again, in the reality of things, there will definitely be points where your body has to stop to take a break during WOD. Tricking the mind is not easy for me if I constantly look at the timer, with seconds ticking away. Catching a glimpse at your peers hammering it away is also a double edge sword moment. It either motivates me or discourages me. It is at such points, I will choose to coax my mind to control my eyes on looking away from whatever I’m doing, take that 5-8 deep breaths and start the work again.
That One Last Push
In that last 1 minute: There’s nothing much to be described. It’s merely shutting out all doors in the mind and cracking on to the finishing line. The enemy is on the other side. The digit 1 on the timer is also motivating enough to know that the suffering is about to end. :-)
Nevertheless, at the end of the day we would all enjoy the WOD together and lamenting how tough it was with your peers. But, you go home a happier person knowing you’ve achieved something for the day. Sometimes a little sore.