Laura DeMarco Nielsen competed in the CrossFit Games beside me in 2009 and again in 2010. Today, as I was scrolling through the newsfeed on Facebook, I read her status update, which contained the picture to the left along with this statement:
“The barbell is one of the few things in life that is unflinchingly, brutally honest with you. Moreover, it holds your face to the mirror and forces you to look inside. Are you distracted? Angry? Lacking confidence? Focus or fail.
Barbell work is arguably once of the most effective meditation practices“.
Of course, I am in no way arguing that lifting weights is the only means to looking at oneself in a “mirror”; it is certainly not the only means to self-discovery. However, I would venture to say that few people think of what we do in CrossFit as a means of reflection.
Golfer, Bobby Jones, was once quoted to say, “Competitive sports are played mainly on a five-and-a-half inch court: the space between your ears”.
This statement couldn’t be more true. What happens to us at the gym is telling of what is going on in our minds. Why else could it be possible to get 185 lbs overhead one day, but fail at 15 lbs less the next? Why is it that some days we feel like we can attack any WOD thrown in our direction, and other days we simply crumble under the weight of a workout at which we previously dominated?
The next time this happens, take some time out to think, and thereby discover why these events are unraveling the way that they are at the gym.
The barbell always does its part. You have to do yours.