Monday, June 9, 2014

Mental Toughness - Push Past the Suck

I work a lot on strength, cardio, mobility........something that I lack and need to work on daily is mental toughness. Doing research on this I found that I actually do some mental toughness activities (and didn't even KNOW it!) - but I do just as many things that tear that down. So here I am, researching mental toughness so I can be the most Bad Ass Ann I can be!

I read a few articles, but the one that spoke to me the most was "6 Elements of Mental Toughness". Obvi I'm going to relate it to me, but hopefully you can find helpful info in this too.

1. Flexibility: Now, we aren't talking about breaking out your awesome splits - believe me, they are awesome. Absorb the unexpected, don't get defensive, see the humor in it all, when the unexpected happens be able to find another solution. I suck at this. I am getting WAY better, but this is hard for me. My husband is a pro at being flexible. We took a test and he was labeled a "beach ball" for his ability to bounce around, be cool, and take it all in stride. Me? Clip board. A mother flippin clipboard. Pretty much if it's not written down, planned, or talked about (over analyzed) then I can't adapt. I'm not in the fetal position on the floor, but I'm close. Crossfit has helped this because there are so many unknowns. I don't know the workout until that day, competitions are not released until a few days before, you never know who is going to show up to a class and push you......Flexibility.

2. Responsiveness: The ability to remain engaged, alive, connected to the activity. This I do. I think I do this pretty well - of course I have shut down a time or two. I don't have many temper tantrums, but they happen - usually behind closed doors where there are not witnesses :)  I think I have always been pretty good at this because I'm doing something I love (Crossfit, Lacrosse, Field Hockey, Running, Triathlons) - I care too much to totally check out. And my mom taught me to NEVER quit.

3. Strength: Not He-Man strength, but that ability to dig deep. Push past the pain. Push past the suck. For this I have a few tricks - I have a ways to go with this one. People always say the mind quits before the body.....and it's so true. I am not going to give away all my secrets here - there are two people that know my buzz words for when I need to push past the suck. They also know what I respond to. I need to be "coached". I have spent my whole life on a field or on a team WITH a coach. If my brain hears someone tell me to do "one more", "go faster", "keep pushing" then it's on. I can do that. I can do one more, five more, whatever I need. I am now working on being able to push myself that way - telling myself to do one more.

4. Courage/Ethics: No brainer for me. Do the right thing, don't take short cuts, don't short yourself reps.....This one I just don't understand. I know it happens, I know at times it's a pure accident. The only person you short is yourself - skipping a few reps to beat the person next to you or your old's dumb. It's immature. It's not courage. I get pretty heated about this one. You showed up. Do the work.

5. Resiliency: Being able to bounce back from disappointment, mistakes, or missed opportunities. This one I've got on lock down. I do not quit. Period. One fail, mistake, etc is not going to keep me from my goals and dreams. If you find that one slip up has you in a tail spin, maybe you need to look at what you are doing. Do you REALLY want it? Is it something that you are doing because you want to and you really want to achieve that goal? Nothing is going to stand in the way of my goals.

6. Sportsmanship: I own this one. Years of practice on different teams my whole life. I LOVE to cheer people on, even opponents. It helps me stay focused, I like to make others feel good, and it keeps the positive vibes flowing. I've been asked a million times if I was a cheerleader - NOPE. I can quote most of Bring It On though.

So I'm working on breaking through walls, my flexibility, and my strength and ability to dig deep. Positive self-talk is key too. Hope you get the chance to cheer someone on and DO ONE MORE REP!