Mental blocks

Yesterday, the WOD was a 5k run. Instead of meeting this with enthusiasm and a sense of adventure, I automatically said NO. And this time, nobody could convince me otherwise.

There are a few things behind my revulsion here:

  1. I hate running.
  2. I am not a runner. (Not yet, anyway.)
  3. I can’t stand the feeling of a DNF.
  4. I was scared shitless.

Now, before you get on your pedestal and tell me that anyone can do anything if you put your mind to it, let me explain.

One and two can sort of merge together. I understand completely that I cannot become a runner if I don’t eventually TRY to run. But it’s hard for me to even TRY to run if I HATE doing it. At the same time, this was the sort of logic I’ve used my entire life in relation to exercise and athletics. “I am not an athlete, and I hate athletics.” Now it’s more like, “I AM an athlete, and I love Crossfit.” Better. My thing is, sort of, that my mind is having a hard time keeping up, AND I need more time to ease into a 5k. Do you think that I just hopped on a rower one day, after NEVER rowing, and was like, Heh, Imma row a 5k for the Red Cross? No! Hell no! I’ve been practicing my rows for months! Running on the other hand? We’ve done a few outdoors warm-ups that included anything from running 200m to 600m. And by about meter 250, I wanted to DIE. No, really. Wanted. To. Die. One time, Coach Dean ran almost a full lap with me, telling me to just put one foot in front of the other. And recently, Coach Kevin told me he’d kick a foot up my ass if I didn’t run. Great encouragement, really, but this was really for short-distance running. Not for a 5k. And not even for a mile.

This brings me to three and four. I wasn’t only scared of the long distance, but I was scared that I would DNF. I’ve DNF’d a WOD once, and I still remember how intensely horrible the feeling was, even though I got massive amounts of encouragement. It’s a feeling I never want to relive. But then there are people who believe that you have to fail in order to get stronger. I get that logic, I do, but I don’t really buy into it. Not now at least. I remember how I almost didn’t come back after that DNF, and how scared I was to do any WODs containing high-reps of situps for a long time after (I still am, actually!).

I actually think that part of the appeal of Crossfit is that I see the next day’s WOD post, often think to myself OH SHIT!, force myself to go, and then feel awesome for doing so. It’s this delicate balance of sweat and fear and guts. There is almost always fear. But this time, fear won. Were it a 1-mile run to ease me in? Yeah, it would have been really scary, but I would have known I could complete it. The not knowing is the worst! Who knows? Maybe I wouldn’t have DNF’d the 5k, but I didn’t want to take the risk, AND I didn’t want to take two hours to complete it, either (no, seriously, this is a legitimate concern).

In the mean time, I’ll keep working my ass off, and I’ll practice my running when it comes up. But I’m just not ready for a 5k. Not now, at least.


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Exuberant photographer, artist, writer, designer, wannabe chef, and Crossfitter.

9 thoughts on “Mental blocks”

  1. Guess what? About 25% of the athletes scaled the distance yesterday. The mental issue is on my suck list as well. All we can do is get our asses in there and do our best. Only this wil make us stronger D! ❤

  2. I used the “I’m too sick to run” excuse. I can’t run the 200 yards around the parking lot island without wanting to die either, so I can totally relate.
    Plus, I hate asking coaches about scaling (sorry, Kim).

      1. Nope, because I worry about that too. For most WODs. I’m pretty sure that’s why I don’t come in as much anymore. I know I need to scale and I’m tired of the “you don’t need to scale” looks and feeling like I’m a loser for having to ask.

  3. Hi,

    Great post! You don’t need to be afraid to scale. I still scale reps or weights. I will get that “you don’t need to scale” look too but sometime i just scale it in my head. Don’t ever be afraid to talk to any of the coaches. I freak when I hear time limits and lots of reps. The coaches are there to assist but sometimes it’s a mental game. One thing I have learned from CF is scaling is ok and sometimes it’s just a mental block that you need unblock.

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