Road to Regionals: The Mental Side
After completing the CrossFit Open with some surprised success, my focus turned to preparing for the 2018 CrossFit East Regional. Being in both a new and ultra competitive region this year is not only exciting and but also extremely motivating. My training for the Open was relaxed, fun, and often based on how I was feeling both mentally and physically in the gym each day. If I felt good, we bumped the volume up and hit it hard. On the days where I was feeling beat up or drained mentally, we would do a quick, intense partner workout or something fun! Once I qualified for Regionals, I needed to figure out how to restructure my training without putting myself into a position like last year where I found myself in a mental hole during Regionals-prep. Once you get to this level, everyone is incredibly fit, everyone trains hard, and everyone is willing to give their soul out on the competition floor. But, its often what happens between the ears that plays a bigger role in the ultimate outcome. Here are a few ways I have sharpened my mindset to stay confident leading up towards the showdown in Albany, NY:
- Daily Reflection. Each day after training, I reflect on what went well and what I hope to improve moving forward. By taking the time to think through each day’s training and how I performed, I am able to better understand my strengths and weaknesses and what I need to focus on as I move forward.
- Balance. Personally, I love training…but I don’t love spending all my time inside the gym. Making sure to have enough time outside the gym with my loved ones, my dog, and my friends is what keeps me happy and hungry for more. I love taking my pup, Bey, to the park and going to different coffee shops across New York City. All these things have helped me train better and stay in a positive, confident headspace leading up to Regionals.
- Meditation. I started using an app called Headspace to clear up all the clutter in my head. Owning and running a company, coaching at an affiliate, and training at a high level, its easy to get caught up thinking about a thousand things a minute. Sometimes we all just need to slow down, breathe, and be alone with our mind in silence.
- Strategic Training. I have been competing in CrossFit for five years now and am pretty aware of what I need to improve and where I can thrive. My training has been structured to optimize my strengths while building up my weaknesses. My girlfriend, Catherine, has programmed and helped push me since finishing up the Open. It has been great to be able to give her feedback daily on how I was feeling and what I think we need to test or practice. I feel as confident as ever as we approach the big weekend!
- Listening to my Body. In the past I would push through severe fatigue and mental lethargy. Now, I understand just how important it is to be in tune with your body. Sure, in the middle of a workout you need to push through the pain and shut your mind off, but there needs to be some boundaries to that rule. Sometimes you need to listen to what your body is trying to tell you. If you’re waking up after 9 hours of sleep exhausted and fatigued, you are probably not recovering adequately. This year I’ve focused on my sleep, nutrition, mobility, and overall recovery to ensure that I am at my best for training and ready for competition!