Every CrossFitter from novice to elite will reach this critical threshold and SHOULD reach it every time we WOD. This marks the turning point where we will either beat the time we have striven for, or fizzle out in a fatigue-induced slouch over our barbell.
The difference between these two polar opposite paths comes down to one intangible factor: mental toughness.
Mental toughness represents our will to succeed; the driving force that will push us past our pre-conceived physical limits. Too often, I see athletes who assure me they cannot go further because something on their body “hurts.” Of course they’re “hurting” – that’s the point of CrossFit. If this WOD was easy, it wouldn’t be doing the job it was programmed to do. A massive difference exists between injury and hurt. Injury = physical inability to continue because something is broken. Hurt = pain from workout.
Suck it up. All of us feel it and all of us have been guilty of sandbagging during a WOD at one point in time. I can personally tell all reading that my most frustrating WOD experiences have come after I have quit on myself and personally known that I could have and should have done better – no one should ever have that feeling post-WOD. We all reach that point where putting down the bar for a minute or stopping a run feels like the easy thing to do. Leaving a WOD should parallel the feeling of leaving the arena after playing for a championship or walking out of the office after interviewing for our dream job. We should have the feeling that we put our maximum effort and every ounce of sweat and blood into this endeavor and if we came up short of our goal, at least we gave it all we had, physically AND mentally.
When the athlete who tells me they “can’t” is pushed and encouraged a little, they do exactly what they insisted they could not. It comes down to your own mental toughness. Push past your pain threshold. Suck it up, think “I can crush this” and pick up the bar. Don’t sell yourself short – any of us can do anything if we believe in our abilities and act upon this realization.