“Ring of Fire”
It’s a lie. There is no “happy place.” You know what I’m talking about–when you’re in the middle of a WOD and some well-intentioned person says, “Go to your happy place”–well, that’s just bull****. In CrossFit, great performance demands something much deeper, much darker than some stupid old memories of Grandma’s sweater and warm chocolate chip cookies.
Where you have to go is a dark, horrible, dirty place. And you have to learn to stay there, at least for a little while. For a Personal Record, ignore yourself. Just like you ignore a bleeding callus and finish your pull-ups at the end of “Fran”; ignore the mental pain and drive on.
Shut off the part of your brain that loves you and turn on the part of your brain that doesn’t like you so much. For outstanding achievement, learn to bypass the Happy Exit and head straight into Hell, because hardly anybody gets a PR with a smile on their face. The smile usually comes after the effort.
A PR is often won with anger and fear and sometimes downright self-immolation. People don’t like to admit that, but it’s true. You find a bad place and you stay there, for a little while. You go down, down, down into that “burning ring of fire” that Johnny Cash sang about, down into the fire you could see in Muhammad Ali’s eyes, down until you don’t even hear your own groans, or any of the people around you in the WOD.
You go down into the parts of your soul that nice people don’t talk about. You go there. And then here’s the really great part: when it’s over, you come back again. To the surface. To the happy place. You emerge back into the light–and you’re a better person because of it. You forced yourself into a personal hell and you walked back out again. That’s the difference between a “really good workout” and a PR in a CrossFit WOD. That’s also the difference between just existing and really living life.
So, what works best is to go straight into the pain. Don’t try to mitigate, rationalize, forget, or in any way distract yourself from the pain. Go straight into it. And learn to live there, at least for a little while. Go get a PR.
(Text by Lisbeth Darsh/Intellectual Property of www.crossfit.com.)
“Burpees Still Suck”
Knees to Elbows