So here’s the deal. I think that sometimes we lose sight of the simple truth that we what do outside of the gym has an effect on what happens inside the gym and vice versa. For example, I know many people who love to have a couple beers or a glass of wine in the evening. We may not realize how this simple choice to have this drink will impact our performance in the gym the next morning. Or how about the choice to never mobilize aside from the little bit you do at the gym pre- and post-WOD? I’m not saying that we’re bad people because we have a drink at night or don’t foam roll and couch stretch at home, I simply want to highlight how it’s all connected.
I used to drink red wine all the time. Then I started CrossFit. My 6am wake-ups to get to the gym by 7am were not so great after having a glass or two of wine at night. I reduced my wine consumption and it was easier to get up in the morning. I was also surprised at how much better I felt during my workouts. The wine at night was a habit. I had gotten so used to doing it that I didn’t even think twice, it was part of my day. I never even considered how much it was affecting my sleep and my performance in the gym.
This concept is not just reserved to behaviors such as our choice to eat/drink certain foods or our mobility routine, however. It goes beyond that to our thoughts and our attitudes. If we walk around everyday having negative self-talk and a bad attitude, most likely we will enter the gym with those same thoughts – just like the wine from the night before following us in during our morning WOD. Conversely, positive, self-assuring thoughts and a generally good attitude will allow us to cruise though the ups and downs of daily life, and handle challenges the gym throws our way. Sort of like how the extra mobility we do at night will help us when we lift the next day.
Learning to allow small victories of daily life to fuel our positive thoughts and good attitudes is important and will carry over into the gym atmosphere. Ever notice people’s attitudes and mood when they come into the gym and how those might change over the course of an hour? Even if you come to the gym in a foul mood, put a smile on your face; fake it till you make it! By then end of your class you’ll probably be smiling for real.
Be mindful of how your choices outside the gym walls impact what happens in the gym. Also, notice how your behaviors, thoughts, and attitudes in the gym affect your daily life. Are you connecting the dots? If changes need to be made, find a way to make them.