Exercise for the Mind, Body & Spirit

We speak a lot in our blog posts about how CrossFit builds strength, endurance, speed and flexibility. We also speak of the strength it builds in a mental capacity. But this week, we are going to talk about mindfulness.

This doesn’t mean we are going all Namaste on you – though yoga is a great tool to use in becoming mindful. Mindfulness is not necessarily meditation either. Mindfulness is taking note of the now. Paying attention to the present moment you are in and becoming very conscious of your environment. We often get so caught up with where we have to be, what we’ve done and what we should be doing that things can become overwhelming. Practising mindfulness, even for just 5-10 minutes a day, can help you to handle the stressful situations that life throws at us.

Meditation is the art of taking mindfulness to the next level. It requires practice and there are now many apps (ironically) which can assist you and guide you through various forms of meditation. You need to set aside specific time to meditate properly. If you don’t think you have the time, or the patience, try these other ways of practising mindfulness…

  • Go through the motions

Pay attention to an everyday task that you would perform at an almost subconscious level – like brushing your teeth. Concentrate on the motion of your hand, how the bristles feel on your teeth, the smell of your toothpaste. Take note of your breathing – the rise and fall of your chest. Notice how grounded your feet feel holding the weight of your body. Simply concentrating on each step and how you react is practising mindfulness. Focussing on the NOW can help you prevent being caught up in other thoughts that may threaten to overwhelm. Try it – make a cup of tea, tie your shoes, do the dishes! And concentrate on each step you perform in the task. Mindfulness!

 

  • Write a thank-you list

There is much to be thankful for in life, including life itself! We all have many things we appreciate in our lives, but when do we take the chance to express them? Think of all the people who help you and love you, the fact that you may have limitations but can still use your limbs, your eyes or your voice. That annoying little word – gratitude – is one which we should all take time to use. Being thankful helps us to be mindful.

  • Eat!

Eat? Well I do that every day, you might say. But how about choosing a meal where you sit and focus solely on each morsel which enters your mouth. Pay attention to every time your mouth opens and closes and picture the food travelling into your stomach after you swallow it. Eating is a privilege that most of us take for granted. Eating healthy, nutritious food will refuel your body and prepare you for the day ahead.

  • Observe

The beach is a great place for this – but so is your local shopping centre! Just sitting and observing the world around you without judgement brings you to the present moment. Watch the sand fall through your fingers, listen to the waves as they reach the shore. Pay attention to your breathing and the warmth of the sun. it’s no wonder how many of us feel connected to the ocean – it almost forces us to be mindful, every time we are there.

These are some easy ways in which we can practise being mindful. There’s also another way….

Training. Training can be mindful time as well.

And that’s what we want for the members of CrossFit 4504. We want our crew to come in, leave their worries at the door and focus on what’s in front of them for the next hour. The feel of the barbell in their hands. The weight of their body resting in the soles of their feet when they’re at the bottom of a squat. We want them to notice the breath that flows in and out of them as they strain to make a lift or finish a WOD. Laying on the floor afterwards, muscles pulsing with blood and exertion, sweat dripping from their pores, endorphins coursing through their bodies. We want our members to enjoy this moment. Take great fucking pleasure from it in fact. Because it means they’re alive! Something we want them to experience and appreciate every day.

We want our members to believe in themselves when they walk through our doors – with the belief of a community right behind them. They are happy to see each other – supporting one another in striving to lift to their own blend of greatness.

Sure, some things don’t work out – well, sometimes LOTS of things don’t work out! But by becoming mindful of the present moment, our members can reassure themselves that they are here. That they are loved. That they have made it this far in this life that constantly throws surprises at us. That they appreciate finding something that will help them experience these moments more easily.

This is why our community is THE MOST important aspect of our CrossFit box. Sure, our coaches are important and highly valued. So is our equipment and facilities.

But the community?

It’s what we appreciate the most. We want people who are supportive, understanding, encouraging. We want people who give it their all, no matter what their level of skill is. People who inspire and perspire! We want people who treasure the time they spend in each class they attend. Who celebrate others’ achievements and love to be proud of their own. We want people who like to have a laugh, leave nothing in the tank, who understand the value of a hug or a friendly slap on the back. People who hold out their hand to be helped off the floor – and who are met by a dozen more who are wanting to help.

These are the people we want in our community – and we are so thankful that we already have them. So many of them!! They help each other practice mindfulness by enjoying the present moment. Celebrating and commiserating with one another, but paying attention to what is happening in the time they spend in class.

Mindfulness can seem impossible and overwhelming to achieve. But it doesn’t have to be. Use your every day tasks to practice being mindful. Train in a mindful fashion. Appreciate the now. The present is a gift – and it’s the only time to make the most of what you are doing…NOW.

 

If you’d like to experience the CrossFit 4504 Difference register below for your FREE 7 Day Trial

Lacking Motivation? Let Us Help

We talk a lot about motivation. How to achieve it. How to maintain it. Motivation ensures you show up to training even when you don’t want to. Or does it? What happens when you lose motivation? And it will happen. ‘Ole ‘Motivation’ goes and hides somewhere in that vortex that’s usually filled with missing Tupperware lids, left-footed socks and vanishing hair ties!

Then what are you left with apart from right-footed socks? (WTF?)

You still want results from your training right? You don’t want to go backwards in your fitness levels, your weight loss or your muscle gains.

So what gets you moving when you don’t want to train but you know you should?

DISCIPLINE.

Just one word.

Now coaches can’t really hand out discipline in the true sense of the word (even though some may like the idea of having a box full of disciples!) Most of us aren’t children anymore and are big enough and ugly enough to make our own decisions. But this isn’t the type of discipline we’re talking about anyway. In terms of training regularity, technique and integrity, good CrossFit coaches can only encourage discipline in an athlete. Discipline in each athlete comes down to self-regulation. And sometimes you really have to be strict with yourself. Self-discipline in training will keep your results ticking over until your fickle mate ‘Motivation’ decides to return. Discipline can be achieved in the following ways…

Routine –

Maintaining a routine is vital to discipline, particularly when motivation is missing. Your training routine should look somewhat like this…

Exciting hey? We never said discipline was exciting. It’s just something that has to be done.

If you know you train better before heading off to work, set your alarm and make it to that 5am class. Yes, it’s winter and it’s cold and the doona is your best friend. But how good is the feeling of a cold, steel barbell at 5am? Ok, so not very fucking good, especially when your fingers are frozen and jar with every movement…Seriously, how do you early crew do this every day? Aaaahh…that’s right! Because you are disciplined!! Because it’s part of your routine. And even though that doona coaxes you to hang out for more ‘snuggle time’, you realise that your arse will not make it to class if you give in to its sweet nothings and don’t get up and go.

 

Find a class time that suits you. It could be different for every day depending on your other commitments. Just don’t forget to include CrossFit training to your list of commitments. Because you have made a commitment to yourself to achieve results. To make improvements. To take time for yourself. To learn discipline. CrossFit 4504 offers 8 class times every weekday for our members to choose from and work into their daily routine.

Direction –

We all train to improve, don’t we? We want to improve our fitness. Our technique. Our physical capabilities. Ultimately we want to challenge ourselves over the course of a week, a month, a year. To make note of our weaknesses and take pride in our strengths.

Direction is all about pointing yourself towards where you want to be and working out how to get there. If you have a goal you’re working towards, you’re going to need direction on how to get there. It may be a program for slowly improving your fitness, progressions toward your first pull-up or a nutrition plan designed for your body type, some sort of strategy so you now have that direction mapped out for you. Discipline comes from following that map as closely as possible in order to achieve results.

Now there are many different directions you can travel in the CrossFit training world. Start with something simple. Take into account factors such as your current body composition, mobility and fitness levels. Talk to your coaches and come up with a ‘map’ on which direction you want to head to with your training. You may even be able to visit more than one place on your CrossFit travels just by heading in a certain direction. Having the discipline to head in that direction will help you get there sooner. And seeing results might even lure the elusive ‘Motivation’ back from the vortex!

Fun –

Showing discipline doesn’t mean your training will always be dull and boring. The exact opposite is our greatest hope for all of our members at CrossFit 4504. Now usually motivation and fun go hand in hand, don’t they? So how do you maintain that sense of fun if you currently have zero levels of motivation to train?

Simple! Train somewhere you enjoy being. With people you enjoy being with. In a supportive community filled with others who will encourage you and make it easier for you to show the discipline you require. Sharing a chat and a joke with your community before tackling a WOD helps. Laughing and complaining about it afterwards helps too. Knowing that others share your pain and understand your frustrations makes turning up to class easier. There will always be people you enjoy hanging with and on days where motivation is lacking if you provide the discipline, they’ll provide the fun.

Believe it or not, asking for feedback from a coach can also be ‘fun’! Stimulating conversations in regards to your training can encourage you to rediscover lost motivation. Making slight changes can also make training more enjoyable. It may be something as simple as a technique variation, mobility exercise or different scaling option. A change or refocus that will leave you feeling satisfied that your training does matter and that you’re still achieving – even though you may feel flat.

Motivation is a feeling, but it won’t always be around. Discipline, on the hand, is a trait which has to be learned. Discipline seems harsh, but it is not punishment. It is hard, but it’s a vital quality to improvement and accomplishment. And when it comes down to it, discipline is something only you can achieve. Sometimes it takes a lot of bloody effort to be disciplined, particularly if your CrossFit training hasn’t been offering the motivation that it normally does. But ‘Motivation’ will return. When it’s finished sipping Pina Coladas on the beach with Mrs ‘Left Sock’, ‘Motivation’ will burst back into your life and ask what the heck you’ve been doing. Then you can introduce ‘Motivation’ to ‘Discipline’ and be like “You 2 can get to know each other while I get on with being bad ass!!”

CrossFit 4504 encourages discipline from our athletes. Regular training sees more definitive results and greater satisfaction in their training. We provide our members with many routine options, direction and loads of fun and support from within our community. A perfect environment for learning the art of discipline.

If you’d like to experience the CrossFit 4504 Difference register below for your FREE 7 Day Trial

Wear your Pride with Pride

A few weeks ago, we asked the CrossFit 4504 crew to let us know ‘What makes you proud?’ A whiteboard was provided along with colourful markers, so our members could provide answers in their own time. It seemed an easy enough question, yet there was a surprisingly slow response from our athletes. We know they are proud of their achievements, both in and out of the box. It just seemed that writing something down for everyone to see wasn’t something they were initially comfortable in doing. The board eventually filled with reasons our members were proud of – in themselves and in others. We know that pride is not just about a desire for recognition, but we shouldn’t feel shame in the enjoyment of that recognition either.

Why is pride important to us? Let’s talk about why and how it is awesome to be able to express pride…

  • It’s Motivating

Whether we acknowledge it or not, our emotions play a huge part in fuelling our motivation to succeed. Pride is a powerful emotion that it is generally triggered in response to achieving a goal or making a conscious effort with self-improvement. Showing pride in your accomplishments – whether it be improving your ‘Fran’ time or going without cigarettes for over 2 weeks – creates a positive feeling inside of us. A feeling of worth. Pride is different to arrogance in that you don’t HAVE to let every single person know that you have smashed a goal or two. They will see it. In your expression. In your posture. In the way you approach your training. In how you react to life! Taking pride in yourself, your achievements and your actions signals to others that you are confident and you are important. And you are!

The motivation you attain by expressing that pride, can lead to many more of your goals being accomplished. Pride does not equal conceit. Pride is something you can show in others and in yourself – motivation for all.

  • It’s Inspiring!

We spoke of ways to be inspiring in our last blog and how showing pride is one way to inspire others to succeed. Letting others see how proud you are of YOUR achievements will inspire them to push forward with their own goals. It’s not a matter of being the best, it’s more about giving yourself the opportunity to be YOUR BEST. Others will take note of your pride and share in it with you. This is where inspiration kicks in. To know that your efforts are being recognised is cause for pride in itself. But to know that your efforts are inspiring others in the process? What a phenomenal feeling of pride that can give you.

  • It Gives You Courage

Successes and failures are a part of life. You are not always going to succeed at everything the way you would wish to. In fact – and this could not be more true in the CrossFit method of training – there will always be some things you suck at! Do you just give up on those weaknesses? Heck NO! The way you handle failures says a lot about your character and having the courage to succeed with pride but also fail with pride shows an immense amount of courage.

Showing pride in every achievement, no matter how small, can build momentum to help you through those times when nothing works and you feel as though you suck at everything. You don’t suck at everything – it just seems that way. Persistence itself is something to be proud of and taking note of every achievement, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant can give you the courage to continue if things get rough. This is also when your past achievements can provide you with your greatest strengths. Knowing that you have overcome obstacles in the past gives you strength and courage to push through. Whether in relation to your CrossFit training or life in general, being able to express pride not only allows you to take control of yourself, it reminds you of the courage you continue to draw from yourself in your ability to keep moving. A 2-steps sideways, 3-steps backwards, 4-steps forward kind of movement – yet still moving toward your goals. Tackling all obstacles head on…maybe with a certain amount of trepidation – but also a bucket load of courage and pride.

The road to success in CrossFit training and indeed life in general is often bumpy and at times filled with horseshit. We are forced to make choices which seem horrible either way – do we divert along a long, bumpy road or trudge wearily through the horseshit? Neither a pleasant way to travel, but eventually we are cruising again on a smooth highway, celebrating our achievements after a little re-evaluation and a whole lotta pride.

Just remember to occasionally look in your rear vision mirror from time to time. This will serve to remind you just how far you have already come in your journey, how many obstacles you have overcome and how hard you have worked to become a better version of you. You may have a ways to go yet, but take PRIDE in the fact that you are here. Right here, right now. You are amazing and you SHOULD be proud of that. We are proud of you!

If you’d like to experience the CrossFit 4504 Difference register below for your FREE 7 Day Trial