In this post Coach Jonathan Gibson (Gibby) is breaking down his training experience and tools that have helped him get through the day-to-day grind of training.
What is the Grind?
Wake up, fuel correctly, warm up, recover, eat, sleep, repeat. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a sport or just your own health, the same things need to happen every day. For eight years I have been a coach and athlete and I do these same things every single day. I noticed that because of this day to day grind sometimes my clients begin to lose interest, or motivation, or become a little burnt out; however, through a lot of communication and hard work, you can dial in your own day to day grind and maybe even fall back in love with the grind.
What can cause an athlete to lose their drive from the grind?
There are a million factors that can cause someone to lose their drive. Something can happen in their personal life, their nutrition can falter, they begin to plateua and become frustrated with their performance, etc. But all of this comes from really a major overarching problem: the athlete doesn’t have the right purpose for why they train. They are missing a great Why.
Let’s start with the athlete.
Why are you choosing to compete? Does the sport and everything that comes with it bring value to your life? What is your goal within the sport? How will your actions today help you reach those goals? Do your goals have a realistic time frame? What will you do if you come up short? These are just some of the questions you need answers to if you are going to compete in any sport. But, for most of you reading this blog, the sport of choice is CrossFit or Functional Fitness… “I personally prefer Fitness Racing”. So many times, myself very included, we lose sight of why we are waking up every day with the mindset of, ‘I am willing to put my body through extreme discomfort every single day because I know that at the end of it I will get what I want.’
The sport of CrossFit is tough, exhausting, mentally draining, and physically demanding. It’s also incredibly challenging for your mind and spirit. It requires you to look at all aspects of fitness and best interpret where you need improve to excel in the sport. You need to breathe better, improve your muscular endurance, be stronger, stay on top of your nutrition, and so the list goes on!
For you to stay in a sport that demands so much, you need to understand you reason for doing it… your “why.” It can’t be to have abs every day of the year- your genetics will decide that for the most part and there are much easier ways to do that then double DT. It can’t be the frustration you have when looking at other athletes wishing you had what they had. This sport is filled with ups and downs and you must be mentally strong enough to withstand those periods of doubt and struggle.
How did I find my why?
This is hard question to answer. I have said time and time again, I continue to compete in because I want to make the Games. For most of my career, I did not know why I wanted to do this but I can say it was that I wanted to compete and WIN for admiration, and being thought of as of of the best, and as a champion. The problem with this is that these are all external factors that after 8 years of competing had left me pretty hollow inside. I wasn’t competing for me; I was competing for someone else. So why do I really continue to compete? Because I have spent a life coming up short. I liked to blame others for my short comings and quit when things didn’t go my way. So, I found something I loved to do for me: train.
Training is all I think about. It gives structure to both my day and to myself. I love relishing in the discomfort of training. When I am finally retired, which may never happen, I will always want to train on some level. Not everyone enjoys it, and you don’t have to, but I know my why and it is the love of training. I want to wake up when I am 70 and know I gave it everything I had regardless of the outcome. It’s not perfect. I still struggle with blame and the guilt of “retiring” twice. But I have some unfinished business and that’s to train and compete for me.
How do you find your why?
Take some time to sit down and write out why you compete. Do this over the next few weeks, few months and years and see how it changes. You don’t have to show anyone but be brutally honest with yourself. Then, write down if you are doing everything in your power to align with your “why.” Here’s the thing, you may realize you have no plans on making the Games, you just want to compete to have fun. Guess what, that’s OKAY! To align with your “why,” your training should reflect that! If you are here to have fun and compete for experience over performance, you have to train that way. Don’t stress over the little things, don’t bury yourself into the ground trying to fast track a goal that you aren’t even chasing. Continue to reflect back and make sure your training matches with your “why.” This is how you stay consistent. Remember that being elite in any sport requires a lot of sacrificed time and energy. It’s not a bad thing, but if it doesn’t align with your why, then it will lead down a path of frustration and a lack of fulfillment.
Let’s do this.
At some point in everyone’s life, they will need to start searching for their “why.” It doesn’t just apply to fitness. It can be your career or your personal relationships. If you take anything away from this, it’s that you need to find the reason why you like to come into the gym everyday and why this contributes positively to your life. Your training should reflect your why. Do that and I promise good things will happen! See you in the gym.