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Intestinal Fortitude Takes Practice

By admin | In Psychology | on November 5, 2013
Katie's GORUCK team (photo courtesy of Scott Martin)

Katie’s GORUCK team (photo courtesy of Scott Martin)

The multitude of movements we learn in CrossFit takes time to learn, develop muscle memory, and perfect. Every day we practice lifting; we practice activating the correct muscles for movement; we practice pushing our bodies beyond what we thought was possible. Most importantly, I think, we practice pushing our mental limits.

A couple of days ago, I was doing a workout with 400m runs in it. Running is not my forte to say the least and that hill at the end was surely designed by a sadist (Marcus). As I ran up the parking lot, I thought to myself that it was ok to slow down…just a little bit. It was the first of three rounds, and heck, I had jumping squats to do next. But my inner trainer voice (you guys have all heard it) called me names and said if I slowed down, I would just be reinforcing the habit to quit.  Much like muscle memory, my brain would later recognize this level of exertion and remember putting on the brakes.  I would miss an opportunity to embrace the suck.

I recently read about SEAL FIT’s Kokoro Camp and how CrossFit Games athletes have attended these to improve their mental toughness.  These camps are basically a version of hell week packed into 3 days, or 5o hours of grueling training.   Testimonials from these camps always reveal one of the main takeaways was how powerful the mind was even when the body was ready to quit.   This lesson later carried over to their training and benefitted them during competition.

Our Katie M.  participated in a GORUCK challenge this past weekend which began 10pm Friday night and ended 9am Saturday morning (see above photo).  Not only was it grueling, cold, and exhausting, but it challenged her even more so because she wasn’t a big fan of being underwater.   But she pushed through and after a long night, came out the other side mentally tougher.

Every day, inside the gym or out, you have the opportunity to practice intestinal fortitude–to push the envelope when you otherwise would rather not.   Embrace it as a chance to test your mettle.   Try it today.  When you want to stop don’t practice quitting.   Push a little more and make it a habit to be mentally tough.

If you haven’t already, read Sean’s fantastic article about embracing the suck and Holley’s Mental Game post for more on this topic.

WOD 11.05.13

Press 3×5 or Wendler

30 Unbroken Double Unders

5 Rounds:
7 Power Clean and Jerks (155/105)
7 Burpees

30 Unbroken Double Unders

6 Rounds:
5 Ground to Overhead
5 Burpees
15 Double Unders

3 Comments to "Intestinal Fortitude Takes Practice"

  • Nathania says:

    November 5, 2013 at 12:16 PM -

    Nice job Katie!!

  • Melanie says:

    November 5, 2013 at 4:55 PM -

    Great post Ruth. I’m reading this in my office in New York and missing the heck outta Intrepid. Needed this motivation. xoxo

    1. Ruth says:

      November 5, 2013 at 6:09 PM -

      We miss you too, Melanie! Hope you found a great home box out there to work out with! CFI Games 2014!!!

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