Facing Your Weakness…Head On.

Since beginning Crossfit a few years ago, the weightlifting aspect of the program has been my favorite.  Nice, slow workouts where I get to lift heavy things or fast paced workouts where I lift lighter weights, I love any of it. Before I started at RARE Crossfit, I put a larger emphasis on weight training than I did on speed and agility… and it showed.  I could deadlift twice my body weight, but a 10 minute, fast paced workout left me in ruins.  Working out on my own allowed me to do my favorite things and get really good at them, all the while increasing the gap between my strengths and weaknesses.  I was getting worse at what I was already not skilled at and better at what I was already good at…no bueno.

Last January,when I began at RARE, I was confident I’d been able to keep up with the group because I’d been doing Crossfit for a while, but during my first workout I got destroyed because of my huge weakness in speed, endurance, and agility.  With a speedy endurance racer as a coach,I was soon tested in every aspect of my training and forced to face my weaknesses.  It didn’t take long before the amount I could load on a barbel went down, but so did my times on my sprints the high paced workouts.  Although I had lost a little bit of strength, I had gained a lot of speed and agility and that gap between my strengths and weaknesses slowly got smaller as I became a more well-rounded athlete.

Working on weaknesses is tough, it makes you feel inadequate and defeated.  Trust me.  But with time and practice, those weaknesses will no longer be weaknesses, and they might actually become your strengths.  The first step in conquering a weakness is changing your mind about it.  For example, I’ve mentioned a few hundred times that running is not my cup of tea, so my first step was to stop hating it.  Now that was difficult, but I started telling myself,  “you know Lauren, you’re really not so bad, you’re really good at pacing yourself.”  I began focussing on picking up that pace a little and keeping it nice and steady.  Then I started running by myself and focussing on the messages my brain was sending my body.  I would tell myself “I can do this, I’m doing really well,”  instead of “Caaaan’t breeeeath, muuuuust stooop.”  I considered it a great accomplishment to run 3 miles without a single negative thought.  Then I started verbalizing that I was starting to like running,  I would even try to smile when Adam said “Run!”  Before long, my mental toughness increased and so did my pace, then one day I cut 4 minutes off my time on a running workout and I knew I could do it.  I still have my days where running sounds like a chore instead of a tool to get more fit, but those days are the minority. 

Now that I have become more well-rounded, I have begun working on increasing my strength to get it back to where it used to be,without losing any of the speed and agility I have gained.  I got a squat rack and some new weights for Christmas, so I have been  lifting most mornings in my basement.  It is frustrating because over Christmas break I went for over a month without doing any kind of strength training so I’ve gotten even weaker, but I face that weakness every morning and am slowly getting stronger.  Before, during, and after my workouts I speak positively to myself (in my head…and outloud), nothing is fun when your head is filled with negative thoughts.

Now, keep in mind that if you are new to exercising or hate exercising altogether, you may want to avoid your weaknesses until you gain some confidence in your ability to exercise.  It is important to work on your weaknesses, but it is more important to exercise. Period.  But, if you consider yourself experienced, it is time to start conquering those weak areas!  Remember, the first step is the mind game, you may hate it now, but it won’t take long before it is just one more tool you use to get fit!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Lucy says:

    I hate the treadmill! So my latest goal was to strait run at one pace for 20 mins, which doesn’t sound long but it’s 2 miles, when I never run! I usually use the elliptical! I was almost there until they called me to the kids rm to get the baby cuz he was sad! I will try again tomorrow! Any suggestions for love handles! I never had them until the kids and now I don’t know what to do! Let me know! Great blog, oh also have you read skinny bitch? Hilarious!

    1. Lauren says:

      Lucy,
      I’m actually in the middle of skinny bitch right now…I just skipped the “rotting flesh” chapter, I really couldn’t handle her disdain for meat. 2 miles in 20 minutes is a great pace, that’s awesome! You could also try some sprint workouts at http://www.crossfitendurance.com or any sprint workout you make up on your own, it makes it a little more exciting and you end up working harder for a shorter amount of time…perfect for when the baby is unhappy. If you’re having trouble with any of the wordage on that site, let me know, hopefully I can translate, it gets pretty confusing. Love handles…well the best way to get rid of fat ANYWHERE on your body is by exercising everything on your body. Working different muscles every day in different ways, actually, before I get into it, I’ll just write about it tomorrow 🙂 But the best way to get rid of it is to work the whole body, you can strengthen muscles by working certain part of your body, but you lose fat by working all of it.
      BTW-don’t you live in FLORIDA? Can’t you just run outside? 🙂

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