June Newsletter- CFD Recap & Upcoming Training
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June Newsletter- CFD Recap & Upcoming Training
If you are a CrossFit athlete, the chances are that you experience some fear on a regular basis. Looking at the whiteboard and seeing a grueling workout ahead of you that makes your stomach drop is a regular occurrence.
I’ve give you an example that happened to me recently. Until a few weeks ago, I had never done a one-rep max in box jumps. A one-rep max in box-jumps means you jump on a high platform and stand up. If you succeed, you make the platform higher, and so on, and so on, until you ultimately fail or stop attempting the jumps.
On this max effort I started out doing pretty well: 30 inch box: got it, no problem. I added a plate: 34 inches: no problem, added another plate: no problem. This kept going for a while…
As you can see in this picture, I got up to a pretty decent height, at least, for having never attempting a 1-rep max before. Then… after I successfully stuck this landing, the fear started to set in.
If you’ve ever been to a Personal Defense Readiness/S.P.E.A.R. System seminar lead by Coach Tony Blauer, you have undoubtedly heard Coach talk about fear as an acronym, F.E.A.R. during his Cycle of Behavior discussion.
At this moment, as I’m mentally preparing for my next jump, I start experiencing psychological fear.
False Evidence Appearing Real was what applied to me. I noticed how high the platform was compared to my body, about chest high, and a negative thought crept in: That’s really high, it would really suck to get half-way and not make it.
Why else was there fear? Fear existed because attempting this was outside of my comfort zone; it was something I had never experienced before.
At this point, I can give up or get challenged. This is me, stuck in the F.E.A.R. loop, depicted below, at the challenged or threatened door. I remembered something Curtis, the CrossFit Adaptation coach said earlier about doing a high box jump, something along the lines of, “Just think of it as a really high tuck jump and stand up on the box.” That sounds really easy. Simple. I can do that. Challenged, I give it another shot and stuck the landing at 43 inches! Then one of the other athletes in the class said, “Keep going. You cleared it by about 4 inches at the top!”
The good news: I am familiar with the physiological effects of fear: adrenaline, shallow breathing, less cognitive control, and now I’m seriously feeling that!
The bad news: understanding and acknowledging the fear does not necessarily alleviate the effects it can have.
Then the fear hits me again, this time much harder: Boom! False Expectations Appearing Real. This time I actually visualize myself attempting the jump, missing the top of the platform, one knee slams hard on the box as I lose my balance, falling inward, my teeth smash into the wooden box on the way down, then I crumple to the ground, bloodied with broken teeth and a busted knee.
This quote relates to one of the first boxes in the Cycle of Behavior, pictured below:
“80% of your motivation is derived from your expectation.”
Am I motivated? No. I try to mentally prepare for it, but I can't seem to visualize success this time. I'm hesitating too long and the fear has set in even worse. I go for the jump anyway. The jump happens, only this time I’m psychologically defeated and can’t commit to the jump because of psychological fear of failure. I can’t even force myself to jump half as high as I did just one minute ago. Oh well, at least I understand enough about fear to know why this happened to me. Next time, I’ll land it.
Awesome photo was taken by Keith Waters, of Kx Photography at CrossFit Adaptation, in Arlington, VA.
The link above is for a recent armed robbery that happened in DC. Watch the video, notice how calm the robber and discreet the robber was. The victims in this case were very calm and collected, and in this case, gave the robber what he wanted and did not get hurt. When you look at these kinds of videos it is important to analyze it as a scenario in general, but not from a "what did they do right, what did they do wrong," perspective.
For one, even with a video and after incident interview, we the viewers, do not have the full picture of what happened.
Rather than judging someones actions in this type of scenario I find it more beneficial to think about what my options may have been, had I been there.
These are a few things to think about after watching any kind of crime video:
1. Prevention: would be possible to avoid this situation entirely?
Be realistic. I'll never sit down to eat at an outdoor restaurant ever again is not the solution.
2. Being in the situation: imagine that you ended up there, as is: how do I get out of it safely?
(clicks heels three times while wearing tinfoil hat) "If he would have been more aware the whole thing wouldn't happen. You wouldn't catch me off guard like that."
3. Variables: how might this situation severely changed?
Think of this set up with different behavior and the variables that may have made significant changes.
You: Just sat down to eat or can't believe I ate the whole thing after drinking 4 beers.
The bad guy: For example, rather than being calm, lets say the robber came up to the two guys frantically shaking, cracked out on drugs, gun pointed at them, finger on the trigger. How might the scenario change?
This blog isn't about answers, it's about enabling you to think through things for yourself to help.
NOVA Self Defense