Have you ever thought about how important the words you say really are? I, like I’m sure most of you, aways assumed that the words we say make up the bulk of the message that you’re trying to get across when you’re having a conversation. It turns out though, that only about 15% of communication is verbal!!! To put that in perspective, unless you’re talking about Chad’s body fat, 15% is not a lot. What that means is that the words you say are only a very small part of the message that you are trying to get across. The other 85% is made up of body language and inflection. My 3-year-old does this all the time: He tells me, while yawning, that he isn’t tired. My Madelynn did it yesterday, she told me the 12kg kettlebell was too heavy to pick up, as she was carrying it to the shelf and putting it away. Take the phrase “That’s my Wife” and see how many different meanings you can squeeze out of those three words by changing your inflection and body language. Hmm….
Unfortunately this isn’t a habit like picking your nose that you’ll eventually (hopefully) grown out of. Nope, this is one that has a tendency to stick with you for a long, long time. And it’s a nationwide issue. For example, all our Doctors say that it’s good to eat healthy, even the First Lady has set an aggressive initiative to have people eat healthier. Regardless of if the Doc’s and Mrs. Obama’s dietary recommendations are correct, they at least don’t recommend chicken nuggets as a staple of one’s diet. But compare the number of McDonald’s in the country (13,000+) to the numbers of Farmer’s Markets (Surprisingly, about 7,000). That’s almost 2 to 1 in favor of Mickey D’s. And I am sure that each one of those McDonald’s does a crap ton more business than any 100 farmers markets put together.
But those are big, cultural problems. We have much more immediate issues to concern ourselves with. Like when we as athletes are self-referentially inconsistent. Monday’s WOD is a great example. I know that when I got done with my pull-ups and got back to the barbel for the presses, I said to myself every time, “I can’t pick this up.” Then I stood there and stared at the bar. There was usually cursing and swearing. But guess what, I picked it up. All of us picked it up. I was telling myself I couldn’t do it as I was doing it and I’ll bet you were, too.
The point here is that the words that run through your head mid-WOD are almost always inconsistent with the message that your body is actually giving you. There are all kinds of reasons why this is true, most of them are overly cautious defense mechanisms your brain has put in place. Remember that your brain doesn’t like you to push your comfort zone because when you do, you force your brain to turn on all kinds of adaptations in your body that it REALLY DOESN’T WANT TO!!! Your brain thinks that one of its primary responsibilities is to keep you alive in the most efficient way possible, but that is exactly what we don’t want in here. We want to force your body to make those adaptations, so that you can be the strong, fast, awesome human being that you actually can be.
So the next time you’re here WODing, and things start to get a bit tough, tell your stupid brain that YOU are the master of your self, YOU decide when to listen to the alarms, and YOU tell it when to shut the F*** up. Then pick up the damn bar.
And when you take that attitude outside of the box, you will be an unstoppable force in whatever you decide that you are going to kick ass at.