Bite down on the mouth piece and just go. This recurring theme has been implanted into my brain from a young age. It was a theme my wrestling coach instilled in us so we never rode on excuses. It kept us less anxious and more focused. What this little saying means is to do less talking, less thinking and just focus more at the task at hand, no matter how difficult. This is a really useful theme for me as juggling all the things going on in my life can cause a bit of stress. Just like a lot of us, I can overthink, over analyze and over plan to the point that nothing really gets accomplished. It feels like an endless cycle, like a hamster on a wheel, like there is no end.
This theme was reignited recently while watching an MMA fight. I watched the underdog get picked apart in the first round. If you saw the first round, you would have thought for sure that this fight was going to be an easy one sided victory for the favorite. The underdog was limping and looked almost defenseless in the very first round. But during the 2nd round, you started to see some things change. The underdog started making a comeback. There was nothing pretty or technical in his approach. It looked like he literally just bit down on his mouth piece and just started swinging. He looked as though he let his thoughts go, didn’t hold back and relied solely on his will to win. The fight ended in a 4th round TKO victory for the underdog.
Maybe not the exact situation, but I see this type of adversity when coaching athletes. When we are lifting, we can over think the technique. This inhibits us from just lifting the damn weight. In CrossFit, we can sometimes get entirely too caught up in perfection or fear so that it doesn’t allow us to work at a high intensity. This is not to say that we should not focus on proper technique, rather, there are times when we just have to worry less about whatever anxiety is holding you back and just go for it. It is fun to watch and coach athletes who have that underdog breakthrough moment during a workout.
I don’t have a magic answer or real piece of advice on how to tap into that. Something that works for me is to witness someone else do it. Watching that MMA fight was an amazing thing and really got me fired up. There is nothing more motivating than watching someone battle through adversity and become victorious despite the odds. It was a friendly reminder to myself that sometimes when things aren’t going your way, you just have to bite down on your mouth piece and start swinging.