Fitmark Ambassador Courtney Norman talks about emptying the tank.
Ever since I started CrossFit, I have been so pumped for every workout and I always finish feeling strong. Something about looking at what I just did gave me an awesome sense of accomplishment. Sure, I modify most of the WODs, but I still felt challenged. I started gaining confidence little by little. I kept trying to up my weight and really push myself.
The problem is when I was training for my marathon, I had to learn how to conserve my energy to get through the long runs. CrossFit is the opposite of that. You have a short period of time and to maximize the results you have to maximize the effort. I always found myself feeling tired but not beat after the WODs. Then I read a post by Olivia from Biggest Loser Season 11 (she’s a crazy CrossFitter and total beast!) about emptying the tank.
I realized that sometimes I don’t push myself because I’m afraid that I won’t finish. Having that DNF at the WDW Marathon really messed with my head when it came to pushing myself in a workout. I never wanted to run out of energy and not be able to finish something, or not be fast enough to finish something, or whatever the case may be.
Saturday, I went to CrossFit and we were doing a 12-Minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 12 push press, 12 pull-ups and 12 pistols (one-legged squats). I was pushing myself hard. I decided I was going to empty the tank. I was dying around 9-10 minutes. I finished round 3 and looked at the clock, just under 2 minutes left. I thought I couldn’t fit in another round. So I thought about quitting. Well not quitting exactly, just stopping early. (Like how I justified that?) I decided to push past empty and go for one more. I finished the last pistol squat as the clock wound down to zero. I was spent, but I didn’t quit.
This morning I went to CrossFit and saw the WOD and thought eh, it won’t be that bad. 7 rounds of 10 hang cleans and 10 burpees every 3 minutes (sidenote: strength was deadlifts and I did 100 lb!!) I used 55 lb for the hang cleans and it actually felt pretty light the first 2 rounds. Believe it or not this was my first WOD with burpees and I hate them as much as I thought I would! Rounds 3 to 5 were tough. Round 6 almost killed me. I didn’t think I could do anymore.
I wanted to quit. I thought about quitting. But I didn’t quit.
I found the lost will and determination in the depths of my soul and hammered out the last round. I ended that WOD totally empty. And it felt great! I was a sweaty mess lying on the floor of the box, trying to catch my breath. But I was proud. Not only did I push myself physically, I pushed myself mentally. I find that many times my biggest setback in achieving goals is simply my mindset. Realizing that I am my biggest road block is hard, but freeing. That means that I have the ability to change my mind about what I can (or can’t) do! How empowering!
Fitmark Ambassador 2013