Baby, It’s Cold Outside

A couple years ago I read Ben Bergeron’s book Chasing Excellence. It tells the story of his process in building some of the fittest athletes on the planet in their trek to win The CrossFit Games. 

This book came back to mind this past week as I left the gym after coaching a couple of training sessions. Unfortunately, we’re back in the thick of high COVID cases in our area, and to minimize risk of spread in our gym our doors are open. Not a big deal if it wasn’t the middle of winter in the midwest, but it is and it’s cold. 

Although I was only in for a couple hours the other day, the vibe was just low. People were bundled up and the main topic of conversation revolved around the current climate they were working out or working in. It may not have been direct complaining, but it wasn’t the positive atmosphere we want to create inside our walls. 

So back to the book.

Bergeron actually references a point of training for Katrin Davidsdottir where he had her complete a warm up outside…in the middle of winter…In Boston. It was cold. He explains how after the warm up Katrin provided feedback on the warm up and her approach and then stops herself before also commenting on the weather. She stopped herself before she said it because she “had been conditioned not to complain”. 

Now you might be thinking, “Katrin is one of the best in the world in the sport of CrossFit, her and I don’t really need to follow the same rules in life”. But maybe you should.

Here is what Bergeron explains about complaining in the book:

Saying that it’s cold outside may appear to be simply stating a fact, but it’s actually more detrimental than it might seem in the short term. Focusing on negative feelings or circumstances–It’s hot out. I’m tired. This traffic sucks. My boss is such an idiot–Brings greater focus to things that are ultimately outside of your control and are potentially detrimental to your performance. In no competitive or life scenario will focusing on negative uncontrollable factors improve your performance or stress levels.

An optimistic mindset is a distinguishable characteristic of elite performers because what the human mind focuses on and talks about is what we see more of.

I’ll stop there although I could probably quote the entire chapter on this topic. Let’s just take the above context into consideration as we approach our current “climate”. Yes, it’s cold outside. And it’s cold in the gym. And we’re tired of dealing with COVID. And masks suck. And you’re boss is an idiot (I really don’t know that, just threw it in there. Ha!) Stating all of that doesn’t change any of the circumstances nor benefit you or anyone around you in a positive way. However it does affect them in a negative way. Stating all of that only highlights it more and takes away from the mission we’re on which is to help the people in our community live better lives through better health and fitness. We will pursue that mission regardless of weather, or politics, or a global pandemic. 

For our clients: You GET to come to the gym everyday and workout with a great group of people.

For our staff: You GET to serve our people everyday and help them accomplish great things in their lives.

Your mindset is many times linked to your perspective and your perspective is the story you tell yourself about a certain situation. As we embark on the unknown of this journey ahead of us, let’s tell ourselves the right story and keep making our gym a light in our community! 

Stay healthy my friends,

Coach Josh

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