1. YOU WILL BECOME MORE SELF-CONFIDENT
I remember my very first crossfit class experience…I was very shy and guarded. Unsure of what to expect, being a “Newbie” and all. To think of that person now, its amazing to see how far I have come.
In six months, I had learned things I had never been able to do before and never even thought of doing. While trying and failing and trying and finally succeeding I became much more confident that I could master anything if I did try hard enough. Some time ago I also transferred this new won self-confidence onto other aspects of my life – I decided that I would not let myself be bossed around by what I thought other people would expect of me. And more often than not I catch myself thinking: “Oh, that seems hard – let’s try it.”
2. YOU WILL BECOME MORE PATIENT
Progress takes time. When training Crossfit you will learn that – as your body composition changes slowly over months – your progress with every exercise also need to be well nourished by your patience. But trying things like Double Unders over and over again until you have finally mastered the movement can be one of the most satisfying and life-changing experiences you may have – everybody, who remembers their very first Muscle-Up or Handstand-Walk or what have you, knows what great feeling it is to have finally done “it”. In the long term this causes you to become more patient in other parts of life as well. You will realize that constant work pays off and more often than not will finally get you what you want.
3. YOU WILL IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL STAMINA
One of the first things you learn at your local Crossfit-Box is that the expression “I can’t do that anymore” doesn’t exist.
When you observe a common WOD, you will see people spurring each other on to push themselves through the next few minutes of a gruesome workout. The community encourages you to try harder and not give up. Within the first minute of my very first Crossfit WOD I knew I would finish any workout no matter how long it would take or how much it would hurt – just because I had seen how hard the others had perservered.
4. YOU WILL CONQUER YOUR FEARS AND BECOME MORE OPEN
As I said before, I myself felt weak and thought my body hated me, because I couldn’t do a handstand or lift the amount of weight others were lifting. But as I got accommodated with the world of Crossfit, I also discovered that I was a pretty adventurous person.
We did Sled-Pushes at the Box in the parking lot, while curious onlookers watched in amazement. We had done Farmers Walks. I loved it all, the thrill of seeing what my body and mind were capable of and being encouraged to work outside my comfort zone.
I’ve experienced so much fun with every workout. It is this feeling that will always remind me that when the next opportunity to try something crazy comes around the corner, I will give it my best shot.
What you can take away from this story is that Crossfit will encourage you to try new things. Since you have already learned that constant work pays off, you will also conquer your fear of trying certain things for the first time. Nobody other than yourself is going to stop you. That is what you will learn best through Crossfit, because at a certain point you have to do a workout you are afraid of – and that’s the time you will finally lose your anxiety.
5. YOU WILL BECOME MORE RESISTANT TO STRESS AND BUILD A STRONGER MENTALITY
A Crossfit WOD is a brutal, stressful entity of pain – every decent Crossfitter knows that. But what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, doesn’t it?
Crossfit will build up your stress-resistance not only for physical exertion but also for other aspects of life, work for example. Your boss is pissing you off? You got a deadline to meet? Well, all of that breaks down to the same principles as a Crossfit-WOD does: You are under a lot of pressure and you need to perform.
But Crossfit teaches you how to deal with that pressure. When you can say to yourself “I did 350 kettlebell swings in 10 minutes today” that isn’t going to finish your next presentation but it allows you to realize that if you can manage such a bucket load of stress, you can also calm down and handle stress at work more effectively by noticing that nothing is as bad as it seems at first.
These are my five ways in which Crossfit is going to have an impact on you mentally. Do you have any others to add? I would love to hear about your experience!