Mental Growth

By: Dawn Swinney

Welded, while incredibly physical, is also a mental workout, and it’s helped change how I look at challenge. Each WOD can take you through a range of emotions…”I’m so excited to be here! This one is my jam! Oh $$#%, there’s no way I can do THAT. This is crazy…am I crazy? I’m paying for this? This is awesome! This is hell. I killed that! That killed me.” And we all know all those thoughts can happen in the span of about 15 seconds or less. Attaching yourself to any of the thoughts that run through your head over the course of the 3-60 minutes of the day’s workout can distract you from being present and doing the best you can with what you have on that given day.

Over the last 5 years of getting to be part of the world of Welded, I’ve realized something that has happened to my mental game. I’ve gotten a lot tougher. Growing up swimming and running competitively helped, but Welded has helped me take my mental game to another level. I have the ability to push through the suck, recognizing that it’s only temporary and that there’s something on the other side.

Recently my husband and I have been on a quest to do a lot more hiking and backpacking now that I finally have a summer after years of being gone fighting wildland fires in my previous job. Some of our trips have gotten long, so there’s a lot of time to think. “The weight is heavy. My feet are sore. The trail is long and dusty, and it’s summertime so it’s hot. My pack is rubbing my shoulders, which consequently hurt because of the 200 kettlebell snatches I just did yesterday. I love this. Wait, why are we doing this again?” If I attach myself to any one of those thoughts, I can spiral into WTF-am-I-doing-land, which will put me into a very negative state. However, I’ve realized that I can let these thoughts move through me instead of sticking to me and know that although I may temporarily feel some pain and discomfort, it won’t last and at some point it will change. I’ll be gifted with an incredible view. The trail will level off. I’ll hike from direct sun to the shade of the trees. The “suck” becomes worth it and is actually a blessing in itself because it gives me the opportunity to see the abilities and freedoms I’ve been given by just being able-bodied and well enough to do what I’m doing.

The same thing applies to working out. Welded isn’t just something that you leave inside the gym. It can grow and change you for the better, if you let it. It can make you physically stronger and mentally tougher. Pushing through the rough times goes beyond Welded and backpacking and into real life and let’s face it, we all have those tough times. Next time you’re mid-WOD and want to give up, remember that it’s only temporary and it’s growing you. I promise. It is.