Motivation is a fascinating and important topic in sport and exercise psychology. What motivates us? Why do we do the things we do, i.e. what makes us push hard in a workout?
Are you motivated by the desire to “beat” other people in a workout? Do you focus on time during a workout? Do you need music in order to workout? These are examples of motivations that are extrinsic, or from the outside - things that are ultimately out of our control.
Do you do CrossFit for the sake of doing it, because you enjoy it? Is your health and well being the main intention of your exercise? Do you enjoy connecting with a community at your gym? These are all examples of motivations that are more intrinsic, or coming from within - things more in our control.
What motivates us is a valuable concept to understand. The crux of it is having awareness (or at least as much as possible) of why we do the things we do. For example, it’s not necessarily “bad” if someone gets motivated by a desire to go faster than their classmate, it’s the unaware attachment to this desire that is not helpful.
If we carry no awareness of our extrinsic motivations, we begin to realize this desire is insatiable and we’re left in the end always feeling unsatisfied - you can always put more weight on the bar.
But if we’re able to see these extrinsic motivations as tools, and not determinants of our success or failure, we can leverage our egos and human condition to energize our performances.
For example, I believe these three amigos (pictured below) love to compete against each other, and if you asked any of them, they sure as hell want to beat the other person. But at the end of the day, it won’t serve them to be solely motivated by an extrinsic desire to win, it needs to come from within. Maybe the most simple way to put it is - compete for the love of it.
Life is in constant flux. If we have extrinsic motivations that need to be in place in order for us to feel good about what we’re doing - music needs to be on, compliments need to be heard, certain weather conditions, for example - we are caught in a rigid way of living that doesn’t allow for much adaptability.
Many great teachers and coaches of all lineages, from buddhism to the NFL, speak about the importance of being flexible with our mindset.
Focus on what we can control - attitude and effort.
Regardless of what happens, I’m going to do my best in full faith, because I love it.
”Immature people do what they like, mature people like what they do.” - Eknath Easwaran
Perry, Becca, and Sequoia getting after it this morning - motivating each other unbroken on their wall balls!
8 Back Squat @ 85% of last week's heaviest triple (no tempo)
7-10 Wide Grip Bent Over Row @ 3020 tempo (add weight from last week)
50-40-30-20-10: Wall Balls (20/14#)
10-20-30-40-50: Calorie Row
50 Pull Ups (or C2B pull ups) for time