8/11/17 - Here Goes Nothin’
I’m fascinated with the preparation leading up to performances. Right now, I most specifically mean the last moments when the performance is imminent. This is the stage after the work is done, but before “Action!”
It’s the classic scene. You know the one. It’s dark, Eminem has his hoodie on, the music slowly builds, and “B-Rabbit” makes his way through his anxieties about going on stage. You can imagine him going through the mental prep and whatever emotions are manifested, probably a cocktail of nervousness, excitement, and anxiety. While real life doesn’t always look like that scene from 8 Mile with the epic build up, we still have access to these pre-performance moments. Or, more importantly, we can have these moments. I’d argue we should seek out and have more of them.
After all, we all go through some type of period of anticipation and build up for a meaningful performance. Watching someone else going though it (with a beautiful music score in the background) is one way to know this feeling. The other way, let’s call it the real way, is to actually do things that force this stress in real life.
Today I’m leaving on a plane for Durham, North Carolina. This weekend I’m teaching the CrossFit Strongman seminar and while it is a seminar I’ve done plenty of times, I still have a low-level B-Rabbit moment. Hell, it’s almost routine at this point, yet there’s still a build up and anticipation. I have real nerves about it.
Keep in mind that every single time I got up to present in front of a group of people from elementary school through high school, I found myself up there in front of my classmates in tears, unable to speak. This happened dozens of times. Speaking publicly has its way with me. Except, now it’s different.
The nerves make me better. Sometimes I talk about what I call the Total Human Effort, or in this case “max effort coaching” and regardless of how my fake, little B-Rabbit moments of anxiety are manifested in my head, it does force the issue when it comes to attempting to master a moment. What used to crush me and leave me in tears now feels more like a coaching version of Ray Lewis coming out of the tunnel and even though it is stress I know for a fact I’m a better person because of it. I still don’t like it, but I like what it does for me.
Now that I think about it, this is all just perceived pressure. When I imagine my life where I comfortably don’t have to get up in front of people and be compelling half of me loves the sigh of relief that idea brings me, but the other, stronger half, doesn’t want to know what that level of complacency would look like.
What do you do now? Put yourself in position to be nervous and go on stage anyway. I think you’ll like what it makes of you.
Anyway, wish me luck because here goes nothin’.
Perform the following work as prescribed on a running clock:
0:00 – 50 Air Squats
2:00 – Run 200m
4:00 – 25 DBL DB Clean and Press (50/35)
7:00 – 50 Toes-to-Bar
12:00 – Run 1 Mile
*Each athlete’s score is total time