Let the games begin! This week kicks off the start of the 2016 CrossFit Games Open. For next five weeks, athletes worldwide will embark on a journey that will challenge their physical and mental capacity. My hope in writing this is to provide professional input to stay healthy and be a smarter athlete, whether a beginner or veteran.
“I am the master of my fate and the captain of my destiny.”
1) Be consistent and trust the process: Your training has led you to this point. Do not drastically change your mechanics or routine based on the new fad or hot topic. Your coaching and training should have provided a solid foundation. If you are new to CrossFit or don’t have support, you should consult with professionals to provide guidance and direction. Please do not attempt on your own. Your body will thank you later.
2) Listen to your body: If you are injured, proceed with caution and get treatment as needed, especially if you are looking perform consistently. If you’re healthy, consider staying healthy by partnering with a local health care professional who can identify with your weaknesses and enhance your performance. You are not 18 any more. And if you ARE 18 or younger and competing, wow! But you are not invincible.
3) Know your limits: Whether it is handstand push ups or rope climbs, be aware of your general fitness and overall capabilities. Fatigue will set in and you will be challenged. Over and over. Be smart and decide accordingly.
4) Recover properly: Hydration, sleep, and proper nutrition. Do it all. Mobilize, stretch, and move well. Do that too. The CrossFit Open is five weeks of carnage. This will deplete your resources, mentally and physically. How you recover after each workout will determine your ability to compete at your max potential every week. So, just do it right.
5) Have fun and enjoy the moment: Elite or amateur, you are competing against yourself. You will test your limits. You will prevail. You might fail. But you live to train another day. The comradery of competition drives us to be better. Embrace it, have fun and enjoy the moment.
Coaches and healthcare professionals, please share this with your athletes. Athletes, good luck from #SportsPerformancePT !
-Dr. Chris Garcia, PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS, USAW