Members at Invictus Sorrento Valley warming up on the ergs.

I Can’t Even: How to Keep Your Head in the Game Despite the Circumstances
Written by Invictus Athlete Josh Littauer

It seems on a weekly, or even daily basis I hear this phrase. “I can’t even.” In many ways it’s simple way of putting aside thoughts or feelings toward a situation; but it doesn’t actually deal with the situation itself. This can be anything from hearing some gossip, dealing with someone else’s ignorance, or just feeling kinda “bleh”. These things happen. They happen mentally, emotionally and physically. But does this “I can’t even” attitude mean that you don’t continue on? I think not; in fact I think it’s the start of seeking a solution.

So let’s take a minute and figure out what to do when you just can’t even.

Framing it up: It’s Monday, you’re groggy from late nights on the weekend and quite honestly, you’re just not that into it. It being whatever you have to do that day. You got up early to go to the gym but your sore body wasn’t feeling it. You get to work and that nagging coworker keeps distracting you from work, and you’re behind on a deadline. It’s really just not lining up to be your best day.

In regards to fitness, sometimes you just have a rough day at the gym. You wanted to come in and get a good lifting session, move quickly, crush a metcon, etc. But your body just didn’t have it. Perhaps the workout had pull-ups in it and you were thinking it was right up your alley, then you tore a callus and had to scale to ring rows. Maybe your back was tight from travelling over the weekend and you had to scale deadlifts that you would normally never have an issue with. Regardless, some days just shape up to be different than expected.

If you’re like me at all, which I suspect many of you are, than you like to make the most out of days and when you’re not at your best things just feel off and bleh. These tend to not be enjoyable days but they happen and it is important to be able to keep your head in the game despite any circumstances. Here are a few quick ways I like to keep my head in the game and make sure I’m still winning the day despite poor situations.

1: Put all focus on things I can control. This one may be difficult at first as it often feels like situations happen TO us and not FOR us. In many cases there are external forces that are outside what we can control that make situations even more difficult to handle. Here is what you can control: attitude and effort. Despite it being a tough day, you can still control your effort and the attitude with which you do it.

2: Make it about mental gains. Sometimes the physical things are just not going to be there. Despite how great your effort, the result is subpar. Shift the focus to making mental gains instead. Try a new strategy, a new technique, hold a slower pace but make it more graceful. Whatever it is, try to focus your mind on growing.

3: Today is not about outcome as much as process. This may be the most important overarching distinction. On days that you don’t have it and things aren’t going your way, its most important to remember that the process/journey far outweighs the outcome. The outcome is not always indicative of the effort or trial that was in front of you. Focusing on the process with which you overcame today’s obstacles is far more important to long-term growth and mindset.

While not everyday can be peaches and cream – they can all still be productive days. These are really the days we get better. Focusing on the things we can control, being aware of the process more than the outcome, and changing the focus will make all the difference.

So on this day when you can’t even. Keep getting after it, put the focus on the right things, and see yourself grow.

As always: Stay Humble, Stay Hungry.

Also Check Out…

A Long Pursuit in the Same Direction

Stop Saying ‘Just’

The 5 Stages of a CrossFit Athlete

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