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Staying Grounded

posted on October 20, 2020

Every Saturday morning at 5:30AM you can find me at RAW with my other competitive teammates doing our weekly team training. A few weeks back our coach programmed a 40 minute piece that required a 14# vest, men wear 20# (mine happened to be 17# and that was rough). Normally vested workouts are something I look forward too, MURPH being one of my favorite workouts but this one was different.


Since quarantine my anxiety has been at an all time high. I have found it is at its worst whenever I have heavy snatches or high-effort breathing (usually movements pared together where catching your breath just might not happen and it’s all about how calm you can stay). Now imagine yourself doing a CrossFit-esque programmed workout and add a 17# vest onto your body that inhibits your ability to catch your breath fully. For 40 minutes I found myself on the verge of a full on panic-attack, I even had one of my teammates tell me for the entirety of that workout to keep breathing deeply. 


Picture this in your head, going from one movement to another (I was paired with a female teammates to spit the work) and I am on my hands and knees during my rest portions just trying to catch my breath – This is when I knew it was bad and after the workout was done I ripped off my vest and I just laid there trying to get full breaths in.


The reason I bring this up is because staying grounded not only to avoid a possible panic/anxiety attack but in your life is an important quality to possess. When we focus all of our time and attention into one thing, make it our top priority and forget about how vast life is and stay single-minded focus, we give that one thing the ability to control our thoughts and feelings. What happens if you fail? What happens if you succeed? What do you truly have to show for?


Staying grounded keeps you honest, humble and aligned throughout your entire life. This is exactly something that staying grounded to avoid that possible panic/anxiety attack does as well, it helps you find that calm again. When I feel these feelings of tightness in my chest, I look around me and do the following (a list of things sent to me to help me stay grounded).


1. Breath deeply in through my nose and out through my mouth

2. Then I will look around me to find:

5 things I can see

4 things I can touch

3 things I can hear

2 things I can smell 

1 emotion I feel


During a workout I mainly focus on breathing deeply and pick 5 things I can see – I’ll usually make eye contact with someone or try and cheer someone else on (even if their not on my team for that workout) this allows me to gather myself for a brief moment and find comfort in my peers whilst still being able to focus on the task I’m trying to complete, something that works for me.


Staying grounded in your daily life looks a little different but the application is the same, allowing yourself to prioritize other aspects of your life such as family, relationships or things that make you genuinely happy aside from the one thing that is your main goal. When we maintain balance with all things that make our life great, the achievements we obtain tastes that much sweeter. This mindset is more sustainable than one that isolates and secludes us from other aspects of our life, creating that longing sense of what next if we achieve greatness or find ourselves depressed if we are teetering on the edge of failure. 


The panic that set in whilst in the middle of that 40 minuet workout with my 17# vest is something I will feel on any given day if I do not have balance present within my life. My biggest takeaway from this experience is to always find my footing when life or experiences hit me in the face and stay grounded in what makes me feel calm.


If you too find yourself overwhelmed during training or life, take these tips and find your footing again.


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