I post regularly on Instagram, and most recently I posted a picture in a deep split with a serene and placid expression on my face. My dirty little secret? In the pose, I am quietly going through every curse word that I’ve ever heard. And I know a LOT of curse words.
I’ve experienced this feeling before, and maybe I’m not the only athlete out there. But there are certain aspects of any athletic endeavor that cause some level of discomfort that should come with a bleep to hide the words young children shouldn’t hear.
When I would run long runs while training for half marathons, usually I could average a curse word every 3 strides while I tried not to look I was dying to passing traffic. During a tough weight training workout, the 6 rep of a heavy squat would always make an inappropriate word pop into my brain. I’ve found myself trying not to have “Yoga Tourette’s” while in poses like the splits or any type of deep quad stretch. Most recently, I try to not let a bad word slip out loud when I drill a hip movement for the ump-teenth time during Jiu Jitsu, or else my training partner will think I’m crazy for talking to myself (or worse, think that I’m talking to them).
Whether it’s training for a long run, pushing through a tough weight training workout, trying to open hips in yoga, or even drilling movement in any given sport, silently cursing during these fitness endeavors isn’t some new phenomenon. As different as these areas can seem, there is a common ground.
Even if something isn’t comfortable as an athlete, sometimes you’ve just got to put your game face on, take a deep breath (maybe say a few cuss words) and keep on trying. Staying calm and cool to keep your mind from racing or your body from quitting is something all athletes have in common, no matter what their “poison” is.
So, the next time you feel the flood of obscenities come to your lips, try taking a deep breath, put your best game face on, and try not to look like your dying.