Stacie Tovar’s Tips for Mental Toughness

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“Here are four of my favorite mental toughness tips. (Hint: The cliches are true!)

>> It’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of fight in the dog.

I was a smaller athlete my whole life, but I never let my size or lack thereof determine how hard I was willing to work. If I can outwork you, then I can beat you regardless of how big you are.

>> Respect is earned, not given.

As an athlete, you have to pay your dues, and you have to be willing to sacrifice. How hard are you willing to work? Better yet, how hard are you willing to work when no one else is looking? Not just once or twice, not just during season, but day in and day out. You want to earn the respect of your peers? Be the hardest worker.

>> When you get knocked down, dust yourself off and get back up.

If you want to compete at the highest level possible in any sport, you have to have a short memory, because you will get knocked down at some point. It won’t feel good. It might be physical, mental or both. Regardless, you have to have the strength and courage to try and try again. Do not let the fear of failure or the agony of defeat keep you from pushing forward. Learn from it and move on. That is what I plan to do this offseason as I keep chasing down my goals.

>> What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.

This, my friends, is what keeps me going. I am not going to lie: I was extremely bitter after this year’s CrossFit Games. It took me four weeks to recover both physically and mentally from the intense competition. However, like in 2014 when I failed to qualify, the pain I feel today will become the strength I have tomorrow. While this is not the kind of learning experience that you hope for as a competitive athlete, it is something that we all have to deal with at some point. I will grow because of this. I will tough it out and be better because of it. I am alive, I am well, and I live to fight another day.”

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