Today's blog post is especially dedicated to the great Natalie Mikolich in Boca Raton, Florida.
Camille Leblanc-Bazinet is the "Fittest Woman on Earth" and the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games Winner. She is also arguably the most beautiful and popular CrossFit athlete on the planet. I love getting into the minds of elite athletes, so when I had the chance to spend some time with Camille at EVF Performance in New York City, I jumped at the opportunity. I watched as Leblanc-Bazinet gave her keys to success and personally trained a group of athletes (including myself) on some specific fitness skills. I am also grateful to have spent some one-on-one time with Camille afterwards. Here's what I learned...
Train hard AND train smart
Many people train hard and get injured, or don't work on their weaknesses. Others train smart, but don't put in the hard work, and also do not get the results they want. The key, Leblanc-Bazinet says is to train hard AND train smart.
Believe in yourself despite what is going on around you
I always say, it's not what's happening around you. It's not what's happening to you. What truly matters is what's happening inside you. True champions like Leblanc-Bazinet know that their feelings do not come from a situation or circumstance, but from their own thinking. When we let our thoughts just come and go, we automatically have the confidence we need and believe in ourselves.
Champions don't make excuses, they just do what they need to do
Your focus is your future. In other words, what you focus on, or think about is what your experience is going to be. So if you are focused on making excuses, you are using energy on something other than getting to the next level. Most people act how they feel. The great ones just do what they need to do, when they need to do it, whether they feel like it or not.
Negative thoughts are normal and inevitable, and they don't have to affect you
The most common question I ask elite athletes is, "Do you ever have negative thoughts or doubts?" The answer is always, "YES." "I have negative thoughts all the time, but I don't listen to that voice," says L-B. It is impossible to avoid negative thoughts, but when you see them for what they are: just thoughts and not reality or useful information, they tend to come and go and not affect your performance. Camille added, "The more you ignore that voice, the less power it has, even though it comes up often."
During competition, just trust your training
I asked Camille how she dominated the competition at the CrossFit Games and her answer was, "During the Games, my attitude was, 'The movie has already been filmed, now just hit play.'" I love that. To me, that means that she worked hard and trained smart all year long and the Games was time to just trust and enjoy. Too many athletes put so much pressure on themselves during competition and end up having a poor performance. Great athletes get out of their own way and do what they know how to do.
"I have always told myself that I never want to have regrets, whether it's at the end of a training session, competition, or my career." Leblanc-Bazinet's sentiments are similar to Derek Jeter during his career. Whenever L-B feels the urge to hold back, give up, or not train or eat healthy, so remembers that she doesn't want any regrets, so she tends to make better decisions. As we were chatting, Camille told me one of her favorite quotes and mottos by Muhammad Ali: "Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion."
The five words why most people fail
I love asking top athletes if they ever feel like taking a day off or not training. The answer to this question is also always yes. "Every morning I am tired from the previous day's workout, and I often don't feel like training, but I always do anyway."
So what are the five words why most people fail?
I don't feel like it.
"I don't feel like training."
"I don't feel like eating healthy."
"I don't feel like giving a full effort."
Feelings come from thought and thoughts are not real, so we don't need to act how we feel.
Success is a journey, not a destination
"Sometimes when you fail, you win and sometimes when you win, you fail," was another great line that Camille shared with me. Sometimes when you fail, you learn and get better. And sometimes when you win, you fail because you may not have given a full effort, or learned from it. We can't totally control winning and losing, so it doesn't make sense to put so much emphasis on it and paralyze ourselves. When we stay in the moment and remember that the movie has already been filmed, and all we need to do is hit "play," we tend to have more and more peak performances.
Special thanks to Camille Leblanc-Bazinet for her time and insights.
Follow the fittest woman on Earth on Twitter: @CamilleLbaz
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