"When I found out what the workouts for Regionals were, I defeated myself mentally before the competition even started. Some of the weights were just too heavy for me. I knew I wasn’t going to perform well and stand out.”
After a seventh-place finish in the 2012 Open in Latin America, Luis Giraldo went to Regionals as a top male contender.
However, Giraldo's Regional adventure was cut short as he injured his lower back during the first workout of the weekend, Diane.
Giraldo, the 28-year-old head coach and owner of Fuerza CrossFit in Medellin, Colombia, says his mental game affected his performance at last year's Regional.
“Making it to Regionals in 2012 was a big accomplishment for me,” he says. “Doing so well in the Open made me very proud, but at the same time, I felt a lot of pressure. When I found out what the workouts for Regionals were, I defeated myself mentally before the competition even started. Some of the weights were just too heavy for me. I knew I wasn’t going to perform well and stand out.”
Giraldo went back to the drawing board after Regionals and has been training hard ever since. He made his mental training as important as his strength and conditioning.
"During this time, I have attacked all of my weaknesses with intensive training. I overcame a lot of mental obstacles that were withholding my positive thoughts," he says. “CrossFit is my way of life. The more I do it, the more I realize how much I can improve. Although my standards are set high, with discipline and perseverance I come closer to my goals every day.”
Currently in 24th place in Latin America, with a score of 158 on Workout 13.1, Giraldo feels stronger than ever and understands how important being mentally strong is to compete.
"I've realized that in CrossFit and other sports, the athletes that stand out, the big champions people remember, are those who train their mind as hard as their body,” he explains. "My body responds to what my mind is telling it. There is no weight I can't lift, or an obstacle I can't overcome.”
Like last year, Giraldo projects himself as a darkhorse for Regionals once again in 2013. Big things were expected from him before his injury, but after he won a local throwdown that included defeating Orlando Trejo, he has drawn some attention.
Giraldo is confident he has gotten stronger in every way and with his mental game under control, he is certain nothing can stop him now.