Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

It’s all mental: weight lifting and the mind

I am a mental athlete. No, I don’t mean I’m crazy (although that could be easily argued), I mean that my mind can be my biggest supporter or my worst nightmare. My mind often determines if I am going to succeed or fail. It is one of my biggest challenges to overcome as an athlete.

I am generally a risk-adverse person. I over-analyze, over-think, and doubt just about every thought or decision I make. Despite being great at keeping myself alive, these tendencies are a hindrance for a lot of the other things I do, especially olympic lifting.


My nemesis for the day. #oly #crossfitgirls #LikeAGirl

A photo posted by Mandy Ferreira (@treading_lightly) on


If you’ve ever been about to pick up a bar loaded with more than you weigh and throw it over your head, you likely know what’s like to have your brain say “Wait! This is a bad idea!” at just the wrong moment.

One of my biggest challenges with lifting has been shutting up the voice in my head.

“This is heavy.” “What if I drop it on myself.” “I can’t do this.”

None of those things are going to help me reach my goal.

Three months ago I hit a snatch PR of 98lbs. The lift was clean. I felt good. My coach was adamant I could make 100lbs.

But I failed. Over and over and over again. I stopped performing the lift correctly. I panicked before I got the bar off the ground, and I baled as soon as the bar got close to my head (which means I definitely could have finished the lift).

Two pounds shouldn’t make that big of a difference. But standing there with my six month goal weight on the bar, I froze. It was too big. Too much. Too heavy.

I finally shut up that voice. I finally believed I could do it. I hit 100lbs. And I know I had more than that in me. 105 is well within my reach. And my goal of snatching my body weight isn’t looking so crazy anymore.

Finally hit triple digits. You missed it @inrc_ @zeroatlas #crossfitgirls #crossfit #oly

A video posted by Mandy Ferreira (@treading_lightly) on


Time to stop the negative talk, the second guessing, the panic and just freaking do it.

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