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Katie Hogan: The Mental Challenge

Katie Hogan with CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff and Friends

Me with CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff and Friends

Doing things I’m uncomfortable with has paid off.

Everyone has a comfort zone and most people, whether they like to admit it or not, don’t like to stray to far from that zone. I’m definitely one of those people, yet I have forced myself sometimes unknowingly into situations that have challenged me, helped me grow, and provided me with memorable experiences.

What I eat, where I sleep, what I’m doing, who I’m with – depending on the circumstances, these can make or break my comfort zone. Knowing that things will be remarkably different than what I’m used to can somewhat panic me. Or anxiety me.

I find myself questioning “why am I doing” whatever it is that is so out of the norm. But really what my mind is saying is that “I don’t think I can handle this.” I’m afraid because I stop believing in myself. In order to go through with it I need to convince myself that no matter how uncomfortable I am, I can handle it.

Starting to sound a little bit like a CrossFit workout? Well it’s true, this is how I deal with life, and this is how I deal with CrossFit.

Things I’ve done this year that scared me:


Katie Hogan Coaching


After being on the Level 1 Seminar staff for a year, I was asked to give my first lecture. This is part of the job, something I knew I would be asked to do, but also something I feared. Back when I first took my Level 1 course, I was so impressed and intimidated by the trainers knowledge and their ability to articulate it to the group through lecture. I had told myself that was beyond me.

Public speaking had always frightened me, and despite my years of coaching CrossFit classes, I had not convinced myself that I was a good speaker. As the day approached and I continued practicing and preparing I grew increasingly terrified. I doubted myself and I was afraid to give a lecture about dead lifts. Pretty funny when I think about it now, but I know that it took a lot of positive self talk to turn myself around. The only way I got up there was reminding myself that whatever happens, I can handle it.

CF Games commentator

When I was first asked to be a color commentator for the CrossFit Games, I was surprised and excited to be a part of the Games in a different way than I had anticipated all year. It would be a good experience for me and maybe even fun. But as the weekend came closer I started to question why I had agreed to do something so…public.

Katie Hogan Commentating Box 2012 CrossFit Games

Katie Hogan Commentating Box 2012 CrossFit Games

I kept hearing the numbers about how many 10s of thousands of people who would be listening to me and no doubt judging me, maybe even lowering the volume so they didn’t have to listen to me!

I started to panic that this wasn’t within the scope of my abilities. The more I thought about it, the more scared I became. I was afraid of failing, of messing up, of letting people down.

All feelings I have found myself surrounded by in the gym as well. It paralyzes me no matter where I am. In order to overcome this, the same as when I’m in the gym, it became a matter of dismissing all of these fears and reminding myself that it isn’t THAT big of a deal.

Whenever a fellow media team member would say something about how many listeners we had I would just laugh and say “noooo it’s like a few people.” Being silly about it and taking some of the pressure off made me relax a little. With CrossFit I need to remind myself that it’s just exercise and my entire life and happiness is not wrapped up in it.


I agreed to travel to Beijing for a Level 1 Seminar. At the time it sounded like an amazing opportunity to see a part of the world I never have before.

As the date of departure approached, I was less and less interested in the long flight, the culture shock, and the journey away from my family. I was afraid of what would happen while I was there. Everything would be so different that I wasn’t sure I could manage. It became a fear of the unknown and how I would react in an unusual environment.

Katie Hogan Great Wall of China

At the Great Wall of China!

Ultimately, I made my journey halfway around the world to China and experienced so many cool and different things. I got to see The Great Wall! It was unbelievable. I walked the ancient structure alone and was able to appreciate so much about this country and history that I never realized before.

I met some amazing people with unique stories of their journeys to China from all over the world. I tried all kinds of foods that I normally would shy away from and got a feeling for the culture that I never would have known without my visit.

I’m so thankful for the experiences I have had that helped to shape the person I am.

As I continue to push myself out of my bubble of comfortable and normal. I find strength within me, new opportunities for growth, and a feeling of accomplishment for doing something I didn’t think I could.

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The Rx Review is an independent fitness website, reporting on the Sport of Fitness, functional fitness news, The CrossFit Games, health and diet related information, and also provides reviews on sports performance products.