I planned to workout at 5am this morning, and when my alarm went off — well, it hurt. But I got up, put on my workout clothes that I set out the night before, made myself a cup of coffee, squeezed in a couple snuggles with the pooch, brushed my teeth and headed out the door. The workout was HARD. I felt slow. I swear I can feel every single stress related pound that I have gained this year and it sucks. (Especially when doing wall balls and box jumps and HEY LOOK AT THAT, both have been programmed in my last two workouts. BOO.)
But when I was done, it felt AMAZING. And it is literally the best decision I’ve made today, and I am so so happy I dragged my ass out of bed. I know it’s cliche to say you never regret a workout, but man — I don’t think I ever have.
Years ago, when I started blogging about my fitness journey and when I seriously committed to CrossFit — I used to workout in the morning regularly. It is my preference, and it just sort of became a non-negotiable. Getting up and getting it done was just what I did — and I experienced some great results. I can’t remember exactly when I stopped doing that, but I can tell you why. I mean to be honest there are a million reasons — some are flimsy excuses (But it’s so much more fun to workout with Garrett! And he is definitely a night exerciser) but some reasons are legit (when I was CRAZY STRESSED at the beginning of the year with my job, the nicest thing I did for myself was give myself permission to just focus on SLEEEEEP!) But the fact is, the last 6 months have been a roller coaster of commitment when it comes to my fitness. And as you can imagine, that has yielded its own set of results. grumblegrumblegrumble
I’ve been thinking A LOT about how to right this fitness ship lately. Mentally and Physically.
For the record, I think it is worth mentioning that I am not spending any time beating myself up over it. Life is long, and seasons change, and this has been a big year for me professionally and something had to give. This year it was fitness. I am a firm believer in the idea that we can have it all but we can’t have it all AT ONCE, and honestly, if I could go back and change the way this year has played out, I wouldn’t, so I’m not really coming from the perspective of “Where did I go wrong?” This has been a learning year and I am so 100% happy with the investments that I’ve made in my job and in my life, and the struggles I’ve had this year have honestly taught me so much. And one of those things I see so clearly now is I am SO MUCH HAPPIER in my life when I ensure that fitness plays a major role in my life. So I am coming from a place of prioritizing happines.
I’ve realized this year that my fitness routine goes beyond getting to the gym because I should. It goes beyond wanting to “look good naked.” It even goes beyond what the scale says or how my pants fit or how much weight I’ve lost or gained and how much I have left to lose. For me, the act of having fitness goals, pursuing them, trying hard, doing it with a community, giving and getting support, seeing my friends succeed, experimenting with results, tracking my progress, celebrating that progress — all of those things are things that I truly ENJOY! Things I NEED, even. That hour every day is this little gift that I give myself above and beyond all the stuff that I am REQUIRED to do in life. Sure sometimes it feels hard, or there are things I’d rather be doing — but more often than not it’s my sanity saver. My happy place.
Also I realized last Friday — after a workout that felt especially BRUTAL, mostly because my last two weeks of gym attendance had been spotty — that it is SO. SO. MUCH. EASIER. to just show and up and do this regularly even when it is hard, than it is to find the time and energy to make a “come back.” When I am committed to what I am doing in the gym, it helps me focus better on my commitments OUTSIDE the gym. And without that over the last year I have truly felt a little bit lost. I was missing this essential piece of self-care.
I’ve been rolling it over in my mind comparing what I *was* doing when my workouts were just going off without a hitch and what I’ve been doing. And there were two main observations that kept popping up.
1. I used to be COMMITTED to working out mostly in the mornings.
2. I shared a lot more about my workouts.
The morning workouts are an easy fix. I’m going to set my alarm early a couple days a week and just GET IT DONE. The second one, well – I haven’t quite found that solution yet. Somewhere over the last year I started feeling a little self conscious about talking about workouts. I mean, I’m the first one to roll my eyes about That Guy’s Instagram and Facebook feed with 500 hashtags talking about his squat PR. Enough already! But there is also something so motivating about sharing and connecting with like minded folks who are trying to take care of themselves in that same way that you are. There is a fine line in overshaing and while I’m not sure I always stay on the right side of it, I have to say: blogging, tweeting, instagramming, facebooking about fitness goals and successes have kept me super motivated in the past. It may seem like a cheesy little thing, but I am going to commit to doing a little bit more of that in the coming days too.
I’m determined to get my groove back, friends. And I hope you don’t mind if I talk a little incessantly about it for a minute.
I don’t know that it will be easy, but I definitely learned this past year that the alternative sure isn’t a cake walk either.