As I left class tonight, and well during, I felt defeated. I struggled with the movements and felt I should have been doing better than I was. As I left I needed to remind myself that it’s okay. It’s okay that I had to scale. It’s okay that it didn’t go as expected (according to the plan in my head). It’s all okay. What’s not okay? Beating myself up over it.
Over the 3-ish years now I’ve been doing CrossFit, I’ve grown so much both physically and mentally. And although I’ve stopped comparing myself to others (for the most part), I haven’t stopped comparing myself, well, to myself. So, if I was able to do a similar style workout better at a previous time, I start getting upset both during and after the WOD.
“I did this once, why can’t I do it again.” Type of mentality.
Well, I’ve been taking a step back to think about this some more. Thinking about not why I’m not able to do something, but why am I beating myself up over it. Let’s talk it out!
1st it’s important to note and for me to remember: Fitness isn’t just a gradual incline from the moment you start, always on the incline forever and ever. There are going to be ups and downs and plateaus and that’s okay!
The workout that defeated me (temporarily)
10 strict Pull-Ups
20 KettleBell Swings (53/35)
What I actually did:
7 strict banded Pull-Ups (Blue + 2 Reds)
20 KettleBell Swings (#25 – Russian Swings)
Physically what was going on? That’s easy. For one I haven’t been attending classes as often, so I’m not progressing as quickly as compared to times when I’m going steady. Secondly, I’ve been working through some shoulder/neck pain and taking it easy to not hurt myself. Both things I acknowledge and accept because I know they are temporary. I know when life calms down a little, I’ll be able to go to more classes. I know working on my shoulder rehab that I’ll be back at it in no time. These are facts that I can accept. But then comes a challenging workout and all of that goes out the window.
So mentally what’s going on? If I know those physical factors to be temporary and I’ll be back on the incline in no time, in theory I shouldn’t be upset.
- Guilt: I admit, I feel guilt when I’ve only made it to the gym 1-2x per week. I struggle with finding time to work out + all the other life stuff.
- Fear: I have an irrational fear that I will regress and erase the years of work in a week.
- General Self-Consciousness: Self doubt feelings that I’m being judged for not being as good as I should be.
I feel like I’m a complicated gal. I talk about these feelings of self-doubt, but on the other hand I do know I’m doing an amazing job! I really do. But I’m human and with that comes a roller coaster of feelings.
Addressing my guilt. Someone recently told me, I need to make fitness a bigger priority, but I actually disagree. I know myself and I know the moment I start forcing myself to do something to a point where it affects my other priorities, that’s the moment I start resenting it. So, right now in the month of December I might need to go to the gym less to balance, well life. And I need to accept that it’s okay. I shouldn’t feel guilty because I need to get home and take care of other priorities. Before I know it, I’ll be back to my normal schedule. I know this, because I’ve been here before.
Addressing my fear. I think this stems from a lifetime of yo-yo-workout-ing. I know CrossFit is different, and yet in the back of my mind I still fear I’ll just stop and be back to where I was 3 years ago. And even though I know that won’t happen, if I don’t go for 5 days I still think to myself “that’s it, I’ve lost it all”. This is irrational! I’m aware of my irrational thoughts, but I still think them. I must say though, for every 1 bad workout, I have many more good ones. That helps me put my fear to rest. And I need to remind myself of this.
Addressing my self-consciousness. Man, this creeps out of nowhere. I’ll be there, minding my own business, and then bam! I think I’m not doing good enough. I think it’s human to have self-doubt. I think for me, I often let other people’s goals affect me. For example, I don’t weigh myself. I just don’t. I don’t have weight goals, I keep all my goals as fitness goals, but when I hear everyone talking about weight, it gets in my head. Should I care more about it? No. No. No. Alicia. Your goals should be just that. YOUR goals.
Generally speaking, I know I’m awesome. I really do. But certain days, it’s like I have to talk myself down and remind myself of it. I think we are all too hard on ourselves.
Lately I think a lot about life and what type of life I want to have. If I died tomorrow, was I happy? The answer is yes. I am happy. I’m not forcing myself to do things that make me miserable. I don’t say no to tacos or ice cream. I work out whenever I can.
I am progressing in a way and at a speed that works for my overall happiness.
I’d like to encourage everyone to do the same. When you are having a bad day or feelings of self-doubt, take a step back. Ask yourself, why you are feeling this way. Be self-aware of what’s going on. Is this temporary and a moment that will pass and you just needed to be reminded of that? Or is it bigger? Are there more fundamental things that are making you unhappy that you need to address?
On my car ride home from this workout, I basically wrote this in my head. Giving myself one big pep talk, reminding myself of how far I’ve come and how happy I am. By the time I got home, I was good. I worked out. I made it to class and I did what I could, and that’s all that matters. You can’t be on point every single day. You can’t PR every single day. You can’t be having the BESTEST DAY IN THE WORLD EVERY SINGLE DAY.
And that’s OKAY! Give yourself a break.