How hard is it sometimes to get your groove back in the gym and your diet after a short period away!? Whether it be illness, a holiday, an injury, a busy patch with work or family, or even coming back from a more specific sport. Sometimes it feels like starting from scratch!

All that impending effort and pain and struggle. “Is it really worth all that effort all over again? Maybe one more day off, I’m this far back now, surely one more day off won’t hurt?” 

2 weeks later…

“Awww now it’s going to be really hard. Maybe I’ll just quit and do something else (or nothing else).”

We like to call it ‘holiday mode’. It’s not that. It’s more like fear, procrastination and/or laziness. There is no such thing as ‘holiday mode’.

I have just gotten back into some good solid consistent CrossFit following the seasons end of footy. I trained throughout the season, but not as consistently and not as intensely. 

I found it hard.

I am not feeling as strong as I was prior to the footy season, and complex weightlifting was gassing the hell out of me. It wasn’t a nice feeling. 

It confirmed to me that I have got a bit of work to do, especially as I want to be even stronger than I was at the beginning of the year. It confirmed to me that to even think about getting stronger, I have to start by getting back to where I was first. This is a challenging thought when I know where I have already been and know how much work it took to get there. 

This is the critical point of thinking where we decide to either suck it up and get moving, or hold off another day or 50. 

Whenever we are returning to challenging exercise we have most likely come from a place of low exertion, or a different form of exertion. So when we start to think about having to re-exert ourselves it is very hard to look past all of the struggle… the pounding chest, the heavy breathing, the soaking sweat, the all-over muscle strain… it’s not a comforting thought, especially when we are perceiving ourselves to be of lower fitness than before. “How on earth am I going to handle that pain now that I am less fit!?”

Nothing appears to be in your favour.

And it’s not.

But depending on your mindset you can look at it as a problem or an opportunity. 

Problem – “Oh it’s going to take forever to start lifting as heavy as I was again.”

Opportunity – “So I am being forced to lift lighter for now. This is the perfect chance to slow myself down and work on fixing up the errors in my movement I had been avoiding.”

When I started back I got totally schooled on a workout with snatches. My thoughts went exactly as above. My initial reaction was the ‘problem’, but as I thought about it more I found the ‘opportunity’. It helped. It wasn’t a miracle cure to my demotivation, but it was a good start on the road to consistency.

In these times of weakness and fear, we also forget about how much we really enjoy our training in the first place. We have gotten so caught up in the pain and the hard stuff and the discomfort that we forget about how fun it is to lift, to train amongst other legends, tunes pumping, fist bumps all round. We forget that as much as the struggle is tough, we secretly like it, and we certainly LOVE the feeling once its over. 

The feeling of accomplishment, the sweat angel symbol of hard work, the pulsing muscles that make your shirt feel that little bit tighter, the feeling that you’re one step closer to an ever improving you. 

You don’t get any of those feels on the couch, with a block of Cadbury’s, binge watching How I Met Your Mother for the 4th time around. Sure there are some great short term feels, but in the long run you’re destined for disaster.

How to succeed when getting back into it:

  1. Start slow. You don’t need to train like ‘your fittest you’ on day 1. You just need to move again. Trying to be somewhere you’re currently not forces you to unhealthily compare and give yourself the ultimate personal beat down. Self sabotage at its finest. Instead, show up with the intentions to move at around 30% intensity. Usually by the end of the warm up you find yourself wanting to push a little more without the self-imposed pressure that you ‘must’ work harder.
  2. Don’t ignore that fact that moving at 30% is better than not moving at all. We occasionally get in the mindset that if we don’t smash ourselves we don’t ‘burn fat’ or get fitter. Yet our alternative to smashing ourselves is sitting on our arses. Really!!?? Moving is ALWAYS better than not moving.
  3. Remind yourself why you enjoyed training so much in the first place. Focus on that during your sessions. Training for fun leads to training for performance. Training performance without some fun isn’t worth it. Training like some sort of elite performance robot is never as effective as training elite, but enjoying yourself at the same time.
  4. Stop looking at the end result. Start looking at one day at a time. 
  5. Teach yourself to love and embrace the hurt. The difference between hating the hurt and loving it… choice. Tell yourself you’re a badass motherf***er that lives for this s*** and that’s what you will become. Tell yourself that this sucks and this is hard and guess what, that is what it will always be.

If you’re looking to get back into it and this has hit home with you, give me a yell. I’ll help you get back. If you don’t live near my gym but this hit home with you, give me a yell! I’m still happy to help you get past this obstacle!