The message in this article comes to me at the perfect time:
By no means am I suggesting that there always comes a time when it’s time to quit a sport or a training pursuit. I am simply suggesting that you take time to reflect with honesty and courage on how this pursuit is working out for you. Are you generally inspired and jazzed by your training, or are there more days than not when you feel drained, tired, defeated? Motivation level is a critical indicator, not only of how well you are likely to do at a sport, but also of how positive the effects of your involvement are. If you are feeling unmotivated, it can be a sign that your emotional, psychological, and physical needs are not being met by participation in your sport, and it can also be a result of excessive stress and not enough success to feed your system. (see reference below: James Loehr’s book on Toughness Training has a nice section on low motivation). How about social indicators? Are your social connections being maintained in healthy ways, or are you finding that you are throwing yourself so heavily into your training that relationships outside of it have dwindled? Physical signs are equally important. Is your body responding in ways that show improvement, or are you constantly fighting injuries or pretending you don’t have pain when you walk?
This kind of self-reflection is critical for ongoing happiness, development, and health. Of course there are some commitments that are non-negotiable. Parenting is one of them. You can’t decide a few years in that it’s just not working out for you because the effort outweighs the upsides. But most of us give a lot of ourselves to some other endeavor, and I’m arguing that it’s worth assessing the results of this at any given time. Given that we only go around once, figuring out when it might be time to step away from something—maybe forever and maybe just for a while—is probably a really smart thing to do. Leaving something behind makes room for something new, which is awesome. But let’s not jump right into that. There is much to be learned from allowing ourselves the gift of time, space, and the capacity for more. The next great thing will find its way in, and it just might be the very thing you had to leave behind in order to figure that out.
Day two of my self imposed disconnect and I woke up feeling good. I have been getting up at 515A for such a long time, its very odd but refreshing to get some solid sleep in. Although I did wake up in the middle of the night.
This is going to be a very interesting experiment for me actually –and it will take me out of my comfort zone. So it is very much in line with CrossFit philosophy. I am thinking of going for a run this evening and have plans to go over to my friend’s garage gym to get in a workout tomorrow AM.
Someone said to me yesterday –you can’t take a break, how will things happen if you aren’t there. While it’s nice to hear, it’s not really true. Life goes on with or without you. It’s the truth and wheels keep turning. Sometimes a break will highlight all you brought to the table or it highlights the fact that you were just indeed a cog in the wheel. Or it could even highlight how strong what you helped build is, it grows with or without you there. Anything worth your time, deserves some time to step back to assess and reassess what it is bringing into your life and what it is taking from it. It’s the only way to know whether you need to make adjustments.
Here it is 1:40 in the morning and I can’t sleep. I can’t stop thinking about something that happened yesterday and how it helped clarify some of the reasons why I have been feeling so out of sorts and burnt out lately. And it also has me doing some serious thinking about where my head is at with regards to my fitness and health goals.
I am very much the kind of person that when I commit to something – I go at it 110%. I’m all in – no question. Most of the time that’s a good thing but sometimes it doesn’t really mesh well with how something is being run. And when that happens, me being all in can cause some issues. Not only for me and how I react to situations and people, but also to whatever it is I am ‘in’ on. That’s what happened yesterday morning and the reality is that I really shouldn’t have reacted to a certain scenario the way I did. Frankly, I’m not even sure why I did and my reaction caused a shit storm of angry people and hurt feelings. and when it comes down to it –it wasn’t even an issue that I should have been involved with, but that I’m all in attitude stepped up and took over.
The subsequent reaction and backlash of what I did was felt hard and heavy and although I completely understand the feelings and shit storm I caused, it helped bring to light something that I don’t think I realized until it happened. I am burnt out — not just as an athlete but also from being all consumed by CrossFit Impavidus. I haven’t had space from the gym since last June in any real sense. I am there all the time. I take on extra projects. I help people outside of my gym time. I rarely have any down time away. I see the people at CFI sometimes more than my family.
As an athlete, I am burnt out as well. I haven’t been able to step away and rest my tired body.I was starting to feel it before I even left on the 200 mile relay and that relay sealed the deal for me. I have been increasingly becoming unfulfilled in my fitness progress –feeling like I need more 1:1 guidance and coaching as opposed to just group class time. Unfortunately because of my schedule and the way CFI is structured, there is very little opportunity for me to have a coaches personal time and I have been craving it. I think that’s one of the reasons I have been going to a bunch of these CrossFit trainer’s courses –just to learn and get some coaching.
So, I woke up about thirty minutes ago, couldn’t go back to sleep — the tears started flowing and I realized –this isn’t the way it is supposed to be and decided to take 2-4 weeks off completely from CFI. To disconnect for a while from the gym, reset my head, reacquaint myself with what I really want from my fitness journey, and try some out some other stuff. Was thinking about Yoga and Barre classes to mix it up. The most important thing to me is to find joy in working out –it’s my Me time and when that’s not happening, it’s a sign to step back and evaluate where I am. Which is what I am doing –
Hannah has been selected as the DTES 2013 recipient of the Ashburn Ruritan Club Award. Teachers and principals decide which student they believe are great models of citizenship.
This award is all about students who are good citizens, kids that are nice, respectful of their elders and who go out of their way to help others.
I went and did some de-loading today. I am feeling better but still sore and just feeling meh about my training. I am trying to mix it up a bit –doing endurance and want to start doing some strength training as well and then splatter in some regular CrossFit for a while. Mix it up — see how my body will respond to a different approach for a while.
Have you read the story about the three kidnapped women who have been found alive? My heart breaks for them, all the years they have lost, the fear they lived in, the completely craziness they had to witness and live through. Hopefully, they will be able to acclimate back into their family’s lives and get the help they will no doubt need.
Saturday I spent the day at the CrossFit Strongman Trainer’s Course from the guys at Hybrid Athletics. I learned proper technique to lift heavy shit. This was probably the funnest trainer’s course I have been too. I have broad shoulders so I know a thing or two about lifting and once I learn how to lift it efficiently, man I could lift all day long. Well not really, but you know get the idea.
How does Strongman Lifting Help an Athlete? Hybrid Athletics shares their thoughts but here is what I learned from the course:
Why would someone want to learn Strongman Lifting??
- Remember that all of the lifting of this heavy shit is remembered vs learned. Think about babies and how they have the perfect squat or how they lift using perfect form? You remember the techniques very quickly because we were all babies once.
- You get a big return on your time investment. If you lift and carry heavy loads short distances you are using your full body and will see strength gains. No doubt about it.
- Lifting this stuff is innate in all of us and we are hardwired to do it. Our bodies will adjust to get it done fast and efficiently which is why there are very little issues with bad form. It corrects itself very quickly.
- This shit is fun! I seriously just want to lift heavy stuff all day long now. I felt like a big bad ass when I was done. Who doesn’t like feeling like that?
We focused on Tire Flipping, Yolk carries, Logs, Atlas stones, Farmer Carries and Kegs.
Although I have flipped tires before, learning how to properly lean into the tire and start on your toes makes all the difference. Once you do that, your knee generally goes into automatic and goes right under that tire to give you some time to adjust your hand placement. After a few tries, I was lifting like a boss.
Atlas stones and Kegs and Logs generally require using the same technique to get those suckers up and over. What I like about the technique –its not complex and after a few tries –everyone in the large class got it.
For the Atlas stones, deadlift it up to your knees, bring your feet together and cradle making sure the stone sits high on your chest above your boobs (for the ladies), then push your hips back and then thrust up forward to move that stone up to your shoulder. Sounds familiar right? Just like Oly lifting –however not so complex that you have to do it all together at the same time. Which is completely what gets me!
Its all about the hip drive and posterior chain when doing Strongman lifting.
Think about it –what isn’t about the hip drive when trying to lift heavy crap? You have a ton of power in your hips and legs, why not use them?
One reminder that was constantly mentioned: Save your Biceps! You shouldn’t be using them other than as straps or minor support. That’s how people get hurt — Hips, Hip Drive — that’s what does that work.
The coaches at the course were awesome –friendly guys who didn’t treat the women any differently than the dudes who were lifting. Most of the CrossFit courses don’t but these guys were just really awesome about it. They hung out with the ladies just as much as the guys –and pushed, supported and cheered us on no differently than the guys. I have seen where sometimes when there is a group of ladies working on something and a few use the word “I Can’t”, there is no rallying around her to push. These guys did it –and were right each and every time!
I am in awe of their coaching skills and they were having the best time. You could totally tell that they love what they do. They didn’t spend a bunch of time pontificating about the stuff they know either. They told us what we needed to know and then got us moving and learning hands on. This was my kind of coaching scenario!
They also talked about Strength Takes Time to Develop – so you have to be patient to develop strength. One of the coaches talked about how he decided he was going to try a quick strength building program that he had heard about to test it –and in a short amount of time, he realized that it was crap and he was having knee pain when he had never suffered from it. He stopped testing it after that realizing that the program was trying to rush a process that develops over a lifetime.
And of course Strongman lifting is infinitely scalable — you can use lighter Atlas stones, smaller tires so that anyone can participate. Not just the guys that look like the guy in the pic above.
A few things to warn you about:
You will get bruised!
And you will Be Sore!
And you will be sore as all get out for the next few days afterwards, which is why I took a rest day today. Between this course and gardening, my body is living fit and sore to the max!
An awesome quote left on my blog yesterday evening was just what I needed to read and I am taking it to heart and resting for a few days to get my mojo and my energy back -
Being a good role model doesn’t mean being perfect all the time, but teaching others how to deal with their own imperfections.
I have been buying flowers the past few weeks –to brighten up the house and also to help brighten up the family. I think even if you aren’t depressed or feeling low, staying connected to beauty, nature and wonder is key in staying centered and at peace. It’s all a part of self care –continuing to take care of yourself and making you and your family the priority! And come on–flowers are cheap therapy!
The world is a really pretty place if we stop and pay attention!
I so needed to read this article: Fighting the “Mehs” – When Taking Some Time Off Is Good
I often lose sight of how I am really feeling inside because my fitness routine is so ingrained and so much a part of who I am. I miss being at the gym when I am not there and I know that people look to me to help spur their own journey to getting fit and healthy. The reality is that sometimes I do experience burn out and need time off.
And just like Dizzle says — it’s good to step away, get some real rest and get re-energized and pumped about heading back in. I have noticed that I havent made huge gains in certain areas and quite frankly am not too pumped about even trying. That’s when I know there is an issue.
The one thing I have been pumped about is running –getting to figure out my damn running form. I saw a bunch of pics from my 200 mile relay this weekend and man — I don’t lean. Don’t get how to lean even when I think I am leaning. I am straight up and down. Proof is in the pictures. Now some of that was due to sheer exhaustion but man — I am fired up to figure it out. So I am going to either take a few solid days off or de-load and just focus on form for the next few weeks to refuel my inspiration tank so I can feel pumped up again!
I need a vacation -
1 Hang Snatch
all the way to 11. (I went to 8 until I ran out of time and stuck with a 53# to work on Snatch form)
I am still recovering from the race but feel better — and I really am so proud of myself for stepping far far out of my comfort zone and doing it. I challenge myself all the time with CrossFit but this was not only physically challenging but mentally. My brother and I talked afterwards and he said –the old Stephanie is officially gone! How true –
The one thing that it has really done that surprised me is given me some renewed energy and inspiration day to day. I am ready to head back to work and tackle whatever comes my way — and deal with the good and the bad with a new set of eyes. I have decided to take a renewed look at the way I see things in life and the way I speak of others and focus on positive aspects of my relationships. They say that when you focus on the good, good comes your way. Let’s truly see if that is the case.
Back Box Squat
12×2 Back Box Squats
Oh and re: the phone. They had to replace my phone and gave me a good deal and I got the protection plan this time. Not taking any chances!!