My friend called me yesterday after joining Planet Fitness. She was pretty bummed about it because it’s not where she wants to be right now with her exercise, but she recently tweaked her neck/shoulder and received pretty strict instructions from her doctor to modify her workouts or she could cause serious damage. She’s also a massage therapist so needs her body for her work so can’t take the risk. We chatted about how “this too shall pass”, and she’ll be back to her regular workouts soon enough, but it’s tough to motivate yourself when you’re not doing what you want to be doing. Her preference is for more intense workouts with heavy lifting and lots of variety. I asked her when she was the happiest with her fitness and she said it was when she was doing Crossfit. Although crossfit can modify her workouts for her current situation, there’s still a lot of movements she can’t be doing so she’ll feels Crossfit is not the best fit for her right now.
As we were discussing these things, I realized I, too, am not in a place where I want to be with my fitness. Having just moved, I am not a part of a gym community yet. I am also unemployed so didn’t want to take on the expense of a membership right away. Jaxon is still learning to sleep so I’m only getting 3-5 hours of rest at night. And he prefers to nap on me which means I wear him for hours each day, and my lower back is taking the brunt of it! My body is tired, and my energy is low. Heavy lifting or long endurance workouts are out of the question. I’ve been doing lots of slow and steady workouts in my basement studio. I feel good mentally after each workout, and remind myself I will get back to where I want to be physically at some point.
As we chatted back and forth trying to support and motivate each other, it became clear to me that our workouts reflect where we are. For my friend, her workouts are about healing her body back to health, especially because her body is her livelihood. Personally, I need gentle workouts that still leave me feeling challenged, but my body in tack so I can care for my son. For both of us, these phases will end and so will our current workout routines. I’d like to get back to long(er) distance running. My friend can get back to Crossfit, but for now, it is our responsibility to respond to our current situations and not beat ourselves up for not doing more/heavier/longer/faster.
Live is full of ups and downs, health and sickness, success and challenges. Likewise, there will be times when you’re on top of your fitness game. Your workouts will be consistent and challenging. The scale will show that number you want and your body will be banging. Likewise, there will be times when you’re too busy to exercise because of work or family demands. You may get hurt or sick or pregnant. During those times, you may have to modify or tweak your workouts. You may have to skip a day, or change your training modality. You may gain a few pounds, or grow out of your favorite pants. This is not a be all end all, though. This doesn’t define who you are. It’s empowering to realized that we can change our situation, and our bodies, as needed. As we accept and adjust to our situations in life, we must also do the same with our exercise routines. Be kind to yourself during these bumps because they are exactly that; bumps. Just keep going. A new situation is right around the corner.