“I used to be a badass”, is the phrase I can’t help but say to myself as I look through pictures from just a year or two ago when I was at the peak of my fitness ability. Now when I go into a WOD, like Fran or Grace, and all I can think is how much more fluid my pull-ups or cleans used to feel and how much faster I could finish.
When everything was new it was easy to be addicted, progress and improvement were the fuel I needed to stay at the gym for hours. Once I started taking classes towards my Masters degree I distinctly remember showing up at the gym at 5am, 30 minutes before they opened, so I could warm up and hit the ground running as soon as those garage doors opened because I knew later in the day was not an option. Now? An extra hour of fitness may contribute to a PR but no longer has the same impact as dedicating an extra hour on an important work project, sneaking an hour out of my day to catch up with friends, or sometimes just committing an extra hour of sleep.
I’ve learned to be careful in my self-pity, as much as I’ve ‘let myself go’ I recognize I am still able to do things that many around me are still working towards; I’m still toned, my arms are still more defined than some women would ever want. But, it’s also been a while since anyone asked if I’m taking steroids! In a weird way, I miss that satisfaction of knowing how much work I had put in.
The truth is 8 years ago before I started CrossFit, I could run. I couldn’t snatch or overhead squat an empty 15# training bar. I could barely do a pull-up with assistance from one of the heaviest bands. Rope climbs? No thanks. So every day I step in that gym, whether for 30 minutes or 2 hours, I’m left to remind myself it’s never been about what I’ve lost, but instead everything I’ve gained.
My tips for staying motivated:
• Do it for yourself – what happens if that person that keeps you going to the gym is no longer part of your life? The only person you can be responsible for getting to the gym is yourself.
• Remember why you started – it probably wasn’t to be a Games athlete. General fitness? Community? Looking good naked? Those things are all there long after aspirations of being a Games athlete have disappeared.
• Redefine your role in the community – Do you think you’ve plateaued? Help someone else that’s trying to get to where you are, I guarantee you’ll feel good and learn something along the way (while helping someone else!).
• Analyze your time – some days it’s impossible to imagine taking even 20 minutes to do some push-ups and a few running intervals, but when you have time, even if it’s just 20 minutes, be active, get outside, lift, but stay involved – it makes more of a difference than you might think. If you find an hour, jump into class and play with friends…it’s a lot better than watching your friends play on their Instagram feeds.