Fallen off your horse lately?

Have you ever ridden, and fallen off a horse? It hurts, apparently. However, I’m told you just have to suck it up and climb back on and everything gets better. Have you fallen from your exercise routine lately? Do you even have a routine? It can be really hard getting going after a lull, whatever the reason for that may be. You know what though? You’re really not helping yourself. Sure – at times we allow ourselves some ‘down time’ to heal, reflect or perhaps just feel sorry for yourself. Maybe life has thrown a few curveballs and you knock an hours exercise on the head in a vain attempt to get back on the straight and narrow. Who are you kidding? You know you’ll feel so much better after you’ve thrown some weights around. So what holds us back? Simple answer is YOU. How many of us mentioned feeling this way lately, especially post lockdown.

carrying a load? let off some steam!

This is not unique to me, I know. I’ve been chatting with many people, trying to get back into training again like they used to. Luckily talking has helped them and most definitely me to get back on the horse.

In January 2020 I was the fittest I’d been by far since I’d started CrossFit, having just finished being part of the Saxon Million a burpee challenge in aid of the Big C charity, where I’d completed 500 burpees a day for 30 days. So I had all the best intentions when we hit lockdown in March 2020 to stay that fit.

Lockdown 1 started with those good intentions in tact, and continued intense exercise, but as it went on the intensity reduced as the motivation reduced.  During the subsequent lockdowns this trend continued in it’s downward spiral, with the only exercise ending up as dog walking. This lack of exercise had a huge detrimental affect on my mental health. Exercise, the Saxon way, had always been a stress reliever, a mood fixer and the side affects of being physically fit and strong were just great additional benefits, benefits that made me feel even better. A great continuous circle that was now broken.

Push on through, you’ll thank yourself later.

So when we came out of lockdown I was excited and very apprehensive. I knew my fitness was at it’s lowest for the last six years, since I’d started CrossFit, and I knew it was going to hurt! I also remembered how much I had loved exercising, not while doing it, but how it made me feel after. I expected that I would just do my first session, accept the pain that would be inevitable being so unfit, but once the first couple of sessions were over I’d be back on to loving it all over again.
This, however, was not the case, I had to force myself to go to every session week on week, because I was forcing myself, I was going sporadically and not loving it and not gaining my mental fix often enough. Don’t underestimate the positive effect being at the Box has on us, just look at these happy faces if you don’t believe me! Humans need other humans, and we enjoy collective suffering and the sense of accomplishment that comes afterwards.

Slowly though I went from two sessions a week to three, then four, still a grind, but starting to see physical progress and so starting to feel better. The turning point from forcing myself to train to looking forward to training was another charity event challenge, the RS3 24 Hour WodAthon for xyz charity  that I and the Saxon members were keen to support. The week before this WodAthon I trained the most I had since coming back, was this my vanity, I was about to train with people I didn’t know and lots of them. I’d committed to the first workout Saturday at 12 noon, the  midnight workout and the last workout 11am Sunday morning. It was this consistent and multiple workouts that kickstarted my love of exercising again. The stress reliever and mood fixer was well and truly back and what a wonderful feeling that was and still is.

I now know, for me it’s the regularity of intense training I need, I now look forward to training every time, even the sessions with movements I find difficult or exercises I just have an aversion to.  If you are still forcing yourself to train, and want to start looking forward to training, maybe adding more sessions a week will work for you, like it did for me. 
Hopefully you’ll start loving exercise as much as you did before, if not more.
Gary. (Member of Saxon since January 2016)