Tuesday’s with Jerry
A Long Term Relationship… to fitness
You think I want to talk about your relationship to people?!
Think about your fitness routine over the years. Where it stands now, where it stood before, where you want it to stand in the future. Are you fighting? Resenting one another? Are you being a good listener? Maybe in the gross honeymoon phase? Have you met it’s parents?
Like any strong and long lasting relationship, it has its ups and downs. Those times you aren’t speaking. And those times you wondered how you ever lived without each other.
Gross, get a room.
If you’re like me, perhaps you are getting frustrating and downright pissed off with your fitness routine right now. Irritated that you don’t have access to everything you want. Angry that you lack the motivation you normally have from being in a class, led by a coach, or around a community of people putting in the same work.
And I understand, self-motivation is not easy. A topic I plan to explore more in depth soon. But today is to tell you that it is okay that your routine has changed. It’s okay if it doesn’t look the same. It’s okay if it takes a back seat for a little while so you can focus on yourself, your family, your health, and your new temporary life.
Maybe a little distance from your normal routine is what you needed. Time and space is where we find perspective, re-evaluate what we used to accept as normal, and grow.
Maybe this is your opportunity to listen to what your body is telling you, try new things, dare I say rest, and figure out how you and your fitness routine can get to a stronger and healthier place in the future,
I first heard the phrase “quarantine 15” a couple days ago. Apparently it’s a thing. And per usual, I didn’t know about it because I tune out most things. And most people. Sorry, everyone in my life, but it’s true.
But naturally when I first heard this phrase, and paired it with all the memes about summer bodies being postponed and what not, I did what I always do and rolled my eyes. Nope. That won’t happen. Grow up, people. Don’t turn this situation into an excuse to eat like an a-hole.
And then, a few days into the quarantine life, and by a few I mean one. One day. I was that person that freaked out and got irrationally angry at life because I couldn’t go to my normal CrossFit gym, with my normal equipment, and do a few totally normal and brutal workouts.
And then I got angrier when I realized I clearly didn’t have the mental strength to either put myself through a workout or, better yet, take a damn breath and think, hey dude chill out everything is fine.
I was angry I didn’t have options. Angry that I was clearly so dependent on having the right place and the right things to get a good workout. And angry that this was what I was angry about. With everything going on, this one insignificant thing tipped me over the edge.
Needless to say my fitness routine and I were not speaking.
My sister got me a book for Christmas. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. It’s called, “The Joy of Doing Just Enough” by Jennifer McCartney. To summarize, its intent is to calm down type A psychopaths like myself who have to do everything bigger, faster, better, harder. The overachievers who think doing enough is not enough unless enough is the absolute best.
This same sister also got me a weighted blanket.
I’m not trying to read into this or anything, but I think, I think, Amanda is trying to tell me something.
One of the hardest, but most valuable, lessons I learned being a studio manager was that you have to know when to let some things slide through the cracks, and what to prioritize. You can’t be everything to everyone and nail each and every piece of your job 110% 24/7. Even if that is what’s expected. It’s unreasonable and unrealistic.
Well. Let’s look at life right now.
We’re faced with a global situation that is beyond our control. We’re coming to terms with living, working, and doing literally everything from our couch. So of course that relationship you have to fitness (and everything else) is being tested. But to uphold the expectation that you must crank out an hour work out that was similar to what you were doing a few weeks ago is both unreasonable and unrealistic.
Who’s putting these expectations on you, by the way? Who is putting these expectations on you, EMILY?!
Me. That girl in the mirror. That’s who.
Look. It’s not easy. To come to terms with this. Being okay with not being okay. Sounds simple enough, right? Letting go. Letting the expectations adjust. Letting your relationship take a pause or a redirection.
But we – me, me right here, I – must see this as the opportunity we didn’t know we needed.
Like any good and healthy relationship, you need to communicate. Openly and honestly.
Was I happy doing what I did before?
Did I need something else out of it?
Was I getting too comfortable? Going through the motions because it was easier than stepping back and thinking, is this making me better/stronger/faster or am I in a constant state of ‘eh good enough’?
What do I miss about the relationship I’ve had with fitness in the past and the one I will demand in the future?
Is this the rest period I’ve been needing? Why?
Can I swap that hour workout with something else? A walk? A new hobby? A youtube yoga video? A FaceTime date?
Do I actually care what that person is doing on Instagram? No. Screw those push ups.
the opportunity we didn’t know we needed
In case you didn’t realize. I write this stuff as a direct letter to myself. As a coach, I need to ask myself these things often and ask it of others.
But as a human, I don’t ask these things often enough and instead get caught up in my own head and the unrealistic expectations I put on myself.
But here’s what I’m trying to do:
Show myself some grace. I suck at that. But the first step is admitting it.
I’m learning when enough is enough. I’m dealing with a different kind of stress and anxiety that I’ve never felt before and is manifesting itself in ways it never has, along with millions of others. And in the past when fitness was my way to deal, I’m learning I have to find a different outlet. A slower outlet. One that forces me to re-focus and sit in my own head.
And yikes is that a scary place. Full of burpees, crockpots, Spartan Race obstacles, and Jerry.
Sure, I’m staying active.
Fitness has been my life for years now and I’ve gotten quite good at putting workouts together. But it looks different. I’m getting more use out of my one kettlebell than ever before. I’m getting outside. Rain or shine, I’m out there. And with the help of friends, I’m letting myself rest.
I’m writing out my “workouts” for the week. There is power in putting pen to paper, friends.
Mentally knowing Tuesday is the day I’ll go on a 30 min walk. Wednesday I’ll stay in. Thursday I’ll hop on a virtual class. Kettlebell, I’m coming for you Friday.
We have a lot to deal with right now. There is a lot at stake.
Keep the line of communication with your fitness routine open. Maybe jot down what you want from it and what you will let slip through the cracks right now. Talk it through with a friend. (Hi pick me! I’ll be your friend).
And know that whatever your routine looks like, it’s the right one.
Be kind to yourself and your body. They’re doing great.