We’ve all been through it in some form or another: time off from the gym. Whether it’s due to injury, travel, work, finances, whatever- we’ve all had to take time off in order to take care of other priorities. At first, we are totally bummed. We miss throwing weights around with our friends. But then we start to settle in to our new normal, and as time goes on, going back seems more and more daunting. Even though we know how good it is for us, we also know how badly it will suck when we finally make it back. But we’re too tired to go…but not going makes us tired, crabby, and flabby. And the cycle continues.
After taking seven years off from teaching to be a stay-at-home mama, I returned to the classroom in September and was shocked back into the workforce. I’ve had many roles in my life but this one was new to me. I’d been a teacher before, I’d been a wife and a mom before, I’d been a coach before, but never all at the same time. And I’m the type of personality that tries to do it all and do it well. Due to the nature of teaching high school English, which requires a substantial amount of work outside of the classroom, I knew that something had to give. Sadly, I quit coaching, which also ended up becoming a very inconsistent wod schedule.
Previously, my wod schedule was in the morning 4-days-a-week and never missed strength day. Once the school year started, I ended up going once, maybe twice a week, which turned into long 10-day stretches of not working out. My job entails not just time at school but also grading papers, meetings, events, and exhaustion. Having my own children means homework, sports, activities, and events. And exhaustion. Not to mention keeping our house from falling to a scary state of dog hair and graham cracker crumbs. And food! I love cooking, how was this all going to work? Something had to give, and it was my fitness.
Fall and winter were rough- a period of adjustment- but by spring we had our new normal figured out. Day-to-day life was stabilizing; I was back in the groove of classroom life and my own kids were thriving. It was a great time to refocus on myself because when I’m out of whack, the whole family is out of whack. And that meant recommitting to the gym.
Wodding has always been a physical release, of course, exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. And it is also a great way to clear your head of whatever stresses life presents. And I’m sure you can agree- knowing this is one thing but putting it into practice is the challenge. Having been so inconsistent for so long, I’d lost all of my strength, mobility, and conditioning. For seven months my goal was simply to show up! Go through the motions, sweat a little, and chat with friends. After those seven months I realized my fitness goal wasn’t even fitness based, it was to try not to turn into a blob of faculty room snacks (that’s a post in and of itself). Time to readjust.
Here is what I know for sure: NOT wodding makes us feel old, tired, stressed out, and flabby. I don’t like this muffin top I’ve acquired, I feel slow, and I don’t like being stressed out. Here is what I also know for sure: wodding makes us feel good. It needs to be a priority, for the sake of our health and well-being, for our sanity, for our families.
This spring, I’ve recommitted to myself. I spent a week or so saying “I used to do _____.” But “used to” isn’t right now and “used to” can be mentally debilitating. So I’ve started over on pretty much everything. Sometimes taking a step back, which can be frustrating, actually takes us a few steps forward. And this is what is so great about CrossFit- it’s not about what other people are doing, it’s not me vs. you. It’s me vs me. You vs you. We don’t know what curve balls life is going to throw us. But we can pick ourselves up, refocus, and start over. Because no matter what, change is constant. It’s our job to keep up.