This post stems from a normal, but annoying scenario that plays out pretty frequently in my life right now. I found myself sobbing uncontrollably while doing weighted hip thrusts(at least I wasn't going overhead!) the other day. I finally couldn't keep it bottled up anymore. It had been a long week filled with work, meetings, and the normal everyday tasks. Unfortunately, There is always an underlying surge of stress pumping through my body these days. No matter how calm, cool, and collected I may appear from the outside, my insides are a raging mess. Long gone are the carefree days.
I am trying to balance my mom's situation with raising my family. I never thought in a million years that I would be taking care of a parent at age 35. Dealing with that along with trying to keep my dad from losing his sanity takes a toll on me on a regular basis. There are doctors appointments, insurance company run-ins, and long drives back and forth to Annapolis. The only thing I have control over in my life right now is my health.
As a trainer, I know how important exercise is to health and longevity, but it sometimes causes more harm than good. We always talk about the importance of balancing the three aspects of health, nutrition, exercise, and recovery and managing stress is a major part of the recovery process. Recently I have been fighting to get back to the level of fitness I once possessed. Long gone are the days of crushing a metcon without it crushing me first:( Instead, I am trying to catch my breath and survive the workout. Instead of getting that metcon high, I feel tired and completely wasted both mentally and physically. This is my body's way of telling me that I am extremely stressed and have to take a different approach to my fitness right now and I am finally starting to listen.
Strength exercises are my workout of choice right now. 5x5 deadlifts, squats, hanging power cleans, push presses, etc. My numbers on these lifts have decreased, but I keep focusing on what I CAN do with perfect form and the physiological demands are less than that of a punishing metcon. My body responds well to this type of training and it's all I can manage right now. When I choose to do a metcon it is SLOW and methodical where I concentrate on form and moving my body in different directions and through a full range of motion rather than killing myself to get a good time.
I always tell my classes and clients that some days they just need to get through. They don't have to kill themselves every time they workout. They have to listen to their body and be kind to it. We all have our own issues and stressors. Working out should be something we enjoy, not dread and it should add to our overall happiness and well being. Adding more stress to your life through intense exercise is not the way to go. Cut your body some slack and truly listen to it. Sometimes just taking a hike with the kids or playing football with Will is all my body can take for that day and I am happy with that. I know that I will get my mojo back, but it is going to take time and TLC. Instead of beating myself up, I am going to focus on living in the present moment and being grateful for my wonderful life:) Life is not about the quest for the perfect body. It's about loving and accepting our bodies as unique and beautiful. If we keep this mentality, they will transform before our very eyes.