This summer has found me re-energized with the gym. Ash K has graciously allowed me to come and help with her beginners class a couple times a week, I'm getting in WOD's 5-6 days, and I'm even throwing in some goat work at home on running and double unders and the whole plethora of things I suck at. It's rewarding and frustrating as hell at the same time, because I know that if I had been committed enough to keep showing up every day and not peter out every couple weeks/months I'd be so much further right now. Not that I'm not thrilled with my progress and abilities, but I know what I'm capable of, and my friends know what I'm capable of, and at some point it just becomes shameful to have to walk back in there and be like "yeah, I'm back, sorry guys I sucked again."
Not that anyone else should care whether I'm there or not. Ultimately you have to make the decision that you're going to keep working at it and doing your best and just fucking showing up (especially on the days you don't want to) for yourself and NO ONE ELSE. So I guess at the same time that I'm mad at myself, I feel like hey at least I keep showing back up. It's really hard to beat a person who won't give up. Staying motivated seems to be about 95% of the battle for me, so I've been trying to come up with ways to keep myself on the straight-and-narrow this time around. If it helps me maybe it'll help someone else, so here ya go:
Immersion in all things Crossfit.
When I'm bored I watch videos on YouTube about Oly lifts, sometimes I make notes. My form isn't nearly as good as it should be because I spent too much time in the beginning trying to be the fastest instead of trying to do it right. BUT I've learned a lot, and it's definitely getting a lot better! Crossfit blogs are pretty awesome too--The Practice in Troy and Crossfit Lisbeth both have badass posts all the time, serving up a daily dose of awesomeness. There's one post in particular that I read all the time at gopractice.biz called "Sabotage" (probably because it feels like I could have written it word. for. word.) Check em out, it's a good read!
Don't be Afraid to Suck.
Some days at the gym, I feel like I just suck at everything. Oly lifts are my favorite because I can move heavy weight, but who cares if you can deadlift a bear if you can't even do a handstand or a pull-up. I mean I suck at so many simple, body-weight movements that it's overwhelming to even list them all! So instead of letting it drive me crazy I started working on a different one every week. And there's no shame in asking for help. You come into this group of people who look more like gods than humans and it's really intimidating, even for someone like me who has been in the fold for a long time. I let my fear of trying and sucking keep me from actually DOING a lot of things for a long time (in the gym and my personal life), but here's the harsh reality of the situation: Either you embrace the suck, or you grow stagnant. End of story, simple as that. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable!
Do stuff! Show up to class every day, go out running or practice things at home, see how the things you do at the gym transfer over to your life outside in the world and at home. I do box jumps on the brick patio wall outside my house or hurl my boys around above my head every night at bedtime. Signing up for Crossfit competitions (BATR is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had, hands down), or other physical tests as simple as a 5k can show you just how far you've come in your health and it gives you added motivation to stay the course because you're always preparing for the next big thing.
The truth is, I don't have all the answers. What I have learned has generally always been a result of trial and error (and error, and error, and error, and error....etc... you get the picture). Some days, especially during those first few weeks back, I literally had to tell myself every morning to just keep showing up. It isn't always easy.. sometimes I'm tired or I ate like shit the day before or I just have a piss-poor attitude, but I know that if I can convince myself in that 15 second window to haul my ass out of bed and get ready for the gym then my day, and ultimately my life, is going to get that much better.