It’s time I post something a tad bit controversial. After all, I am an opinionated person as you already have the pleasure of knowing if you have ever worked with me!:)
The topic I want to discuss is fitness bandwagons and burnout. This can relate to any type of fitness competition. I have run through the gamut myself: figure competitions, then half marathons, 5Ks, sprint triathlons ( I haven’t had the guts nor desire to go longer yet!), bikini competitions, and now the latest: CrossFit. I have LOVED all of these at one point. Some of these I have given up because I do not find room for them in a balanced fitness lifestyle. What I mean by “balanced fitness lifestyle” is the ability to enjoy other type of activities while still maintaining focus on one predominant fitness measure. For example, when I compete in fitness shows it literally governs my life. I do not have the energy to run more than 3 miles, Crossfit competitively, or even attend an advanced hot yoga class. I sleep, eat, and incline walk fitness shows. I loved the way fitness competitions made me look but hated how lame I was in the process of prepping for them. I LOVED training for half marathons, but I did not like the overuse injuries and extra 5-10lbs it put on my body every year as a side affect of long distance running that women encounter. However, I have kept running as part of my lifestyle 1-2x per week for 3-5 miles year round because I enjoy it and lower volume produces favorable results for me esthetically and metabolically. On to CrossFit. I have been a “CrossFitter” for 3 years now. I have gone through my ups and downs with this relationship. I was like any other fitness enthusiast when they discover CrossFit: OBSESSED. I ate, slept, and breathed CrossFit. I wasn’t particularly skilled by any means, but I had a decent motor and I wanted to see where I could take my performance. I trained HARD. I attacked all of my weaknesses week in and week out and then I got burned out. It’s not because I thought CrossFit was not right for me anymore but it was because CrossFit was all I did everyday for my hobby, workout, social life, and self esteem. If I had measured myself by how I stacked up to other individuals in the WOD everyday. If I had a bad workout, I moped around for the rest of the day or even week until I could redeem myself again. I decided that LIKED CrossFit too much to do 6 days per week. If I would have continued to pushed through that phase at the intensity I was then; I would no longer be CrossFitting. I am sharing this with you because I feel too many of us are afraid to adopt balance in our fitness regime once we get into something for fear we will miss out. We will miss our chance to reach our full potential, miss out on hanging out with the gang 1x per week. We are afraid we will lose our edge if we let it go a little to establish balance. What if we took the same approach to relationships? What if once we starting dating we neglected our friends? What if we became super paranoid that if the didn’t pay the most attention to us everywhere we went that they didn’t love us anymore? What if we couldn’t leave their sides? They would dump us right?!?!?!
That is what I have seen happen time and time again in the 16 years I have been in this industry. Runners love running. They run long and hard everyday for years. THEN THEY STOP RUNNING! CrossFitters train everyday, 6 days per week, for years. They compete. They cry when they don’t perform well. They contemplate that others are cheating when they get beat. THEN THEY STOP CROSSFITTING. I have been guilty of all of this! My point is not to tell you to stop CrossFitting or running or figure shows if that is what you are into right now. It is this: train hard through competition and then devote your energy to discovering other modes of fitness to keep you engaged and feeling fresh with your main squeeze fitness regime.
It’s like dating someone and then giving them space every now and then for a girl’s weekend away. It makes you appreciate the person when you return and remind you why you love them. So now I CrossFit 3-4x per week, run or bike 2x per week and do yoga 1x per week. This is my balance and I still love all three modes of fitness!