The holidays are officially over. Personally, I hate taking down all the decorations. For me that means that the festivities, the parties, the food, the notion of peace on earth and goodwill towards men have all suddenly vanished. For many of us, this means that we no longer have excuses or obstacles in our way to get back into the gym. Yet, it can be very challenging to make that first move especially if we have taken an extended break from exercise.
As an athlete, I struggled with an injury about a year ago that basically resulted in me having to take a good month and a half off. I was grateful for the rest as I had previously pushed myself way too hard but when it was time to get back to it, I looked in the mirror and saw the results of what I could only call a downward spiral of bad choices. Because I stopped working out, I started making very poor eating choices. I drank more than I normally did and didn’t get enough sleep. For me, it’s either all going in a positive direction or in a negative one. It was definitely not going the way I wanted. And this is a totally normal experience. I’m sure you have felt this way too that when one thing is going well we can leverage that experience to help push other facets in a positive direction. It can also be the same with when things are not going your way. And this was the case with me.
I remember looking at the mirror and this voice crept into my mind, “what’s the use? You’ll have to start all over and you’re more limited now than ever because of your injury.” The prospect seemed daunting. I had trained pretty seriously for about 5 years now and I had a major setback. I know many of you have felt that same feeling of starting back at square one whether it’s taking a month off, a year off or maybe it’s been a few years.
Especially in sunny and fit Florida, having access to some of the best gyms in Fort Lauderdale has to offer, you might not know where to begin. I’m here to tell you that all you need to do is make the first move and we can do the rest. However, here’s a few other pieces of advice that are helpful when starting off on the right foot in getting back into the gym.
1. Bite Off What You Can Realistically Chew
For me, what I needed to do was take a “one step at a time” approach. If I tried to just do it all at once it would be an epic failure as I would be taking on too much. I needed to reintroduce positive reinforcement to getting me back into the gym. So, I started by just doing one session a week. That was my task in the beginning. If I can make it to one workout a week then eventually I can make it to two and so on. Manageable goals are the key to your success.
2. Be Patient With Yourself
I was nowhere near my peak when I got back into the gym. It wasn’t just the month off, but the injury forced me to evaluate how I approached certain movements I now was limited with. I had to constantly remind myself that I was in a different phase of my life and not to hold unrealistic expectations of myself. Even at the best gyms in Fort Lauderdale can provide, with the best trainers and coaches cheering you on, having the patience for yourself as you re-adjust to a gym routine will work wonders. As Coaches, we don’t expect world class fitness out of anyone, much less someone who is just coming back. Know that we’re happy you’re there and making the effort and you should feel the same pride within yourself.
3. There Is Nothing Better Than a Friend’s Support
When I got back in, I was lucky enough to have my training partner work out with me and help me scale movements as well as encourage me to keep going. That’s one of the best things about CrossFit, is that it’s communal in a group setting. Working out alone, even at the best gyms in Fort Lauderdale has, can feel like a huge drag. Friends can make all the difference. At RoxFire Fitness, I encourage an environment that is supportive and just know that we’re all there with a shared goal in mind. It’s great accountability to have someone who is trying to do the same thing you are! So next time you come in, bring a new friend with you and we’ll help them started as well.
The biggest takeaway from this I can offer is that it doesn’t matter what happened in the past. Maybe you’re someone who has always started and stopped workout programs because you’re on your own. I know what it’s like to walk into a big anonymous gym and have to self-motivate especially when taking time off. This is the real value of working out in a CrossFit class. I’m going to do everything I can to motivate you to come in and give it to your best. I want you to succeed and see the full value of the premium experience you’re paying for.
At the end of the day, making the effort is really what counts. If you can send us an email or text and say “hey I need to get back in, but I’m struggling!” – have no fear. I’ll give you a call and we’ll set up a time to come meet one-on-one and we can talk through everything. It doesn’t have to be a scary or intimidating experience. Know that when I first started CrossFit, I had always worked out but never really in a group setting. Walking in was the hardest choice I made, but ultimately the best one. Sometimes the things we fear the most are the things that push us towards the most growth. I’ll always be a support and Coach to those who want to make their fitness goals become a reality! So what are you waiting for? Let’s do this!