How you feel is not the problem. How you contextualise those feelings can be. Objective thoughts and feelings can coexist with the subjective—in fact, they need to in order to understand what is going on for us as individuals against a background of what is reality. This goes for motivation. Your experiences, your beliefs and how you feel will ebb and flow. I used to think beetroot tastes like dirt—now I love them. That changed, right? How you feel about your training does, too. But this is not a reflection of you being lazy or bad. It just is what is right now. One of the pillars of self compassion is the common human experience. Frustration with not having things how we want can lead to ‘I’ being the problem. That ‘I’ is the only human in the world that is having this experience. Hi, you’re not. Recognise this first, now consider these. What does your training look like right now? Are you:
1. Coming off the back of an intensification phase (hard, heavy)? 2. Not coming out of any phase but lacking direction and purpose? 3. Is the gym exhausting you because life is exhausting you? Now, do this: LET IT LOOK DIFFERENT. (Things won’t fall apart, I promise.) 1. If you’ve been training hard and motivation is lacking you may need a deload week. You don’t have to wait for a planned deload to take one if your head and body are saying no. Do movement outside the gym, take a class, get in nature, swim, focus on skill work. 2. On the other hand, get a plan! Hire a coach, follow a program so you do have purpose and direction. Change focus, let the gym be a place where you are challenging yourself not on what you can fix or how much you sweat but what you can achieve with your body. 3. Use your movement as a release. That doesn’t mean hammer yourself, it means pivot a bit and do the things you really enjoy in there. If you love squats then squat away. Let it be a place you don’t have to fight but can surrender to. But then redirect back to the plan.
Just like I used to think that if you stepped on a crack you marry a rat, you can also think differently about the ebbs and flows of your training.
To learn about what you are truly capable of, to stop second guessing yourself, feel like an athlete in the gym but participate in life outside of the gym, go here to get on the waitlist for The Bold Collective. You can learn more about it here.