It’s the holiday season y’all and I love it.
Because I get to travel, see family and friends, and eat all of these delectable foods that I haven’t had in months. The sugar highs are exhilarating … and then debilitating, but I’ll take the L because the occasional decadence is so sweet.
However, I know this time of year for CrossFitters can bring a lot of anxiety. I mean, it’s not even about “this time of year”. It’s about any time we go off on vacation, take a break, or slow down to work on our weaknesses.
I hear it all of the time.
A week off of CrossFit or traditional WODs and some of us come back huffing and puffing, “Oh, God I’m out of shape.”
We are so hard on ourselves.
CrossFit is a demanding sport that pushes us to our limits and that’s awesome, right? I know CrossFit has turned me into a much more resilient athlete.
But for some of us, that anxiety of missing fitness turns into something rather unhealthy. We think we have to keep go, go, going without assessing the path before we get on it. We stop listening to our bodies, we push through unnecessary pain and fail to see warning signs that protect us from harm.
Listen, I’ve been there. As a former collegiate athlete in soccer, I was taught to play until you broke. Severely sprained ankle? No problem: There’s tape for that. You got to get in the game because your position is on the line.
When I started CrossFit five years ago, I had that same competitive mentality. I felt like I had to be constantly training and I trained intensely through faulty movement patterns. I was worried about taking time off. I wanted to jump into the same WODs just like everyone else — even if the movements weren’t best for me at the time — and I lost of sense of fun and play in the process.
Over the past year, I’ve had a shoulder injury that made me reassess the way I was training. I discovered that even though my legs were strong from soccer and moved pretty well, I hadn’t really ever taught my upper body to move efficiently and effectively.
It was a tough pill to swallow. I hated bowing out of pullups and other movements I knew I was capable of even with the pain. But I knew that if I didn’t slow down and take the time to really work on my weaknesses, it was likely that I would injure myself again.
Nowadays my shoulder is much more stable and mobile, and I’m learning so much more about my body and how it’s supposed to move. I’m so grateful that I have day-to-day strength programming and that CrossFit Outbreak has all the equipment to support it.
I still go ham in CrossFit WODs but I’m just so much more aware of knowing when to push and when to modify. If I don’t know how to modify, I always ask a coach who might know something I don’t. I learned to table my ego and keep to my fitness goals.
Y’all thought this blog was going to tell you that it’s okay to sit back and eat your holiday cake, right?
I mean, yeah! Relax, enjoy your holiday and don’t go too crazy. Come back to the gym refreshed and ready to go.
But what I really hope is that we’re all able to relax around the idea of what it means to be the average CrossFit athlete. That being “fit” has it’s ebbs and flows and that’s okay! The real goal for most of us is to feel good in our bodies and have fun.
Sometimes this mentality means being aware (and willing) enough to slow down and scale workouts when needed; to ask the right questions; to seek guidance from professionals and then having the heart to listen to your body.
It’s always beating. Speaking to me. It’s an ongoing conversation.
For me CrossFit has become a way for me to explore my body … To play no matter what it looks like, how challenging it is (because what’s a game without a challenge) or how unsexy it appears on the ‘Gram.
And you know what? I’ve found peace in that.
Because every day I wake up choosing to play again.