Training is difficult. It requires discipline. It's often painful at the beginning. We put in a lot of effort to ensure that life doesn't get in the way. We become consistent by prioritizing training in our schedules. We spend money to keep ourselves accountable. We wake up early or stay a little later than we have to just to make time. We may skip out on eating out, coffee with friends, TV shows or anything else we might do during our personal time to stay on track. Make no mistake -- that takes a lot of effort!
As a result, a lot of athletes get burnt out and exhausted. These kinds of situations make you feel like a loser fighting an uphill battle. Once the joy is out, the commitment follows. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Here are some thoughts to consider that can help you keep the joy in the training:
Track the Right Things
Take note of your benchmarks. How much weight can you lift? How many reps or rounds were you able to do? How fast were you? How was your form? Every few months, compare yourself with your past performance.
Acknowledge what you're doing and appreciate your progress.
Document your progress. Write down the workout. How did you do? How many rounds? How do you feel? In one sentence, what did you learn or need to improve? Celebrate the small wins.
Remember How far you’ve Come
What movements have you unlocked that you previously could not do? Do you now have strengths that were previously your weakness?
Remember the time when you couldn’t even do a single pull-up, and now you can string a few strict ones. Sometimes, reminding yourself of how much you’ve improved and giving yourself a pat on the back will bring some of that joy back.
Enjoy the Community and Have Fun
As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog, there’s nothing that bonds a group together more than when they suffer together. So enjoy your community! Don’t compare yourself to others. You can appreciate what they can do as you cheer them on.
Also, don't take things too seriously. If you don’t do particularly well in a workout, just move forward. If you’re not an elite athlete competing at the CrossFit Games, it’s not worth it. Just have fun as you do what you have to do.
Dial it Back
It’s no secret. If you’re getting burnt out, we highly recommend that you dial back on your training. If you can only do once or twice a week, do just that. As you get comfortable, expand your comfort zone. Explore adding a training day after consistently achieving your small target. From there, you can move forward.
Nothing good ever comes easy. The road to your goals is often long and hard but with the right attitude and strategy, you can keep the joy as you train to achieve your goals. At the end of the day, a doable plan that you can stick to rather than a “perfect plan" that you'll quit after a few days or few weeks is far better.