Liberation from the [Fitness] Resolution

So it’s New Years Eve. It’s that time of year that many of us take stock of where we are in life – be it our health, finances, career or relationships. For a lot of those things we know exactly what we need to do, but we simply don’t do it. Or we try, only to give up a month or 2 later. Maybe things are already pretty good but we just want to do a little better! it’s probably not ideal to always wait until Jan 1 to work on such things, but it’s an easy starting point. 

For so many years I planned on starting a workout program right after new years. I remember buying new clothes/shoes for Christmas and signing a new contract at some gym.  I remember being gung-ho about it and ‘knowing’ this was the year I was going to finally stick with it. But deep down, I was also worried that I wouldn’t. Always in the back of my mind was that little ball of stress created by my experience of the past knowing I had never stuck with a workout program long term. 

That anxiety however is no longer a part of my life. And I know it never will be. Since April of ’08 I have been exercising regularly and most days it’s quite enjoyable. I don’t know when the ‘switch’ happened, but I have a pretty good idea and I’m not alone. Every year around this time, I like to bring this very phenomenon up to a few of our members. Maybe it’s somebody who’s having a hard time, or feel like they’ve plateaued in their workouts. Sometimes it’s just a way to pat somebody on their back. More often than not, once I bring it up, they think for a second and realize just how far they’ve come. I love it when somebody tells me they just ‘tried it’ to see what it was about, and 4 years later, they’re still showing up. 

Anxiety is the space between what you know, and what you do. (Full disclosure, I stole that line). Everybody knows they need to exercise. They don’t need to be told that. They just haven’t found something they like.  The problem is that we feel like failures every time we start something and don’t stick with it. A lot of times, ‘sticking with it’ is more difficult than humanly possible. As it happens, we’re not the failure for the most part, the activity itself is.   

As somebody who is very involved in his [gym] community, one of my favorite things to see is the change in demeanor right around month 3. When somebody makes it 3 months, they’re more than likely with us for 3 years. 

It usually goes something like this…

Day 1 is a leap for most people. A tremendous personal risk. They’re afraid. Or nervous. Usually both. It’s difficult but because it’s for their health, they come back, even though it’s so far outside of their comfort zone they themselves can’t even believe they’re doing it. 

Day 2 isn’t much better. And they’re sore AF. 

Day 3 takes guts, will power, commitment. 

Week 2 is a disaster. it’s as if they didn’t learn anything in week one.

Week 3 is a true test of mental toughness, determination and perseverance. 

Week 4 is probably the worst. It’s very hard for most to imagine doing this 4 or 5 days per week. Forever. 

Month 2. Month 1 Probably went by a little bit faster than they expected, and they were gonna cancel but forgot, and their payment already came out of their account so…might as well keep showing up. 

Month 3 is magical. They didn’t know it, but this was the month that they inadvertently stuck to their New Year’s resolution. 

After a few months, it’s no longer a test of will to get to the gym. There aren’t excuses because they aren’t needed. These people aren’t ‘gym rats’ or ‘fitness buffs’. We’re all just regular people that know we need to exercise and simply figured out what works for us. It’s a strange thing – to want to do something that so many people struggle with. Especially when you used to be on the other side. 

Please don’t think this is a ‘The CrossFit way is the only way’ thing. It’s not. It’s just what I see because of what I do. Try something/anything and just give it some time.
It might have been a struggle to get started, but since it works, and the people are great, it’s just not all that hard to stick with it. After the first few bumpy months, the time flies and it just…is. Like doing laundry, grocery shopping or watching TV.
It’s not even choosing to live a healthy lifestyle necessarily. It’s not a habit, or an addiction. It’s just who you are. And because of that, there’s no need to waste another New Year’s resolution on it. 
And due to the pandemic, we need to use our 2021 resolutions to get the diets in check anyway. 😂

Happy New Year!

JD 

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