I had mixed feelings about going to crossfit today. I've been researching beginning crossfit a lot (I know you're shocked) and almost everything says to start out at three days a week. But me, being me, wanted to go five days this week just to push through the pain and feel more established in the routine of it and then scale back to three days a week next week. I also have a friend who started crossfit last month and she was really encouraging me to go five days for my first week just to break through any uncertainty I was having and that made sense to me.
My plan was to see how I felt physically when I woke up this morning and surprisingly I don't feel that bad for the ridiculous amount of upper body work I did yesterday (I am estimating I did about 150 reps of different variations of pushups alone). My arms are sore and my back is a little sore and that's it. But what's killing me today is my mental state.
I believe that the thing that gets most people in the end is the mental aspect of working out. If your confidence is down or you're feeling anxious or your body is sore (but not injured) then it's easier to give in to the negative thoughts and not push through them. That is something I have always prided myself on, pushing through the negativity towards myself that is always there. Because trust me, it is ALWAYS there. If you ever run with me you will feel it in the first 2-3 miles of every run. I will be kind of slow, drag a bit, talk a lot because mentally I am hating the run, convinced I can't do it, convinced I'm tired, convinced I've tricked myself into thinking I am a real runner. And then I find my sweet spot and the run clicks and I stop talking, my stride lengthens, my pace picks up and evens out and I can go forever. It is always between mile 2-3 and people who have never run with me before always notice it.
But today I lost the mental battle. I woke up on edge and have been severely anxious all day. My heart won't stop pounding and I can't get a clear thought through my head to save my soul. To be fair, last week was a pretty killer one in my world and I am still kind of reeling from it. It's not always easy to be strong but I'm trying. Despite this I actually got dressed this morning in clothes for crossfit (I even wore capris to give my knees a break from rug burn), did some errands and then drove to the parking lot 10 minutes before class started.
And I sat there.
And I thought about going in.
And I talked myself in and out of it three times.
And so I drove to the lake to try to run.
And I realized I didn't even have it in me to do that.
And so I drove home.
And I cried about it the whole way.
So that happened.
Or didn't, as the case may be.
The thing about pushing your body is that there are good days and bad days. Some are good mentally, some are good physically, sometimes you hit the golden ticket and get both and sometimes it's all the opposite. If you start out before your workout in a rough mental state it's even harder to climb out of. And I can tell you with straight confidence that no one loves to beat themselves up over things than I do. I'm feeling like the lowest of the low right now and I am not sure how to climb out of it right this second and I am being brutal on myself about it which is just compounding the situation.
Why am I telling you this?
Because it would be easy for me to pretend that these days don't exist. That I am always a machine that can bang out a 13 mile run without putting much thought to it. That I can go to crossfit day after day regardless of how badly I hurt because I like to push myself. And both of those things are true. But the mental is such a big part of the game and it's a rare day that I can't push through all my walls but it does happen.
I promised myself that if I restarted this blog that I would be honest about how I am feeling with you. Because the whole reason I went into this a year ago was to help people who wanted to get into running because it's a scary, daunting undertaking (just like crossfit is to me right now). It is really easy to fall into the typical "bloggers" way of only writing about the sunshine and rainbows in life but who is that helping in this regard? I want you to know that it's ok that you have bad days. It's ok if you can't push through it. It's ok if you cry the whole way home because you planned on doing 5 miles but only did one (been there, done that) or because you couldn't kill the WOD in crossfit that day. It's ok to take the pressure off yourself. You have enough in the rest of your life, be easy on yourself when you need it (conversely, kick your ass into submission when you need that, too because these days should be few and far between).
There is a saying that I often see pop up on social media that says, You never regret the workouts you do, only the ones you didn't. And while I agree with that for the most part, some days you have to give in and say, you know what? I just don't have it in me today.
Yesterday during our ab workout my coach said, "Don't quit when you want to, quit when you HAVE to".
I had to quit today.
But tomorrow is going to be better and today isn't going to make or break me.
So that's my message for you.