A Mental Reset for the Gym

A Mental Reset for the Gym

I stood up from bed an hour ago with a familiar feeling in my body; I was sore. Adam and I have been renovating a house and I can recall that the only times I’ve felt this way in the recent past was after I’d done 10 hours of awkward positioned and repetitive work of skim coating, sanding or painting. So, you can imagine my surprise when I realized I didn’t do much on the house yesterday. Instead, I was sore from maxing my squat, press and deadlift.

Being this kind of sore is a distantly familiar feeling. During the renovation I’ve been forced to modify my priorities and as a result, my workouts have been few and far between. I’ve made a switch to mental workouts instead of physical ones and there’s been a distinct shift in what I’m reading and writing, too. I’ve been quite grateful that the renovations have kept my body moving and so while going through this transition, I don’t feel too stationary either.

And, yet, I decided to head to the gym on a free-ish Friday morning and complete the CrossFit Total. Ummmmmm…

Yesterday wasn’t about finishing at the top or doing my own personal best, despite that being one of the reasons of working to a 1 Rep Max. For me, yesterday was about having a good time and forgetting everything else. I’ve been to the gym 2x/ week for the past two months and I’ve even treated it like an enemy at times. I’ve been resentful and angry that the gym was there and I wasn’t, choosing to blame the gym and create negative feelings towards it. So, for me, yesterday was about reclaiming what the gym means. It was to steal time away from my regularly scheduled programming of “house stuff” to get back to something that I love to do.

Love for my guns. (via Erin Davidson, CrossFit Center City)
Love for my guns. (photo: Erin Davidson, CrossFit Center City)

I’ve made the gym the enemy over the past couple of months and that made going there a drag. It was more “I have to get to the gym” instead of “I want to get to the gym”. Maxing yesterday was a reset. When I first arrived at CrossFit Center City I wanted to best my scores, of course – it was a maxing day after all. I quickly realized that I’m not as strong as I was 6 months ago. Naturally I was disappointed, but then (and with the help from my coach, Erin) I remembered all the other things I’m doing and I began to turn what could have been a really negative experience into a positive one.

The next two weeks will bring more time commitments from the house as we get ready to move so I’m not sure I’ll be getting to the gym more than my usual 2x/week, but what will change is my attitude. Thinking of the gym like an enemy is never a good way to feel. Movement breathes life into me when I’m doing something that I love and feels right. Instead of thinking that I have to get to the gym, I’ll feel lucky that I’ve carved time out to do something that, at the core, I love to do.

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