So it’s Monday morning… Your alarm goes off. 5am?! Already? Reaaaally?! You automatically hit the snooze button. Then, what seems like 30 seconds later, you hear that horrible noise again. 5:30am. You sit up and rub your eyes as you look disappointingly at the clock. You glance over at your sneakers sitting across the room and then back at your pillow. A million things are rushing around your mind; thoughts of all the ways you could rationalize laying back down and curling up in a ball… Just ya know for another hour or so and then you will feel more well rested and you will definitely get up to go for a run. Maybe. I mean do you really need to do the front squat workout you know you’re in store for this morning? Should you really start your week off feeling tired? It is only Monday morning, right? You can totally make up for sleeping in today by going hard through your other workouts during the week….
True story. In fact that little anecdote paints the picture of exactly what my 5am looked like this very morning. Sometimes that inner voice, ya know that one that contradicts just about well EVERYTHING you do, tries with all its might to get the better of us. This morning, as I reluctantly got out of my warm cozy bed and strung up my bright yellow Reeboks, I played out every possible situation in my mind. Not just how today would look if I did or didn’t go to CrossFit this morning but how it would affect (negatively or positively) my entire week… and month… and next couple of months… and next year. I went from thinking about how nice it would be to just sleep a little longer today to thinking about how I will feel when I look in the mirror in a few months or fail trying a higher weight on my next strength day and then wish I had done a little more because I haven’t hit my goals.
Needless to say, I got my ass up out of that bed and killed that Death By Front Squats workout. And strangely enough I did not feel exhausted. Actually I felt amazing. I even came home to do some quick arm workouts (I mean I do have a bridesmaids dress to look stunning in by October 12th lol) and a plank or three. Even now at 10pm I feel like a million bucks PLUS my mind is at ease knowing I didn’t let my excuses get the best of me.
But enough about me… I bring it up because this is all too common a problem. It’s not because we are lazy or weak. It’s not because we don’t have motivation or believe in ourselves. It’s because WORKING OUT REGULARLY IS HARD. It’s because your mind is a funny place and it likes to play tricks on you. Just as the title of this says, you are very much your own worst enemy. Only you can control what thoughts you allow yourself to entertain, which you reject immediately, and which you let make your decisions.
Most often we are vulnerable to talking ourselves out of things. It is much easier to talk yourself out of doing something than it is to talk yourself into doing something. We have a tendency to rationalize our negative behaviors. STOP RATIONALIZING! How many times have you convinced yourself that it was okay to just go back to sleep or have that extra piece of cake or not rush yourself after work? Now, how many times have you convinced yourself to meet your friends a little later than they planned because you should probably take the time to go out of your way and go to the gym first? Exactly.
Now of course rest days are a very necessary part of any good and successful fitness regime and I will talk about those at some point. So don’t think I am telling you to never take a day off.. Your body will hate you and rebel against you, trust me haha. What I am saying is to realize when a legitimate extra rest day may be needed and when you are just giving in to temptation. Once we begin to let ourselves rationalize unneeded rest days is when we begin a slippery slope. Good habits are quick to cave and what might be one rationalized day of sleeping in can really quickly and suddenly turn into only going to the gym twice a week and eating chips in your bed at night. (Been there, done that at least a dozen times or more.) If you avoid walking that fine line and steer clear of the gray area all together, you prevent the doldrums before they are even a risk.
The easiest way to find continued success in a life of fitness is to learn how to control your thoughts. Decide right now, this very minute, that you will NOT let your mind get the best of you. I challenge each and every one of you that reads this to take back the wheel. My challenge to you is that next time you are contemplating whether you really need this workout or if you can just skip it today, talk yourself into dragging your butt to the gym! Tell yourself to just suck it up and go rather than giving in. Pump yourself up with all the reasons why you can and should kill the workout today. Be your own cheerleader… as well as your own (healthy) competition.