Dealing with the anxiety of losing your fitness gains.
"no amount of anxiety makes any difference to anything that is going to happen" Alan Watts.
For nearly 4 weeks now most people haven’t been able to practice a pull up let alone get underneath a snatch, and this can be crippling for the people whose lives revolve around chasing fitness goals and smashing the gym 6 days a week.
At OSP we recognise that there is a big chunk of the population that fitness means everything to them. Whether it’s that hour of the day that just blocks everything else out or the ambition to compete in a competition, we get it 1000% that being active and going to the gym is huge for you. But we now need to start hitting a bit of a reset and re-evaluating what’s going on in our fitness brains because unless you’ve managed to get your hands on some home gym equipment (which is like rocking horse shit) you may start to be feeling at a dead end.
AND THIS IS OK.
When we first come up with a goal or a reason for crushing it at the gym it's the allure of the training, the practice and the time devoted in the run up to the goal that is most rewarding. Actually completing the goal lasts seconds or the rush of a PB or a win is gone in a blink of an eye – it’s the work that you’ve put in that creates those everlasting memories that builds a stronger you not the Instagram video or standing on a podium.
So how can we realign our fitness goals in order to give us some focus or create a path for us?
Pick something completely random – and I’m not joking. Say to yourself in 4 weeks I’m just going to do that, and that thing might be say run 10 miles. Just pick something, who cares what it is. Then you can start breaking that bigger goal into smaller ones, for example your 10 mile run, it might require you to learn something about running – you may read some books, watch some YouTube and then start to implement a little plan on how you’re going to get from getting being able to run a 5k to running a strong 10 mile. Have a chat with your training partner and say look shall we do this – pick something within your means, set a target date and get after it.
Focus on the things you’ve been putting off. A lot of people I coach I know could be using this time so much more effectively, but I know they aren’t because it requires effort. I have some clients who need a lot of mobility work and they could be using this time to develop that, knowing in 8 weeks’ time they can come out of this a better athlete than before. Outside of the gym, pick a subject you’re interested in and do some homework, order a few books, start that online course, ring that friend you’ve been meaning to speak to. This time is yours – don’t let it go to waste.
Don't focus on who you were yesterday but focus on who you are today and who you can be tomorrow. What I mean by this is – yes we might not be as fit as we were going into isolation (some people might be actually training more) but there isn’t a fat lot you can do about this if you don’t have the kit you need. But what you can focus on is the things you can do today which set you up for a better tomorrow. Work with what you have, lean on people for support, learn a new skill and remember there are a lot of people in the same boat or in worse ones. Gratitude has a tremendous ability to reset us – being thankful for what you have goes a long way!
We hope that we are supporting you as best we can through online classes, Instagram posts and conversations we are having in private. For me personally I’m dealing with the fact I’ve been training for the past 18 months for my first full ironman which is in complete limbo. I’ve forked out a lot of time, effort and money and there is a huge chance that I wont be able to compete. It would be easy for me to throw in the towel now but that wont get me anywhere either, it will only increase any negative emotion I already have about it. I’m staying focused, I’m keeping training and I’m doing it with a smile on my face, knowing that whether its on or not I gave it 100% which like we spoke about earlier – it’s the journey that builds character not the finish line.