Sunday, August 15, 2010

If it makes you happy, do it!

After a lot of thought and discussion with a few folks, I decided that the best course of action for me at this point was to take one more week off CF before getting back down to business. I just felt that vacation was good, but I felt at the same time that I still needed a little more time before jumping back into working out again. I don't want you to worry though that I've been a completely lazy bum. I did go out for some running this week and also hit the pool for a bit so I'm still doing SOMETHING. While it's certainly not as intense as CF, I'm ok with that because I think for this week it was appropriate.

I am someone who has a very hard time admitting what's really going on with me to the people around me. Seems odd that I can do it in a blog but not to actual people, but hey I suppose we all have our quirks. Regardless, I had a really hard time just admitting that I've been really burnt out. I should have honestly taken the time away from things after regionals, but I didn't. I was too worried about gaining weight and losing progress and not keeping up, that honestly and truly, I just lost sight of things.

Until three weeks ago, I had been going non-stop for about the last nine months or so. I was literally running myself into the ground and my body was telling me that, but I was a little bit on the too stubborn side to listen. Ok, ok, ok, FINE. A lot on the too stubborn side to listen. But, I'm listening now and I think it's a good thing. I'm sure other folks have gone through what I am currently experiencing right now; that period of time where you feel like you should work out, but it's just not enjoyable anymore. I realize and understand fully that not every wod is going to be fun. But when getting out of bed and going to the box feels more like a chore than something you want to do, that's not quite the same. And that's the point that I got to. I didn't want to get out and go. I didn't want to lift another weight. Heavy things, which are my true passion, were not fun. That was another clear sign that things had shifted. My wheelhouse wasn't fun for me anymore.

So for the last three weeks, I've been taking a break. My cardio has taken a hit for sure and I could tell that just by the few runs that I went out for. I know I've fallen pretty far back in the near month I've been off, but you know what, I'm actually ok with that. Getting back to where I was will be a good challenge for me, and it will actually give me a goal, something to work for. That's something I haven't had in awhile.

I know that with CF people spend a lot of time talking about rest days, but I feel like what I've been going through isn't something people ever really address (at least from an HQ standpoint). I know that CF is varied and different, but even with CF being different, I think it's still possible to hit that plateau where you just feel like if you do one more wod you're going to scream. After going through the past several months and making the decisions (and mistakes) I've made, I would highly encourage others who feel the same way to take a bit of a break. There's nothing wrong with going for a bike ride, a swim, a run, or *gasp* a walk, as a way to get exercise. I think sometimes we start to feel that after doing CF, other exercise isn't as good. Almost like it's inferior. I (now) say bah. I think it's good to mix it up, and so long as you are staying active and enjoying yourself, THAT'S what counts. I think in the past 3 weeks, I've enjoyed my workouts more than I have in awhile. I've enjoyed mixing things up and getting out there doing different things.

Working out should make you feel good, not stressed. It shouldn't necessarily always be "fun" but it should be something you enjoy doing, and something that keeps you moving. If you've been reading my blog for awhile now, you may have noticed that there is a definitive shift in my thinking. I've gone from a CF only sort of mindset, to really focusing not on CF, but on being healthy and HAPPY. Quitting my job was the start, but I'm really on a journey to find and do things that will make me happy as well as healthy. If CF doesn't make you happy, then DON'T DO IT. The goal of CF is to make you a healthy individual, but it's not the only thing in the world that will do that. Don't force yourself to do something you don't enjoy, even if you know it's effective. I did that with swimming and wound up absolutely hating something that I had loved for years. Give yourself a break. Try to do other things and see if after awhile you're spirit and enthusiasm for doing what you left aren't renewed. For the first time in a long time, I saw a wod posted the other day and actually almost had the itch to go do it. I think had I not taken the time away that I have, I don't think I would have felt that way about it. So, I'm going with a new motto... if it makes you happy do it! So starting tomorrow... I'm going to go back to CFOT. And if it makes me happy, then I'm going to keep doing it! :) And if not, then we'll cross that bridge when we get there! If it makes you happy, do it!


Anonymous said...

I know where you are coming from. I took a step back from CrossFit and did Wendler 5/31 for a while. It's awesome, and one of the best parts is the deload week. You go in four week cycles, three hard and one easy (like, really easy, like 50%.)

It works great. You get a mental any physical break, and the easy week makes you hungry and eager to get back to the hard stuff.

I think a big detriment of CrossFit is that there isn't more of an emphasis on recovery. It's all "go harder, go faster" and taking time off is sometimes seen as weakness, when in fact it is quite necessary to recover properly.

Have you considered something like a deload or easy week? I'd highly recommend it. You wouldn't have to do it every fourth week like Wendler advises, but even every fifth or sixth week it would be a smart thing to do. Like Wendler himself says, if you think you are getting weaker in that one week you are imagining it.

Something to think about anyway :-)

Katie said...

Tami, I'm not sure what Wendler 5/31 is, but it sounds cool! I took a few weeks away from CF and plan to start back tomorrow... and if things don't improve... I'll go from there. But for now, I'm hopeful that some time away will be good and I won't need to make a more permanant change...