Current mood: tired, yet hopeful.
In feeling tired I should just stay at home and not work towards my fitness goals? That of course depends.
Ultra endurance athlete and dad of four Rich Roll has succinctly said: “Mood follows action.”
Which means reliance on motivation is not what it takes to get up and get going.
Said another way: Don’t think. Do.
If I listened to every desire to hide out in my apartment with my kitten loves I would probably never get to “doing” part that is needed to advance my strength and lifting.
So what do you do when your brain and body have competing goals?
At the moment I am fortunate to have an extremely goal driven partner who helps bring out the best in my work out sessions. And who motivates me, as in will work out without me if I don’t get moving, to continue down the path of lifting/fitness success.
And I would add once you do then think.
In other words, it is easy to get stuck (at least it is for me) obsessing over every lift and over-analyzing each action. Too much of this and it is unproductive.
It is still helpful to evaluate on a broader level the trends of what went well or what didn’t. And to save the analysis for a coach or someone who can give you a better assessment.
Also, action for the sake of action must be balanced by listening to your body and taking proper rest measures.
Many days I feel exhausted. And perhaps this is a larger trend of the need to fine tune my sleep, nutrition, intensity of workouts.
Again, it is crucial to listen to the needs of your body. This is a bit trickier because of those competing desires. Fortunately resting appropriately is vital to any training program.
This thought reminded me of an Outdoor Magazine article called 8 Principles to Do it Better, by Brad Stulberg, which I found to be tremendously helpful.
Here’s the quick rundown of the principles:
- Stress + Rest = Growth
- Focus on the Process, Not Results
- Stay Humble
- Build Your Tribe
- Take Small, Consistent Steps to Achieve Big Gains
- Be a Minimalist to Be a Maximalist
- Make the Hard Thing Easier
- Remember to Experience Joy
Fortunately, there is always hope. Hope that improvements will happen. Hope that you will become a stronger, better person. And hope that additional information will continue to help with that process.
As the article mentioned, with respect to the third principle, “Knowledge is always evolving and advancing—if you want to evolve and advance with it, you need to keep an open mind.”
And that, to me, is comforting.
So here’s to advancing!