Some days just suck. Whether it is work issues, family problems, or both, some days leave you wanting to do nothing more than wanting to go home and crawl into bed. A few weeks ago, I had one of those days. I had a very trying day at work because my code and data streaming process that had been working beautifully decided to stop working for no apparent reason. It took all day for one of my coworkers and me to investigate the problem and we got little else done. At then end of the day, we reached a solution, but were still not completely sure why things broke down in the first place. It was pretty stressful.
One of my biggest downfalls as an athlete is I don’t like training when I am emotionally stressed out. Many people can’t wait to train when they are stressed because it is a huge release for them. Unfortunately, I can’t get excited to train when I am in this mental state. I can rationalize that this type of stress will compound the physical stress training puts on my body. There is some merit to that, but in the back of my mind I know that it is an excuse. When I am mentally stressed out, I simply don’t feel like training. And then when I give in to my excuses and rationalizations, I feel worse for not training.
This day was one of those days. I made up my mind that I was not going to train because I wasn’t in the state of mind to enjoy it. I stopped at Subway on my way home from work and got a cornucopia of food that included a bad of chocolate chip cookies that I will only numerically identify as a fraction of a dozen. I’m not proud of that. Then, I came home, sat on the couch and ate all of it. Shortly after, the feelings of quitting kicked in. I knew I needed to train. There was no reason I shouldn’t. I wasn’t overly fatigued and I didn’t have an injury. I began to think, “You have a race season starting this Sunday, for crying out loud! Get up and train! Stop making excuses!” I hooked my bike up to the trainer, turned on Netflix, and began the workout I needed to do for the day. It was a slog of a workout since my belly was full of Subway, but I pushed through and got it done.
Not everyone feels like training all the time. There is a big difference between lack of motivation and feeling overly fatigued and injured. If you are overtrained, ill, and/or injured, you should always listen to your body and recover. But, on those days when you lack motivation, show up anyway, start getting after it, and do what you can. That is what being an athlete is all about! It is about gritting your teeth and doing what you know needs to be done, whether you feel like it or not. In fact, pretty much all of life boils down to this. When I finished, I was proud of myself for simply showing up and doing what I could. So, on those days when you are stressed and know you’re workout is going to be awful, dig in and do what you have to do. I promise, you won’t regret the sense of accomplishment you feel afterwards, no matter how many cookies you ate beforehand!
Until next time…
Endure the Grind!