Finding your motivation

Working out is hard. 
In a society where people who work out regularly is not the norm, it can be really difficult to find the motivation to just get off your ass and go. 
A lot of people do the “oh, I’ll start tomorrow” or, “I’ll start Monday,” or the really awful, “new year’s resolution!” 

I was that person, too. 
I was always going to start Monday.

And then Monday came and went and I wasn’t anywhere close to starting anything.

And then I found CrossFit. 

And I found myself waking up early to get to the gym. Not just to work out, but to hang out with Malcolm, Vince, Nick, Nicole, Catherine, Saul, Andrew (or Stephen, depending on the day) and whoever else happens to show up in those ass early workouts. 

The original 5 am + Nate

They motivated me. They pushed me. They know what I suck at because they watch me do it all the damn time. And they don’t let me suck as bad at it. They’re my people.

Over this past year of CrossFit, one of my most proud moments was the morning Malcolm told me “good work, Ace,” after I busted my ass in a WOD. I was laying there, drenched, unsure if I could even make it to work after that. But that moment meant everything. Fast forward to a few months later and my mama-my dear, sweet, southern, mama who has never touched a weight in life-told me how proud she was about my 95# snatch pr. When I make people proud, I make myself happy. I remember every “good job”, every yell, every “pick it up!”, every high five. It feels like all the pain and the struggle and the work hard was worth it for me. 

We start out the mornings with an “EVERYBODY GOTTA GO TO WORK” and finish out with “good job/good work”.

Through them, my people, I found my motivation. I want to be strong. I want to lift heavy. I want to make my people proud. 

St. Patty’s Day Parade

And when I can make them proud, I make myself proud.

Me and Nicole at Battle of the Fittest-our people looking on in the background. Photo Credit: Mike Buck Photography

And I don’t have anymore “I’ll start Monday”‘s. 

What’s motivating you?

And sometimes, the workout is bad

I had a bad workout yesterday.
I DNF for the first time ever.
I puked.
It was bad.

After I was finished, I laid on the floor for about 10 minutes afterward and I bitched myself out. I probably said every awful thing I could possibly say to myself.

“you should have pushed harder”
“you should have moved faster”
“I can’t believe you didn’t finish”
“you shouldn’t have rested so long”
Despite my coaches all coming to tell me good job.
Despite Jess yelling and cheering me on.
Despite my boxmates telling me I really worked hard.
I really gave myself hell.

I probably talked to myself like that all the way to class last night. When I pulled into my parking spot, I told myself to shut up. 

I pushed hard yesterday afternoon. 
Even though double unders are one of my incredible weaknesses, I pushed myself to do them. 
Even when I had to do double-single-double. When 65# got heavy, I kept doing it. 
Despite realizing that I couldn’t finish within the timecap, I pushed hard till the very last second. 
I worked hard.

And it seemed like my coaches and my boxmates all saw that but I couldn’t get it through my thick skull. Until I made myself shut up.

I am better today than yesterday and I’ll be better tomorrow than today. 
Sometimes that little voice inside’s got some nasty things to say…guess I’ll have to shut her up with some heavy lifting. 

The thing about: Notebooks

Y’all know my story for the most part. Got fat. Tried to lose weight. Failed. Gave up. Tried again. Failed. Gave up.

Until I found CrossFit.

And I’ve talked a lot about how great CrossFit is: from the workout itself, to the coaches, to the community, it’s awesome.

But I’ve never really touched on what made me stay. 

So let me start with touching on why most people quit their fitness journey: results.
In today’s society, everything is so instant. You can pretty much do/get anything you want instantly. Unfortunately, for most of us, our fitness level does not change instantaneously. 

Too often I hear: “I started running and I did it for about 2 weeks, but nothing happened so I quit.” 
2 WEEKS!? 
Excuse my outrage, but that’s actually a direct quote…from me. What a lame-ass I was. 
Did I really think running was gonna change me in 2 weeks? Ya damn right I did. I mean, look at those little teeny chicks running in sports bras everyday! 

When I came to RSCF, my intro coach was Lauren. She’s the only girl coach at the box, she’s super strong, super nice, and a badass. So she’s basically my idol. At our second intro class, I noticed her recording her workout and her time in a little, teeny notebook. So what did I do? I went out and bought a little, teeny notebook and did the same thing. 

Now you’re like, “why the hell did you tell me that?” 
This is why:
That little, teeny notebook kept me coming back to CrossFit. 

I wrote down EVERYTHING in there. I kept track of my WODs, my results, how I modified, if I RX’d, if I PR’d, how I felt, what hurt, what felt better, words of inspiration, bible verses, shopping lists, paleo recipes, everything. 

Now you’re asking, “Okay, Ace, but how did that help? Get to the freakin’ point already.”

The notebook basically showed me that even if I couldn’t physically see progress or I was having a crappy day, progress was made. If I had a crappy WOD, I could turn the page back and see that I PR’d my back squat just a few days before. Maybe I’d run into the scripture that I needed as an affirmation. Maybe I’d go all the way to the beginning and see that, when I started, I couldn’t clean 60#, and even though I had a crappy day TODAY, I can now clean AND jerk #125. 

The notebook shows me progress. 
The notebook always reminds me that today, maybe, I didn’t have a great day, but I’m better than I was yesterday.
The notebook is a reminder of where I started, how far I’ve come, and how much farther I have to go. 

Which kicks ass.

And every WOD, I look forward to putting my results in the notebook and watching me beat me. 

So it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. CrossFit, Zumba, Jillian Michaels, whatever. Record what you’re doing. Write down how many minutes you could do unbroken. Write down how many reps you got today. Take note of how you feel before and after. And watch yourself get better.

The notebook won’t let you quit. 

I love the quote:
“It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing. It takes 8 weeks for your friends to notice. It takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice. Give it 12 weeks.” 
The notebook always notices.

So if you haven’t already, go get you a teeny notebook. Write in it. Don’t lose it (I totally lost my first one. I was depressed for a week. I don’t even want to talk about it.) and get your butt to work. 12 weeks. GO!

In case you thought I was kidding about recording EVERYTHING. 
My students said I need to post a picture today because I “look really pretty today and my readers shouldn’t have to always see me when I work out.” Uh, thanks?