day 25/26 of 28: learning to listen

talking comes natural to me. as does writing novel-length blog posts. this can come in handy at times – and at other times, not so much. i cannot tell you how many times i’ve just thought to myself: “ugh…if your brain would only work just a little faster than your mouth moves you wouldn’t be in this predicament!”.  part of this i suppose is just my personality, and i’m learning that there are things you don’t love about yourself…and you just need to accept, learn to love (or tolerate) and spend more of your energy focusing on what you’re good at and what you do love. someone once told me that what you focus on, you create more of.

so what does this have to do with my 28-day crossfit challenge?  in life (and also my workouts) i tend to get my sights set on the end goal – where i’m headed.  and part of why i’ve been successful in certain areas of my life is because i’m tenacious and no one can stop me once i set my mind on something.  and yet, just like my ability to ramble at length, sometimes it doesn’t serve me so well.  when you’re always focused on the end goal or what you think you want, you miss out on what’s right in front of you.  many times i’ve been so focused on that end goal that i miss the opportunities, experiences, and moments that are directly in front of me. you know those people that take life one moment, one day at a time? that doesn’t tend to be me, however luckily we all have the opportunity to change. one choice at a time.

silly as it may sound, slowly i’ve started applying this concept to my health and my body.  taking a moment to step back from my “plan” to really think about how i feel: does my body feel up to a killer workout, have i gotten enough rest, what do i really feel like doing right now??  see these are things i never consider.  i don’t think, i just do.  until now, that is.  waking up friday morning, i literally could barely walk from my previous day’s butt-kicking.  i’ve been sore before, but this was brutal.  like i-need-a-massage brutal.  the “old” me wouldn’t have paid any attention to what my body was saying, push through, and probably overtrain which i’ve been known to do on many occasions.  this ultimately leads to burn-out and often injuries. i preach it all the time, however i rarely practice it.  until now.

so friday, operating on 5 hours sleep and being extremely sore, i opted to skip the gym and go for a jog instead.  i knew that the trade-off would be that i’d have to workout on sunday, which usually is my off day.  but it didn’t matter what my mind was saying, my body won. so yay me for listening to my body.  then saturday was thankfully an hour-long pilates session – a great workout with the stretching and lengthening component that my body was craving after torturing it with countless deadlifts, pull-ups, squats and push-ups all week.  now i feel refreshed to hit the gym bright and early tomorrow, knowing i made the right decision to (for the first time) listen to my body.  mind you: this is not a reason to SKIP workouts or justify being a lazy bum.  but most of you out there push yourselves hard enough.  it’s also important to know when enough is enough, take a break, recover and then get back at it.  so here’s what i have to look forward to at 7am on a sunday morning:

  • run 200 meters
  • 20 pull-ups
  • run 200 meters
  • 20 push-ups
  • run 200 meters
  • 20 sit-ups
  • run 200 meters
  • 20 squats
    (5 rounds for time)

so while you’re warm & cozy in your bed, think of me.  so as i bring this ramble to a close, here’s what i’ve learned.  (and yes, i realize i get rather deep for just writing about workouts)  there are a countless number of things we can choose to focus on that we don’t like about ourselves and our actions. whether it’s missing a workout, not being the jean size you want to be, eating a tad bit too much halloween candy, or whatever it might be right now at this moment. i guarantee you’ve got some negative thought lingering.  i challenge you to switch your focus, like now.  here’s an example:

* i didn’t go to the gym friday (negative)
* i listened to my body and still got a half-hour jog in! (positive)

* i splurged on a handful of halloween candies that i so did not need to eat (negative)
* i enjoyed some treats and won’t feel guilty about it – i’ll go for a walk instead (positive)

it’s this new thing i’m trying on for size called focusing on what you want.  i guarantee you that if you focus on the negative, you will only feel worse about yourself and you’ll spiral downward from there.  so shift your mindset (i dare you) and share with me your epiphanies!



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