We do hard things in the gym. That much can't be denied. We've all overcome WODs that, at first glance, seemed like a cruel joke. Whether it was a long sixty minute grinder of a workout or those sprints that take hours to recover from, we've done it all. And we do them without question. Day in and day out. The exhilaration we feel when we are done is priceless. The sense of accomplishment is satisfying. The dopamine hit makes use crave more. We are the 1 %.
But what if I told you that what we do isn't really that hard. That showing up and leaving our heart and soul out on the floor pales in comparison to what is really hard. What is it that can be harder than getting crushed by legendary hero WODs like Murph and Kalsu?
It's the little things. Going to bed earlier. Drinking enough water. Saying no to that second helping of pie. Taking time to work on your mobility. Making time to breathe deeply. Turning off your phone when you get home.
The things that don't have an immediate pay off or a defined start and finish like that 3,2,1 GOOOOO!!!!. The things that require consistency and discipline over time, to see results and sometimes only marginal ones. Don't get me wrong; staying disciplined and consistent with your work outs will definitely get you results and contribute greatly to your health, but it's the other stuff that happens outside of the gym that can really amplify what you do in the gym.
With the New Year starting today, pick something you can commit to working on for at least 28 days.
- Maybe it is going to bed 30 mins earlier (the average adult needs 7-8 hours per night).
- Working on your mobility for 15 mins a day (check out ROMWOD or GOWOD for some great targeted and guided routines--both are subscription services).
- Drinking enough water throughout the day (divide your bodyweight in kg by 30. This is how may liters a day you should drink. So if you are 90kg/30=3L).
- Or spending some quiet time alone reading, meditating or breathing (Headspace has great guided meditations).
- Vow to reduce your risk of cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease and perhaps most importantly, all-cause mortality by eating 800g of fruits and vegetables per day (see why HERE).
My advice is to not try to commit to more than one of these to start. Choose one and make a small change for 28 days. If it goes well, and you've stuck with it (it's perfectly natural to have a few hiccups on the way---remember you are always only one step away from getting back on track), try adding another area that needs work. And if that sticks then you will be well on your way to developing some amazing habits that will have a huge pay off in one year, five years, ten years and over a lifetime. Take a look at this graphic to see how tiny daily gains can pay off over time.
BUT STILL DO THOSE HARD WODS! Think of the work you do in the gym as the glue that will help you stick these new habits to yourself. Without that work in the gym, those habits may not stick. So continue to get sticky and sweaty with some high-intensity, functional fitness, but don't forget about those other 23 hours.
Start off the New Year by making a commitment to ourselves and enacting some changes (maybe just one!) that will take time, but will be worth it.
All the best in 2021 from your All Level Family!!