How to beat a slump

I find this time of year to be the most challenging when it comes to staying on track with my health and keeping focus.  With the holidays come parties, family functions, and a million other things to do, and as if the season isn’t tough enough, there’s also the weather to deal with — all those seemingly endless cold, dark days.  When it is cold and dark working out is the last thing I feel like doing. If I’m being honest, sometimes I don’t even want to workout at all. That’s right, even coaches go through a slump.

But in my case, the timing really sucks. I just finished an online qualifier competition that will be taking me and some fellow CrossFitters to Miami in a couple of months. It’s an amazing opportunity that I do not want to waste, but it scares me to death, too.  That’s because I feel like right now I’m the weak link on the team. Instead of sinking into that feeling, however, I’ve challenged myself to defy it. I’ve committed myself to using the next eight weeks to get my athletic performance up to the standard of my teammates.  This means I have to go to the gym and I need to put in the work and I need to have a plan to attack my weaknesses.

I’m finding my motivation to get back at it by thinking less about how I feel and more about how that effects other people. I don’t want to let my teammates down so I’m getting my head back in the game.  If you’re in a slump, look for something that will click for you, too. Lock on to whatever it is that will keep you pushing through the snow and the cold and the darkness to get where you want to be.  And whatever your goal — whether it’s to master a new skill or lose weight or reach a new PR — be sure to tell someone about it just like I’m telling you about mine. Confiding in even one person keeps you accountable.

Remember that no matter how far you feel you’ve drifted from your goals it’s never too late to close the gap and to recommit yourself.  The path back to where you want to be can start with baby steps. For example, to ease myself back into the habit of working out five days a week, I’ve started doing some light rowing and biking (no more than 10 minutes).

Don’t let a slump get you down.  Acknowledge it and then formulate a plan for getting out of it. Get your butt back into the gym — even for 10 minutes — and I guarantee you’ll feel happier even in the dark, cold days of winter.

Broder McNeill is a coach and co-owner of Alchemy CrossFit. 

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