I think we’ve all experienced “bad” days at the gym before. Days where our training feels off, we feel weaker, things feel more difficult, mentally we are checked out, etc. Most of the time we can shake off a bad day here and there and go back to “normal”, and go back to enjoying pushing ourselves in a WOD. But sometimes those bad days don’t go away so quickly, that one bad day can turn into a bad couple of days, week(s), or even worse month(s)… You begin to feel unexcited and unmotivated about training and struggle with asking yourself what is wrong. This is not a completely uncommon feeling, you put a lot of yourself into your workouts and doing CrossFit is both physically and mentally challenging. What is important is to not let this feeling to take over and to try to figure out what you need to get back to enjoying working out. Whether you think it or not, you ALL have invested a lot of time, energy, money, emotions, etc. into CrossFit. With that amount of effort and dedication it is really important to find your joy in it. If you are not enjoying what you do and your journey with it, then what is the point really?
Maybe you really do need to take the time to slow down and let your body recover. Have you been pushing yourself too much at the box? Are you overtraining? Assess your physical and mental status, is your body telling you to take a rest? With any strenuous training program it is crucial to take enough rest time to let your body recover. If you’re the type of athlete that never takes any days off and every day in the gym is 100%, then maybe a rest day or active recovery day here and there is necessary. This actually will benefit you in the long run. Remember your CrossFit/Fitness journey is not just about the immediate tangibles, but about the long term health benefits.
Understand that everyone’s reasons and journey are different. For some the motivation may come from accomplishing big dreams and goals like Regionals or The Games. I am by no means an “elite” athlete and don’t have driving desire to make it in the big leagues. But for someone like me my drive comes from the joy I get from the every day experiences in the box day in and day out. Those experiences are what really push me in the box; from the small PRs and milestones I make, to the personal connections I make with other athletes. Those things are where I find my joy.
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re feeling burnt out. Focus on figuring out what it is that you need. Maybe you need to reconnect or rediscover what it is that got you started with CrossFit, that made you so eager in the beginning. Maybe it is time to re-assess or make new goals. Maybe you need to make time to workout with your WOD buddies that you may be missing. Work on finding your joy in your journey.
“…focus on the journey, not the destination.
Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”