Ebbs & Flows in Fitness
I’ve been in the fitness game a long time. This month marks 14 years since I qualified as a personal trainer. I played sport at semi-pro level. In gym owners and PTs, I’m connected to some of the most exercise-loving people across the UK.
I’ve yet to meet anyone who is consistently on fire with their fitness for years on end.
In this life-long game, it’s inevitable you’ll experience ebbs and flows.
Nobody escapes illness and injury.
Nobody lives a life free from challenge and change.
Even positive experiences derail us. Hard earned goals tend to be followed by dips.
And even athletes need the off-season.
When you’ve experienced that feeling of momentum and progress, the funk can be hard to handle.
Most people don’t handle it well. Not initially.
You’ll look outside yourself. Initially for someone or something to blame. “It’s just not the same around here anymore”. You’ll look for a new diet. A new supplement. A new programme. Or (gasp!) even a new gym.
Over the years, I’ve learned to look first at myself. I call it the self-audit:
- Are my behaviours matching my goals?
- Am I respecting my sleep?
- Am I getting fresh air and movement?
- Am I eating like an adult?
- Am I exercising too much or too little?
- And what am I doing for self-renewal?
9 times out of 10, the answer lies within me.
Put down the shovel. Stop digging. Tighten-up, remind, refocus. Back to basics.
In a matter of days, I’m feeling better and getting back on track.
Other times you’ll find you’re doing everything right. But you can’t shake the funk.
If you’re going through menopause or grief or some other life event, it’s going to be hard.
Sometimes life is unbalanced.
Sometimes you need a break.
Sometimes – for no apparent reason – it’s just hard.
Ebbs and flows are part of fitness.
The question is how you’re going to handle them.
How soon can you stop digging?
How soon can you do an honest self-audit?
How soon can you reach out for help if you need it?
And how soon can you begin again?
Because most likely, the answer lies within you.