We are in a strange time. For everyone’s safety we’ are distancing ourselves from friends and family, staying away from work, and only leaving the house for essentials. This epidemic will become a monumental chapter in our historical textbooks, and we’re currently living it – we’re living history. It’s astounding, and it’s also kind of terrifying.

The general population is giving more attention to the term “health.” I would argue there is a better understanding of the importance of taking care of ourselves and our loved ones. What we need to also understand is that this includes an exercise routine. If you are intrinsically motivated, maybe this post isn’t for you but there are plenty of people out there that could use a little advise on how to keep up with their workouts while living in a state of uncertainty.

As CrossFitters, we thrive in a group setting. Going at a tough workout is much more doable when you know someone is right next to you suffering all the same. We’re being forced, at least for the time being, to train alone. Without our typical community, many of us are having trouble staying motivated, or even just getting started. Here are some prompts i’ve found helpful in motivating myself to train alone and actually make it productive.

Start with your “Why?” Why do you train?

What is a “why?” For the record “it’s just exercise” isn’t my favorite, ESPECIALLY when a “why?” is defined. Don’t devalue your health by saying “it’s just exercise.” One of our members, Neel, often tells me jokingly, “I just don’t want to be out of shape like my dad.” No reason to dig, because he shows up as consistently as anyone else, and works hard. As a coach, that works for me. 

Your “why” must reflect something of value to you and something you believe in. There isn’t a wrong answer here, just find that purpose. Once you know your “why,” every training day, ask yourself: “Am I getting closer to my “why?” Does this sound extreme? I sure hope not. Reaching your “why” requires you to consistently show up with your best effort.

Motivation and Discipline go hand in hand but are two different things. I once heard “you don’t lack motivation, you lack discipline”. I loved that. I believe most people WANT to be fit, and I believe most people can find a “why” pretty quickly. It’s a matter of doing it at that moment your motivation begins to slip. Another one of my favorite quotes is, “don’t talk about it, be about it.” 

An extremely simple way to stay disciplined right now is to set a schedule. Schedule your workout time and DO IT. You have the tools before you, be about it. I wish it were more complicated, but it isn’t. Bonus tip, schedule a reminder on your phone 5-10minutes prior to workout time that sends you your “why”. 

Once your why is established and recited and your time is scheduled… Enjoy it and be proud of it. Be proud of your effort and have fun with it. CrossFit is hard but it’s rewarding in itself. Tell someone about it, reach out to one of us coaches and tell us about it. I LIVE for those messages. 

Many years training to be a competitive athlete, I fondly remember rowing hard intervals in a dark gym all alone. I would send myself the messages, play the loud music… I would sit and think about my technique, think about my breathing… and when I was really getting after it, literally yelling “WOOOO” and smiling my way through the burning in my legs and lungs. I’m not a spiritual person but the euphoria of accomplishing my “why” alone… was as close to enlightenment as I felt I could get.    

Training alone check list:

1: Find your why, and preach it to yourself, or even to others

2: Schedule your training time and DON’T MOVE IT.

3: Enjoy the process. 

4: Take pride in your efforts and CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESS!

You can get through this time and I truly believe staying moving is a key to keep ones sanity, as well as sense of being. Be about it. 

-Joey

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