For the Sake of the Struggle

Things are hard right now. Perhaps the hardest they’ve ever been. But in some ways, things aren’t that bad.

Hear me out – if you’re of my demographic, I hope that you can agree that we haven’t lived through any real struggles in our lifetime. Yes, social inequality still exists. And yes, I was born with inherent privilege, so my life has been far easier than others’. But, current social circumstances aside, I hope that we can all acknowledge how physically easy life is. I mean, think of what daily life was like for our ancestors two to three generations ago. From a physical standpoint, life is a piece of cake for the vast majority of us.

In generations past, physical work was necessary in order to survive. Those days are gone. And in my opinion, this decreased physical demand has resulted in a diminished sense of purpose for some of us (myself included). I know that I’m not alone in admitting that I love nothing more than to tackle an insanely hard workout, simply for the feeling of accomplishment it gives me.

But, I’ve come to realize that beating myself up physically isn’t serving me, and it isn’t serving you either.

I can’t tell you how many times I hear my clients say that they did 3 workouts in one day, just for the sake of doing something hard! Sure, doing an occasional hero WOD to honor a fallen soldier, running several miles a week to train for a marathon because it’s a lifelong goal, or strength training religiously to be as strong as possible are all exceptions to this. But have you considered that your beat-down workouts aren’t actually helping you to reach your goals?

Overuse injuries are a real. Training intensely is great, but it’s not meant to be done repeatedly or without recovery. Doing 100 squats as fast as you can IS hard, but it is NOT going to get you closer to any goal that you may have, unless of course you want to be able to do 100 squats faster than anyone else (and if that’s your goal, we need to talk). Think about this – professional athletes train intensely. But their training is intentional and purposeful.

So fitness instructors and amateur athletes alike – I am calling you out! I beg of you to consider the purpose of your workouts. And please, don’t let the purpose simply be struggle. Training shouldn’t be hard just for the sake of being hard. Take a long, hard look at your goals and see if your training is helping to get you there.

Want help in determining an appropriate training program? Reach out to me! I would love to help you reach your goals.

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