posted on April 6, 2020
I’m not going to lie, writing about anything training related is particularly challenging during this time but I wanted to follow up after Todd’s initial blog post about why we train. I think it’s important from a coaching perspective to understand that sometimes we face things in our daily life that throw us for a loop. From an athlete perspective I see no light at the end of the tunnel, it’s almost as if those two identities are very separate sometimes. It’s a plug and play situation, when the coaching mentality demands me I’m there but when I get to be an athlete the tables turn.
Let’s first understand why I’m feeling this way:
It’s no secret that what we are going through in our daily lives has literally turned all of us upside down. I actually went probably 3 days without contact (except for work related purposes) with anyone outside my house, it was pretty lonely and I felt isolated. Now one could argue that I’m doing it to myself, that obviously people would talk to me if I reached out and I am aware of that yes but thats besides the point. A good friend of mine sent me and article this past week and it talked about “grief” and how it relates to our current lives.
We are all technically grieving the loss of our freedom to live the lives we’ve been blessed to be able to live up until this point. Our new normal is very different than the normal we were immersed in before and now we find ourselves trying to make sense of it all. It’s almost like a bad breakup, I want to lay in bed all day watching Netflix on my laptop with a bottle of wine while I demolish a whole pint of Ben & Jerrys. I have no drive, no motivation, I’m just okay.
Now let’s find out how we manage these feelings:
Training has always been my go to when dealing with inner issues or to deal with things that life throws my way but training looks a lot different now. I used to use the drive to the gym to blast my music as loud as I wanted and get pumped up for my session now I roll out of bed, throw my workout clothes on (which is also similar to my entire wardrobe) and walk out my front door to what is now my gym. The first week we were in quarantine I didn’t really workout and I drank a lot of wine, it was really hard to find a new routine and I was very irritable.
It’s hard going from having access to so much to now being forced to do what you can with what you have. It’s a perspective I’m still getting used to but I do not take what I have for granted. I’ve slowly worked myself into realizing that this is a time to be working on skills that are weaknesses for me and focus on building a stronger back and upper body (two things that have caused me a great deal of issues this year alone). Even though training doesn’t seem like training anymore, it’s still training. I still have a coach, I’m still working towards being the best me I can possibly be and I’m still moving my body. These things have not been taken from me and as more days pass my motivation to train will come back.
From an athletes perspective most of you can understand what I’m going through but when my coaches brain kicks in it fights with that other part of me. In regards to that I have a patch on my vest that says “hard work pays off” and as a coach I want to grab myself and tell her that this is a time in your life when it all matters. We all have defining moments that we can remember clearly, situations that have shaped us into who we are and this is one them. Being in quarantine is going to separate people and it’s already happening now, you have to ask yourself, what kind of person do you want to be when all this is said and done?
So we’ve reflected, what now?:
Understanding how you are feeling is the first step, second is learning how to manage those feelings without them taking hold of your life and the last step to simply put it is to live. Both sides of me are important and will play significant roles in how I move through this defining moment in history. The biggest take away I have from all of this is that there is no giving up, I mean honestly being in quarantine is the easiest thing I have gone through in the past year. I’m not going to open up that can of worms but reflecting on all of this, I have a lot to be thankful for and three of them being, my family, relationships and health.
Now, I’m certainly losing my words as I reflect on everything I’ve written above. As I said before, motivation is lacking in all areas of my life and the only way to move through it is to recognize it. I suppose what I’m saying in a few short words (even though it took this entire blog to understand) is that it’s okay to grieve the loss of life as it was but we cannot let ourselves fall into a vast pit of emptiness. Let yourself feel, let yourself mourn but know
that day by day you need to to invest in yourself and use this time for growth.