I thought I would put together a little analogy to help people understand why staying balanced is the foundation to success within the Sport Of Fitness.
There are multiple facets of being a successful CrossFit athlete but ultimately, if you can have more high quality training sessions then the other athletes then you will develop quicker. To have those high quality training sessions you need energy, and I don’t just mean kilajoules, I mean mental clarity, emotional lightness and undoubted focus.
If you enter the gym, well fed, well rested, focused with no emotional baggage, you know you are going to have a killer session. If you can back that up everyday, your training year is going to be magical.
But life doesn’t work like that does it? We all have baggage, we all have jobs and stress to manage, sometimes eating perfectly isn’t convenient… We’re all human… Well, most of us.
So like anything, it’s about doing the best we can, changing things that aren’t in line with what we are trying to achieve, finding the balance in a torrent of shit. This post is about some things you can do to make sure you have the most ‘energy’ possible to put into achieving your goals.
Think of your ‘energy’ reserves like a bank account, and money as the ‘energy’ itself. You can put money in, you can take money out, the more money you have saved means you get interest on your savings, the more you go into debt the more interest you pay the bank.
Our goal is to balance the money out with the money in, having a bank account full of money is no good to anyone if they don’t spend it, and being in debt means they can’t spend it. Sometimes it is good to save a little if you see something expensive ahead you want to buy, most of the time balance is the key, and very rarely is it good to go into debt, although there is smart debt at times.
Things that fill your bank account include eating well, sleeping well, resting, recovering and generally being stress free. Things that take away from your bank account are hard training, lack of sleep and recovery, life stresses and emotional crap. Baring in mind that a lot of this is your perception, to some people their work gives them ‘energy’, to others it is a stress and takes away their ‘energy’.
It becomes your job to do two things in the quest for a better balance of money in and money out…
The first thing you need to do learn to manage stress, don’t let it get to you, don’t let small things bother you. To do this you need to give ZERO FUCKS. Seriously, stop caring so much, just let things be and enjoy the present moment. Stop thinking and overthinking. Shut off your brain and just be a chilled out hippie for a while.
The second thing you need to do is start changing the things that are giving you the most stress. If the same things keep bringing stress into your life then you need to remove them. There is only so much meditating you can do before you want to punch someone in the face. If you hate your job then work on finding a new one, if your friends aren’t conducive to your success then find new ones, if the environment you live in hinders your happiness and progress then change it.
“Work with what you’ve got while you work on what you want”
You are not in control of somethings, but you are in control of these things 100%. And these things will put money into your bank account. From there you can spend that money on important things like TRAINING!!!! If you keep spending your money on life drama and other things that don’t help you move towards your goal then you are can not expect to do as well as someone that spends all their money on training.
If you go too far into debt then you will dig yourself a big hole. And with people in real financial debt they only see how deep they are once they take a step back and look up. ‘Energy’ debt will kill you if you don’e try and recuperate it. It might take a few years but eventually it will catch up on you and a few things will happen including a drop in your performance. Too many people just smash themselves with hard training digging into debt, then all of a sudden they break, or they are just so tired they lose quality of their training. Then they turn to coffee and keep digging.
Don’t get me wrong, at times you need to borrow some money to push through, have some coffee to grind out a hard training cycle and get some gains, but it must be balanced with recovery and money savings. You can get to Regionals in debt, and honestly most people do, but that is not how I recommend to get there because then what, you crash and burn. If you are in a rush to get better then you will need to go into debt. If you balance your account it will take longer, but the journey will be more enjoyable and sustainable.
When I first started Underground RX and coaching people I was still an athlete, it wasn’t until I committed to being a coach that the results started to come. I was spending my money on too many different things, not focusing on one investment. That is the same for you, you need to focus on what you want, and if that is to make Regionals or the Games then you better either be the Guru of Zen (giving zero fucks in a nice way) or have a life fully devoted to it’s success, or both.