I’m currently writing this on the back of an absolutely awful workout. Halfway through everything going wrong from running slower than a sloth and feeling exhausted after only five press ups I realised this would make a good blog topic. Now Rykhology recommends training because it’s good for mental health! However mental health can be fragile and having a terrible workout can impact our mental health and even cause us to shirk our training regime. Here’s why you shouldn’t.
It started at 6am, I jumped out of bed and nearly broke my toe by somehow managing to stand on my bent big toe…. Don’t ask how it happened. Then I caused myself a horrible pain that men will understand, when you go to grab yourself to urinate and you somehow manage to flick your balls. So in agony I turned around and had to sit to relieve myself that morning. Following on, it had rained all night and the running gear I left outside to dry in the middle of June! Was soaked. So I had to wear a heavy cotton T-Shirt.
I go downstairs, turn on the tap to have some water and the water pressure is dismally pathetic, obviously there’s a burst pipe or maintenance work going on somewhere, so warm bottled water it was for my morning rehydration. I warm up, stretch and set my running app to start tracking my progress. On my run, my legs are lead, I trip twice on kerbs, my ankle is really hurting me bringing back nightmares of my posterior tibial tendinitis and my lungs are on fire from the first step. A poor run, only compounded by the fact that my running app for some reason didn’t track my route, a route that was new, a route I needed to tracked so I could for definite determine its length! However I could tell from the clock in my kitchen it took me twenty three minutes to run (roughly) 5K…. I wasn’t impressed now.
I leaned over my sink for some good cold water and I filled my glass with my eyes closed because you know, post run agony… And I downed a massive gulp that tasted like death, it was muck… Muck in my taps. Could the day get worse? You betcha!
As I stretched my hamstring I felt a pop and I’m guessing for the next two weeks I waill be limping with a throbbing pain behind my knee. Not bad enough to stop me training, it isn’t a massive tear or anything but an inconvenience I could have done without.
Then came my body-weight training. I like press ups, I like doing hundreds and hundreds of them in my workouts. Well today I did five press ups and felt like my shoulders were going to just fail on me. Every press up was a massive effort. My body just wasn’t tuned in today and my mind struggled along.
So I’ve so far had a horrible day and I plan on wrapping myself in cotton wool for the rest of it because I do believe it could get worse if I tempt fate. However, I’m still proud of myself, why? Because even though my run was awful by my own standards and my press ups were awful by my own standards I still did them! I still ran (Still guessing here) 5K and then came home and did my body-weight circuit that includes 500 press ups! I may not have enjoyed it or felt good or felt I improved but I did it!
The two days you make your biggest improvements in fitness are:
- The day you don’t want to train but do it anyway
- The day in which everything goes wrong but you push through to the end anyway
These are the two days in which normal people take a day off or just give up halfway through a workout because they aren’t feeling it. But these are the days where the best separate themselves from the rest. The best boxers, runners, footballers, swimmers, weightlifters etc. don’t give up on the days they aren’t feeling it. They don’t take an unscheduled day off. They don’t say they’ll do it tomorrow. They do it now! They do it today! And regardless of how it goes, they get it done.
One way I could look at my day is how I described it in the first few paragraphs. The other way is to say I ran 5K (Probably) and then did my circuit training including 500 press ups! What one do you think will impact my mental health more positively?
Now no matter who you are, you will have days like what I just had. Those are the days where it is most imperative that you train! Even if it’s a disaster, just getting it done will strengthen not only your body but your mind. It will help you develop a seriously powerful mental fortitude.
Not only these things but whatever it is you’re training for, be it a marathon, a 5K, weightlifting competition, a swim meet, football cup etc. you will put yourself ahead of the competition on days like today. How? Because most people when they have a day like I had they don’t do what needs to be done. They tell themselves it’s okay to miss one day. So when you go out and get what needs to be done, done, then you put yourself ahead of the pack.
No matter how you feel mentally, or if you physically feel not tuned into your workouts, just get them done. Not every workout can leave you euphoric, some will leave you flat, but that’s okay just get it done. And afterwards sit down and realise what you actually achieved; not only that but realise how the workout wasn’t as bad as it seemed when you were in it!
Remember to win life, one grind at a time!