Below is a note I wrote to myself way back in November of 2012 to remind me of some of the most important things to remember in my fitness journey. I still believe this all holds value today and is worth a read. Leave your comments below if you have any lessons you learned or advice to share!
If you start something, finish it. No matter how tough the workout, no matter how tired you are, no matter what that little voice inside your head is telling you, FINISH. Finish what you start. In the gym, in your house, in your relationships. Don’t give up when it gets hard.
2) TAKE A BREAK
It’s okay to rest. It’s okay to take time off from the gym to heal a sore muscle or an injury. It’s okay to leave the dishes in the sink for an extra hour (don't tell my wife that!) because you want to finish a movie. It’s okay to turn down invitations to dinner parties if you want a night at home of if your plate is too full. Give yourself some "ME" time.
3) GO EASY ON YOURSELF
You will have good days. You will have days so shitty, you’re imagining it over before it’s even noon. You will have days where you hit a PR on a mile run, or a lift you’ve been struggling with and days you can barely put one foot in front of the other. Those days you will struggle to find that motivation you need to keep going; this is where you must rely on discipline. We are human. Each day is different than the last. What we eat, how we sleep, hormones, mood, life – they all affect us day-to-day and what combination can make for awesome achievements one day can shank you in the shower the next.
And don't be intimidated; view yourself through the same lens you view others. You belong here just as much as they do. So get off of Facebook & Instagram and STOP comparing your life to someone else's highlight reel. Give yourself what you deserve.
4) ONE AT A TIME
I always like to remember one of my favorite CrossFit quotes from Matt Fraser, ""Don't think about the reps you have left, just get through the one in front of you... then another... and another." When there’s a giant pile of crap to be done, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. I’ve tried really hard to internalize something a trainer once told me when looking at an insurmountable WOD full of squat-clean-thrusters. “One at a time. Just do one at a time.” And you know what? You will eventually finish the WOD. The laundry/dishes/deadline/cleaning/errands. Just in time for a new pile to accumulate, but it will end. I can promise you that.
5) YOU WILL SAY SHIT YOU SWORE WOULD NEVER COME OUT OF YOUR MOUTH
Case in point: “I watched your snatch today from across the room. It looked super clean!” “You owe me 20 burpees!” “Yeah, I’m an athlete.” “I climbed a rope.” “I ran 13 miles through 30 obstacles today.” “Please do not use the cat as a kettlebell” and you may even find yourself shouting some expletives from time to time...
6) SETBACKS HAPPEN
Whether it’s an illness, surgery, or just a bad week, you will fall behind from where you are. It’s okay to take three steps forward and two steps back. It can be your lifting at the gym or your clean-eating regimen. A journey isn’t meant to be run on marathon feet. It’s a slow, steady, crawl with blisters.
7) WORK HARD & STAY HUMBLE
Statistically speaking, there will always be someone stronger, faster, better than you and you're bound to run into them someday. As soon as you think you’re good at something, someone will smoke your ass. But if you’re humble and you accept your place in the great world of average, the day will come when you will be the one everybody is looking up to; "The Mom Who Kicks Ass" or "The Friend Everyone Loves" or even "The Chick Who Rowed 500m in 1:30." But don't forget to accept it with humility (since you remember oh-so-clearly what the bottom of the barrel looks like.)
Have a purpose bigger than yourself.