Last month I attended fewer training sessions than usual. It can be a common occurrence (even for experienced gym goers). For me, a mix of personal and professional distractions ensured a pretty pitiful turnout averaging 2 sessions per week. Sometimes these distractions are unavoidable, but often, it’s a matter will. Distractions aren’t always a terrible thing (they make life interesting), but having a level of control can assist a healthy training routine.
Very few sports participants can train like a professional. Your training will always fit towards your work schedule and social life. This is ok… if you find your routine. I work the usual 9-5 but do so 25 miles from my gym. This can be problematic for making a weekday 6pm session. If I miss that, however, there is usually a second timeslot later.
Making the later session often comes down to willpower. In the last month I have left work at 5:45/6pm some days (plenty of time arrive at the gym). I could get changed and warm up for the second session…
But I didn’t. Why?
Some days I felt tired. Some, I felt a little down. What I felt for certain, though, was 100% of the times I didn’t attend the gym, I regretted it. I attended one late session towards the end of the month and no surprises as to how I felt. I had a sparring session which started light, upping in tempo towards the end. After it I felt like I worked hard and had earned my food, cup of tea and a good sleep. I felt great!
Feel good factor
Is there a lesson in this? Nearly every teacher in a gym will tell you “come in and train” even if you are feeling at your lowest. The best part of training is adaptation; you never have a duty to go in and ruin yourself just to beat external pressures. A gym is a great place to work to your level. You can hit pads, ask sparring partners to go as light as you feel and completely tailor a workout.
Around 2 years ago I had a horrific week. My girlfriend of 2 years decided we had drifted and broke up with me. Two days later, my dog was barely responding one morning; we took him to the vets and I never saw him again. Two very emotional events taking place within days crushed me in many ways. I messaged my instructor and said I think I needed a few days away. She said come in, everybody was there and I’d have a good time.
I plucked up the courage to attend. I had a heavy heart and a lump in my throat very early on. I almost felt as though I didn’t want to burden my team with knowing I was feeling at my worst. One hour later I felt very refreshed. I worked at a level where I was comfortable. I practiced some needed technique. I socialised with positive people and although it didn’t reverse the fact that I’d had a terrible week, it lightened the load so much.
Enjoying a touch of training
Take the plunge
Being distracted from training isn’t always avoidable; people have complex lives. Some are easily workable (organising time around work); others less so. Feeling a weight around your neck from your own situation can feel terrible, but I can guarantee a single hour doing something you enjoy, working to be better, with people you get on with, makes all the difference in the battle to stay afloat.