Many of us are going through training blues right now – maybe it’s your off-season, maybe taking a break over the holidays, or maybe you just can’t stop eating Christmas cookies. Whatever the reason, I tend to get a bit sad, unmotivated, and frustrated when I’m not working towards a specific fitness goal. Living in Minnesota, it doesn’t help that it’s super cold outside, the running tracks and sidewalks are covered in snow, and the gym seems so far away. To help combat the winter training blues, my husband shared this quote with me:
Dealing with the temporary frustration of not making progress is an integral part of the path towards excellence. In fact, it is essential and something that every single elite athlete has had to learn to deal with. If the pursuit of excellence was easy, everyone would do it. In fact, this impatience in dealing with frustration is the primary reason that most people fail to achieve their goals. Unreasonable expectations time-wise, resulting in unnecessary frustration, due to a perceived feeling of failure. Achieving the extraordinary is not a linear process.
The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home.
Refuse to compromise.
And accept that quality long-term results require quality long-term focus. No emotion. No drama. No beating yourself up over small bumps in the road. Learn to enjoy and appreciate the process. This is especially important because you are going to spend far more time on the actual journey than with those all too brief moments of triumph at the end.
Certainly celebrate the moments of triumph when they occur. More importantly, learn from defeats when they happen. In fact, if you are not encountering defeat on a fairly regular basis, you are not trying hard enough. And absolutely refuse to accept less than your best.
Throw out a timeline. It will take what it takes.
-Christopher Sommer, former men’s gymnastics national team coach, pulled from Tim Ferris’ blog post “How to Develop Mental Toughness“
After reading this quote several times, I have regained the motivation to get to the gym, keep working on my fitness, and not let myself fall into a non-training rut.
If you’re traveling over the holidays and you don’t have access to a gym or other fitness equipment, I have compiled some at-home workouts you can do. All you need is a little space and a little time, and you can break quite a sweat! So set some goals, make some commitments to working out, and feel good over the holiday break!
Remember that you can’t train hard 100% of the time. Your body (and your mind) need to take breaks. Just don’t let those breaks become hurdles or roadblocks – accept them as part of your path and keep progressing towards your larger goals!