If you joined CrossFit as an adult with full-blown adult responsibilities, you most likely didn’t do it because you were bored and had nothing to do with your time. The likely scenario is that at that point in your life you realized you needed to engage with fitness and health in a new way. Some of you were entirely new to working out and a healthy lifestyle, and some of you just needed a change. Regardless of what brought you to Soul, many of you have found that with this decision, you made a commitment to health, happiness, balance, and in turn, your family and friends. At the beginning, it was easy to show up because every day was a new challenge, and you found yourself amazed at the things your body could do that you never thought imaginable. The first couple of years truly are the best, but they’re also a whirlwind. You likely changed your diet, consistently PR’ed, ran your first mile since 6th grade PE, fit into those jeans and chased that endorphin high at the end of each workout. Despite working a full-time job, raising a family, taking care of pets, maintaining a household, paying your bills on time-ish and the multitude of other things that come with being a decent, functioning adult, you walked into the gym EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. With your eyes burning from how tired you were and your body sore from all the things it was discovering it could do, you opened the door and stuck to your commitment, god damn it! Because of that, your body composition changed, your skin and hair started looking better, and you were taking TWO dumps a day! Life was good, and fitness was life.

Until…the years passed, you had another kid, you changed jobs, your relationship ended, you started a new one, the mortgage went up, you moved houses, the dog died, you got sick, you started therapy and life and all its ups, downs and unexpected twists and turns felt like a challenge to your commitment to health and fitness. You’re still here, but it’s not always easy. You’re not a competitive athlete, unless you count competing with the whiteboard some days after class, and fitness wear companies aren’t sliding into your DMs asking you to rep their line. You’re discovering for the first time since that initial rush of the first couple of years that fitness is NOT life. It’s a part of it, and WE GET IT. We’ve actually been waiting for this moment because this is when shit gets real. Today, we’re talking to anyone caught in the struggle of keeping their commitment to leading healthy lives as the initial stoke of CrossFit wears off, and the puzzle they thought they already completed seemingly breaks apart, leaving them to wonder how to put all the pieces back together.

First, you don’t need a new puzzle. You just have to approach putting it together from a different angle, but it will always be YOUR puzzle and you are in control (of most things). What keeps people in “the game”, which in your case might be working out for an hour and heading out to slay the rest of your day, is knowing what some dead white guy once said: “Perspective is everything”. This is not the end of your journey. It’s actually the beginning, dummy. Rather than wax philosophically, however, we’re going to break things down as easily and practically as possible. Below, we’ve come up with some “TIPS AND TRICKS! YAY!” to help you see things differently and keep your health and fitness journey going when the fire that once lit the way starts to burn out.

TRY SOMETHING NEW

At Soul, we offer so many different programs from Beginner Barbell and Team Soul Barbell to Soul Sweat, personalized training and different variations of our Team Soul Training programming. If you do anything, no matter what it is, for a long time, you’re likely going to get bored. An easy solution: think of your schedule and try to fit any of our other programs into it. Maybe you want to stick to CrossFit on Tuesdays and Thursdays, join Soul Sweat for booty Wednesdays, (heyyyyy!), and do Beginner Barbell on Saturdays. Do it. Don’t be scurrrred.

COMPETE!

Yeah, YOU. Compete! There are CrossFit boxes all over South Florida that offer in-house competitions for CrossFit athletes of all levels and capabilities. Follow as many as you find on Instagram, ask around and sign-up. If you’re more comfortable with a team, motivate a group of friends to join you. Wodapalooza just ended, but they now have beginner and scaled divisions, and it’s never too early to start thinking about competing next year. Competing allows you to work toward a goal, which will motivate you to be in the gym more, and duh, that’s what this is all about! So, go rep Soul and show ‘em what you’ve got. Best case: you win. Worst case: you go get breakfast after…or is that the best case?

STEP OUTSIDE OF THE BOX, LITERALLY

You’ve been BUSTING YOUR ASS in the gym, but it’s time to prove your fitness to yourself beyond the whiteboard and the painted up walls at Soul. Below is a list of some of the things you can try, but the possibilities really are endless.

  1. Join a soccer, softball, or screw it, ultimate Frisbee league. You’re more in tune with your body now than you probably ever have been, and your coordination is definitely going to benefit from that as you play any one of these.
  2. Join a run club (Footworks offers a FREE run club for all levels every Tuesday and Thursday) or sign up for different races around South Florida where you can put your cardio and stamina to the test. Go enjoy the runner’s high. It’s an actual thing.
  3. Try paddle boarding, wake boarding or surfing. You know all those toes to bar, planks and weighted sit ups? Benefit from them as you use your core in ALL OF THESE.
  4. Go rock climbing. South Florida has two GREAT indoor rock climbing facilities, Project Rock and The Edge Rock Gym (formerly known as X-treme). Your forearms are shredded from all those clean and jerks. Go use them!
  5. Sign up for a Spartan Race or a Mud Run. Helllooo, rope climbs, awkward object carries, jumping over walls…You got this!
  6. We could go on and on and on.

If you’re worried about missing a day/days at Soul trying any one of these, we’re not. We know you’ll realize how fit you’ve really become and come back to get even more fit! As a matter of fact, we WANT to see you out there killing it. Just tag us on Instagram while you’re doing it, and make us look cool, too!

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD

Yeah, this one’s a bitch in practice, but like most bitches, we gotta tell it to you straight. There is a tape playing in that old boom box you got resting on your shoulders, and it’s probably repeating some pretty negative shit. The next time you think, “Ugh. I’m so freaking old, and I’m just getting slower and slower” STOP YOURSELF. REWIND and then RECORD OVER THAT CRAP. If you try to pay even the slightest bit of attention to your thoughts, you’ll start to notice how terrible and counter-productive some of them can be. Identify the negative ones that repeat the most, and find something to replace them with. A.K.A. you’re not “old and getting slower and slower”; you’re “protecting yourself for the incredible life you still have left to live”. You’re not “too tired” and “mentally exhausted” to go to the gym; you “work your ass off, and letting out endorphins helps you be a boss the rest of the day”. For some of us, this is WAY easier said than done. It takes vigilance, practice and patience with ourselves. You’re not gonna get rid of all your negative thoughts or stop them from ever entering your mind; you’re just rewinding the tape and recording over them when they do. It’s a process AND a privilege.

We wrote this because we want you to know that our hope at Soul is for you to realize two things as you emerge from the CrossFit rabbit hole of the first couple of years, open your eyes and adjust to the light: 1. Feeling “off” or “indifferent” about health and fitness does not mean having to abandon your initial lifelong commitment to wellness you started years ago. It just means that you have to see and try things differently. 2. You’re not alone. We’ve been there, and we’re all in this together. So, welcome back, friend! You survived your first dizzying years of CrossFit. Stay the course, and we’re always here if you need us.

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