Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cheat Days and Rest Days

I don't do cheat days.
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with cheat days. I'm just saying I don't do them.
My cheat day becomes cheat days. My cheat days turn into Cheat weeks. Next thing I know I'm spending a whole day in bed watching Hugh Grant movies eating my weight in European Chocolate and Hot Pockets (Which I don't even like anyway.)
So I don't do cheat days.

When it comes to exercising, I don't like rest days. 
Now this isn't necessarily a good thing. After a few days of really hard workouts, it's really good to take a day to recover. But I hate it. I get agitated and bored and anxious. Last week with CrossFit I went every single day and then took a break on Sunday. I don't know what happened, but when Monday rolled around, I could NOT get myself to go to the box. And I started to get anxiety. All day I had a conversation with myself that went something like this:
"Just get up and go to the box. You'll feel better after you do a WOD."
"I know."
"Well then what's the problem."
"I don't know. I just..."
"You just what?"
"Don't want to go today."
"You're losing interest already!?"
"Typical you would give up so easily. Especially after telling everyone that it changed your life. You might as well go eat some HobNobs."
"Don't be silly. WAIT. We still have HobNobs?"
"Yeah, I think so. Back of the pantry. Do you want some?"
"Sigh. No. It's not worth the burpees I'll have to do to work them off."
"So are you going to go to the Box?"
I didn't go. And it really upset me. I mean, I was really disappointed in myself. Only because I was worried that I had already given up. So I promised myself I'd go Tuesday.
So I woke up and as I've developed the habit, looked up the WOD on the website. 
It was the Filthy Fifties. NOOOOOO! 
"I should have gone yesterday so I could skip today!"
"You can always skip again. Nobody will know."
"Shut up, Brain."
Now for you who don't know what the Filthy Fifties are, they are one of the crossfit WODs that is known by all Crossfit Boxes. And it kicks your butt.
50 Box jump, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double undersLook it up on Youtube. It's intense.
I seriously had to psyche myself up all day to go. I knew it was going to be hard. I saw something about Cross Fit once that "If you're not scared of your workout, it's not hard enough for you."
So I went to Crossfit and did the filthy fifty.
And it was quite possibly the hardest thing I have ever done. No joke. I didn't think I could do it. I got to the point where I just stood there and thought: I physically can't do anything more. I had done my stupid 50 burpees (and wanted to die) and I just couldn't do my push press or my Jumping Pull ups. (I did mine a little out of order.) And then I remembered something my brother-in-law said about difficult WODs that kicked something into gear for me. 
"One rep at a time."
Somehow, something kicked in and I finished those last two sets. And you know what else? I cried the entire time. (I'm laughing right now realizing how ridiculous I must have looked.) But it was like after last week's fire and excitement had worn off, all this emotion I had been welling up for months just came out at that moment and I just cried! And I cried all the way home.  
And this morning, Tuesday, I was back to killing my WOD and pushing myself to limits I didn't know I was capable of reaching.
Post my filthy fifties

So next time you're having a bad day, or a negative day, have it. Then the next day, take that negativity and use it to fuel whatever you're trying to accomplish. I need to remember that. And I need to learn how to let my rest days not be a stumble in my momentum. But I'm fine without cheat days.


Andrew-L'autre said...

I agree; it's unwise and way too easy to fall into a pattern of laziness! I can identify with your last paragraph, too.

Tasha Cottam said...

Nothing, I repeat, nothing is more of a trap for me than "Cheat day('s weeks, months)" You're courageous and have given me the insight that I'm not the only one ashamed, er, scared to go to the box. The conversations I've had with myself over it can be absolutely manipulative and turn my will into turn-on-netflix-continuing-to-watch-reruns-that-I-really-don't-have-a-desire-to-watch-yet-do-anyways-because-I'm-pathetic.

Keep it up, cuz.

Great writing.