When working out doesn’t work out.

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Ahh burpees- literally lifting yourself off the floor…over and over.

Not counting a leisurely bike ride on Mother’s Day, Sunday, I haven’t worked out for the last five days. I’ve been in town and had the schedule availability and even the desire to work out, but have a bit of an injury/sickness that has made me tentative to do regular Crossfit workouts.

Today I packed workout clothes in the car when Oaks and I headed out to meet a friend for park play around 9:00am. I thought we could fit in an easy workout at the gym, Oaks practicing his dribble, and me earning a shower and burning some calories.

Then, I had a mental quandary and a long conversation with myself in my head and ended up here:

“Self, go do something. Anything is better than nothing. Just a little stint on the rowing machine at least.”

How about “no”?, Self. Do the errand instead. Return the “really cute but too small around the arms” (muscles or too much ice cream?) Royals shirt that Drew gave you for Mother’s Day.”

Returning the shirt with Oakley in tow will be a work out…but still, you should go to the gym”

“I think I”ll do the errand. One more day of taking it easy on my aches and pains won’t hurt my lifelong fitness.”

And that’s when it hit me…LIFELONG FITNESS.

9am class-1

We hope our time away from family to work out, is showing our kids that we think health and fitness are important…we also try to work out mostly at 5:30am so they never know we’re gone!

That’s the goal. Movement and health for as long as I live. The ability to run, play, exercise, compete in sports, move up and down stairs, chase kids and grandkids, lift heavy stuff, do hard things…I want to do all of this for a long time. Looking fit and fitting into my clothes- always a bonus.

If we approach working out as a lifelong endeavor, as a habit and a rhythm, a part of who we are and what we do, perhaps the burden of guilt, or fear of fat, will lift when working out just doesn’t work out for a moment, week, month, or season.

People who do Crossfit get injured. People who run and walk and lift and dance, kick, or throw, get injured too. Activity involves risk. Injuries require healing and rest. For people who are used to activity, rest is the hardest! I’m raising my hand here and thinking of my friends who have gotten very hurt and have taken time off, done months of PT, and then come back to the gym. They’ve come back brave and healed, with head-held-high-humility- indeed they have overcome.

In short, taking time off can do more good than harm. Resting a weary body, allowing a sick or wounded self space and time to heal, or simply skipping the gym because life is complicated and full in this season, does not disqualify one from fitness.

I have taken longer breaks for sure, but today felt the purest peace in knowing that a week off, or even 10 weeks off, is OKAY when fitness is your lifelong pursuit. I will still be fit. I can get back into shape

I will only work out for my whole life if I don’t do it every day of my whole life. (Read: I am not an elite or professional athlete. Duh.)

It’s not rocket science or an excuse to stay home from the gym today if you’re planning to go…but it is a mental pass for people who might otherwise get all tangled up in somersaults of guilt and shame…instead, let’s take deep breaths with our eyes closed and drink two extra glasses of water and call it good.

Cheers…and Peace.


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