In my 10+ years of doing CrossFit, it has taken many of those for me to realize that I don’t just really love CrossFit, but my brain craves it.
You see, when I first started CrossFit, I was simply looking for a more fun way to exercise.
I had done the whole P90x gig in my basement for many months and needed a change of scenery.
I had spent my childhood playing soccer and all through my high school days as well, but I wasn’t good enough to play in college so my days of being on a team seemed to be over once I graduated.
But during college, I found CrossFit and I felt like an athlete again! Like I was on a team again! Even though of course I wasn’t on a team, but being in a class with people that were really fighting to give it their all, it sure felt like being on a team.
For most of my years doing CrossFit, this feeling and the community of people I’d built my friendships around were my driving force to keep doing CrossFit. My body loved that post-workout feeling and gosh, was it fun!
It wasn’t until a few years ago, when life was a little more complicated and I had tiny humans to take care of that I realized something I’d never even considered before.
I needed CrossFit for much more than just the physical benefits.
I needed CrossFit for my sanity.
I needed that daily challenge — physically the most challenging thing I’d do each day — to tackle the days’ mentally challenging tasks.
If I could survive that workout, surely I could manage another potty-training accident without losing my mind.
If I could survive that workout, I’d have the physical energy to take two kids on a walk to the park. You know, the kind where they both end up wanting to be carried when you’re only halfway there? Yeah, I could do that.
If I could survive that workout, I could survive an hour long bedtime standoff where you’re not sure which one will have the meltdown first — you or the kids.
CrossFit gives me the energy and mental stability to keep it together, even on the hardest days because I know — because I do CrossFit — that I can do really hard things.
And those really hard workouts all of a sudden make the other hard things in life seem a lot more manageable.
What happens to you when you skip a few days at the gym or even a couple of weeks?
Aside from the fact that your body feels like crud, how is your mood? Do you find yourself irritable, sad or just plain grumpy?
Yep, I have! And there’s actual science as to why: when you do high-intensity exercise, your body and brain produce hormones that have a positive impact on your mood, energy levels and sense of well-being.
Even though your body is tired, you have a sense of accomplishment, which boosts your self-confidence and reduces built up tension and stress in your muscles and mind. In fact, exercise has been proven to improve the mood in those who struggle with depression.
Of course, I still have those bad days even when I do get my workout in, but recognizing that working out fuels my body and mind, it makes it a lot harder to skip going to the gym.
I am happier for it. And my husband and children are, too.
So here’s the point: you’re a happier and healthier human when you don’t skip your workouts.
You, your family and friends — everyone around you — they all benefit.
Give yourself permission to go get your sweat on, and then get out of your own way and get it done!