Some food for thought after a recent conversation I had with a friend.

We talked about how we were both at a point in our lives where we are currently training just for pure enjoyment. Not for any particular event, or goal in mind.

We so often put pressure on ourselves to constantly train for something , or towards particular goals. And don’t get me wrong, I am all for goal setting, and it’s something we, as coaches encourage. BUT…there is a constant pressure to maintain high standards and set bigger goals, and with that, there can often be set backs… injuries, increased work load or just life getting in the way! Putting pressure on oneself to constantly stay “switched on” can often take the enjoyment factor out of it.

For me personally, a shoulder injury and a couple of health issues meant I was very limited in my training. Progressing over a number of months I felt my fitness and my motivation suffering. But this was because I was putting pressure on myself, and starting to feel bad about not training a certain amount of days, or not being as fit or strong as I was.

It wasn’t a conscious decision to start changing my approach to training, but it was more about being mindful and happy within myself. So I started incorporating Yoga, more mobility, some gymnastics and flow movements, and then adding in small bits of strength work here and there as I could. I would join in with the odd class here and there, but more for the social aspect of it. In other words, “the craic”! I would do a small bit, stay moving, change certain movements if I needed.  There was no pressure on getting  1 or 2  hour sessions in 5 times a week. It was just training as and when I could, doing little bits here and there. I made sure I would add in the movements I’m weakest on, as well as trying new things, all the while rehabbing my shoulder.

I know that once my shoulder is ready, and as my strength and fitness gradually increases, I’ll be ready to take on some new goals. But when will that be? Who knows! And I don’t really mind to be honest. In the meantime, I will be continuing my yoga and rehab as priority, as well as trying out new things. Everything else after that is a bonus. I have spent most of my life training competitively so I’m certainly not going to feel bad anymore about not having a goal (for right now!) or proper training regime in place.

So my point is… If you ever find yourself at a point where you are lacking motivation, feeling like you are just going through the motions, or if it’s a case where you are struggling to fit in as many sessions as you had set out to. Maybe it might be worth taking a different approach towards your training short term.  Do what you can, when you can, try new things, keep it varied, and most of all, just enjoy yourself! It can be unhealthy to feel negatively towards yourself and your training. Sometimes you have to look at what’s more important. Prioritising your happiness should be no.1. Live your life, be happy, stay as active as you can, whatever it might be that you are doing, and most importantly don’t beat yourself up about taking some time out!

Coach Donna J