Yesterday was legs day; or it was supposed to be anyway. Sunday had been a day off and I’d scheduled a new evening yoga class for today, which left yesterday evening as prime booty burn time. Generally, with a 40 minute commute to the office, AM gym is a no go so weekdays mean I’m limited to training after work.
For a Monday the day had started pretty positively, but by 6pm I’d been thoroughly attacked from all angles. Some highlights? I’d smashed my phone screen, spent the day trying (and failing) to make a piece of design software do what I want and got caught in an epic M4 traffic jam en route home. By the time I crawled into the house, the only movement I could muster was dragging myself to the sofa to promptly fall asleep. I reluctantly woke up after about an hour and had to make the call – to gym, or not to gym?
Since starting up So She Lifts I can’t help but be inspired; I’ve had amazing messages saying how motivated it’s making you feel and how you can’t wait to see the community grow. The UK is small, and having an Instagram news feed full of ladies lifting across our little island always just makes me want to train all the damn time.
That said, I don’t fall asleep on the sofa like that often so I knew that perhaps nature was trying to tell me something. I’ve been at it hard in the past couple of weeks with the reintroduction of cardio (which was a serious enough shock to the system) and only had a rest day Sunday because it dawned on me I’d trained every day since the previous weekend.
I was so drained I could barely lift my own head, let alone anything greater like my body weight, so why do did I still end up feeling so bloody guilty about missing a workout?
Why wasn’t listening to my body - which was obviously screaming no - quite enough to outweigh that feeling that I’d somehow failed by skipping a day’s training? Any strength I have wasn’t going to mysteriously evaporate; I didn’t wake up this morning suddenly unfit and out of shape, but I still could shake the nagging feeling all evening that I ‘should’ have gone at the gym.
There’s so much hype at the moment about ‘health and fitness stars’ on Instagram doing more harm than good, but on principal, I don’t believe in that for a second. What I DO believe is that it’s all mind games. We all work under our own steam, and we have full control of our own bodies. Seeing people work out and lift heavy can be INCREDIBLE inspiration, but it’s still so important to remember your own limits.
I was tired. I was aching. Whilst I’ll never know, there’s a distinct possibility that if I’d gone to the gym regardless without feeling on form, I could have ended up doing more harm than good. Just recently I was chatting to a friend who slipped a disc a couple of years ago. How? He thought he’d get a quick gym sesh in before a Friday night out, was a bit tired and not really fully focussed and did some serious damage with a single deadlift.
You know, the whole #nevermissamonday? Yeh…well…just no. Don’t get me wrong, I use the hashtag and as a general principle that’s great, but don’t let it override your own warning bells. If you’re missing all of your workouts, that might be a different story, but the odd skipped session to get an early night, do something social or frankly just curl up with Netflix should be embraced. By all means scroll through your news feed but instead of letting it be a guilt trip, be inspired by those women who were in a position to train that night, and let them motivate you to smash your workout tomorrow.
So no…I didn’t do legs day, but I’d still got up early that morning to do a yoga practice, followed a food plan successfully all day and been for a walk in the evening to get my steps up. All wasn’t lost, and the world has officially not ended.
We beat ourselves up about enough things on a daily basis, don’t let a single missed work out be another thing to add to the list.