A huge part of CrossFit is being goal-oriented. Whether you want to hit a certain number on your back squat, or participate in a competition or race. Many fitness junkies train with a certain goal or event in mind… and sometimes after looking forward to said event or point in time for so long, you find yourself looking around in confusion once it’s over, wondering what to do now. After talking about my latest half marathon for almost a year, it’s a few weeks in the rear view mirror and I have absolutely ZERO desire to do any sort of working out. At all. It’s BAD.
So, I’ve been sticking my nose around online trying to figure out a way to get my workout mojo back. In case you’ve ever felt like this too, here are just a few suggestions from a post I found on a blog called Psychology WOD:
Track Your Experiences
Journaling can be a great way to document and learn from our experiences. If you’ve been keeping a journal throughout the Open (or other big event), that’s great. Don’t stop now. You should continue with it during the days and weeks that follow the event’s closure. If you haven’t been writing, it’s never too late to start. Jot down your thoughts when your mind wanders to the event. Reflect on what your goals were going into the event (E.g., a certain ranking in the Open, a certain number of clients added to your sales profile at work, a certain kind of emotional presence at a social event). Write down how you fared at meeting those goals. Write down what you did well and would like to repeat in the future, as well as what needs to be altered. For the Open, you could focus on various aspects, including physical self-care (sleep, nutrition, training), mental preparation (visualization, relaxation exercises, journaling), and management of the extras (time spent on the leaderboard, handling disappointing workouts, etc.). The more you can put in writing, the more solid a record you will have for your future, and the better your guide for next time will be.
Do Some Research
Consider your options for next steps carefully. It may or may not be best to jump right into your next CrossFit goal, scanning the Internet for upcoming competitions in your area. Maybe it’s time to try something new and test your training in a new forum. Maybe there’s a basketball league or a mountain-bike race you might want to try. There is room for more than one endeavor in our lives, and if you’ve put a lot of yourself into the Open, it might be a good time to find another outlet while you continue with CrossFit in a less competitive or intense way for the moment. There is huge value in competition, but there are also other avenues you might want to explore.
Set Some Goals
During the days and weeks after your event, with your research behind you, you might take some time to set some goals for what’s next in your life. Try to create short-term goals (maybe just the next few weeks), mid-term goals (6 months out), and long-term goals (1-2 years). During the first couple of weeks after a big event isn’t the best time to make hard and fast decisions about what you will choose to focus on. However, people often find it helpful and grounding to look to the future and start to create a plan. Just be careful not to let your planning prevent you from feeling what you’re feeling; rigorous planning for the next big thing can become a defensive maneuver if you’re really disappointed in the last big thing.
Connect with Others
Don’t underestimate the importance of staying connected during your post-event experience. Research is unambiguous about the effects of social connection, especially during times when you are at risk of even the slightest duress.3 Be sure to find time and ways to connect with friends—those who are CrossFitters and can relate to the Open as wells as those who aren’t and can’t. Both are important; it’s the connecting that is critical.
Find ways to Relax
You probably know what works for you: massage, visualization, meditation, hiking, and reading, are some examples. Make sure you find some down time while you’re less occupied with your training. It might even be the perfect time for that weekend away or full-blown vacation you’ve been putting off because of your training requirements.
This is just a little reminder to celebrate your victories and the fact that you put yourself out there, competed in the Open (or put on a big event or ran a long race), and came out the other side in one piece. There is much to celebrate in this, even if you are one of the people feeling blue. Having some kind of celebration, however small, is a great way to mark an ending and move on. If you’re not able to do this at all and are really struggling, it’s probably time to talk to a counselor or therapist.
1. Robertson, E., Grace S., Wallington, T., and Stewart, D.E. (2004). Antenatal risk factors for postpartum depression: a synthesis of recent literature. General Hospital Psychiatry, 26, 289-295.
2. Bennett, S.S & Indman, P. (2006). Beyond the Blues: A Guide to Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression. Moodswings Press.
3. Belger, A. (2012). The Power of Community: CrossFit and the Force of Human Connection. Victory Belt Publishing.