Training Diaries: Motivation

So yesterday, like so many yesterdays that have enough fuel in them to inspire a post, was an absolute dumpster fire. I had an absolutely raging headache all day, which was caused by my upper back being super tight. This is something I’ve battled on and off with for the past little bit. A lot of the training I do requires some pretty significant upper back engagement, and my back likes to tighten up on me if I don’t do enough mobility work. Well, between me slacking on my mobility work this week, and deciding to sleep like a human pretzel on Tuesday night, my back was an absolute mess. Hello, unbearable headache.

It was honestly so bad that I decided to head back to my camp room about an hour and a bit earlier than I normally do so I could lie down. I was in a lot of pain and was borderline nauseous, so it’s not like I was getting a whole lot done anyways. I figured I’d lay down for a bit and let my back relax, and then I’d go train. Well, 4 hours later, I woke up from my absolute coma of a nap. It was about 9pm, I was wide awake, and faced with a dilemma; do I still go train for a bit, or try to fall back asleep right away?

What bothered me was that my first reaction was ‘I’ve had all those extra carbs today, I need to go work those off’. Those who have ever followed one of Renaissance Periodization’s templates know that on days where you train, some of your meals have additional carbs allocated to them, in order to fuel your workout. Though that logic is sound, my default mentality of ‘I need to pay for the calories I’ve eaten’ is pretty effed up. I needed to give myself a reality check.

The truth is, I did need to go and put at least a bit of training time in, and I did, though I had a bit of a think about why I was still dragging myself to the gym first. It’s not that I needed to burn off the calories I had already eaten. What I really needed, and more importantly wanted to do, was continue to prepare for my meet that I’ve got coming up at the end of the month. What’s the best way to prepare for a meet? By putting the work in. Progress is achieved through total tonnage moved, so even though I didn’t need to go in and have a dynamite session and hit crazy PRs, I’d still be doing myself a favour by taking the time to put the work in.

So long story short I dragged my butt to the gym, and wound up having a decent training session. More importantly though, I think part of why I was able to actually enjoy training in spite of the lousy day I was having, was I changed my motivation behind why I was there. I wasn’t punishing myself for eating, I was engaging in something I enjoy and something I’m passionate about.

What about you? Have you caught yourself using a guilt trip to motivate yourself to get to the gym? What non-punishment things do you use to motivate you? Leave a comment and let me know!

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