The Crossfit gym is my sanctuary. I look forward to going every day because I can feel myself getting stronger each time I show up and love the stress relief that it gives me after I’m done. For me there is no better feeling than laying on the gym floor after completing a soul crushing workout that leaves you gasping for air and thanking god that it is over. I guess you could say that I’m addicted to that feeling and that moment of accomplishment because it keeps me coming back for more every single day.
But when is does it become too much?
After coming back to Crossfit after an injury last summer, I made it my goal to get stronger so that I would never put my body in danger again. I started working out 3-4 days per week and then I gradually worked my way up to 6-7 days per week and then adding in 2-a-days 3 times per week. I certainly had become much stronger and it showed but did I go too far? After noticing that I was spending more hours of my day at the gym than I was at home or at work, I realized that maybe I needed to cut back and that maybe the excessive workout regimen I had created for myself wasn’t the best thing for my body.
I noticed after a while that I was starting to fatigue more during my workouts, never felt well rested and was dragging during the day. I know the number one reason was that I wasn’t feeding myself nearly enough for the amount of work that I was putting my body through but I also wasn’t giving myself the proper amount of time to recover. So instead of making myself stronger, I was becoming weaker because I was overworking and underfeeding myself.
No one recommended that I workout this much, my coaches actually advised me to workout less for optimal recovery and strength building. But instead of slowing down, I kept going thinking that my body could handle it and it probably could if I had been diligent about my nutrition, going to bed early and not going out for occasional drinks. And we all know I like my wine too much for that!
Around this same time I found that I had a labral tear in my right hip, which may or may not require surgery. My injury most likely happened over time and possibly is hereditary but it certainly was a wake-up call that I needed to take a step back. I am now a bit more limited with my movements because of my injury but as a result it has forced me to become more in tune with my body.
I am still struggling to find balance in all areas of my life but have cut back to working out 5 days per week at Crossfit, no 2-a-days, have started PT for my hip and am trying to take pay more attention to my nutrition. Since I have adjusted my schedule, I am not as fatigued, I have more energy when working out and am avoiding most hip dominant exercises while I figure out what the next step is with my hip injury. I am far from perfect and in no way recommend doing what I have done or what I am doing currently but wanted to share my journey to finding balance.
I am slowly learning that my 32 year old body is strong and is capable of way more than I ever imagined but it also needs proper fuel and rest to perform optimally. This has been a huge learning experience for me and I would say biggest take away from all of this has been to listen to my body. When something hurts, I need to stop. When I’m hungry, I need to eat. When I’m tired, I need to rest. These things sound rudimentary but for me it’s these little things that seem to trip me up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still fully addicted to Crossfit and will be for life but instead of pushing myself to my breaking point or trying to keep up with others (in Crossfit or with any exercise that I do), I am now focusing on doing what works best for my body. Because at at the end of the day we only get one body, one life, one shot and all we can do is try our best to be the best version of ourselves.
Photos by Emma Weiss