{GUEST POST} For Me, Self-Awareness + Mindfulness = Intelligent Cross Training

Hey! Prime here. Today’s guest post is from the most supportive person I’ve ever met, Doma-net Trix. Enjoy!

Mindfulness, MY missing piece to Intelligent Cross Training

Exercise, for me, has always been a chore; a means to an end, if you will. Until I found roller derby, I didn’t even know what it felt like to really enjoy moving my body. I had always thought of exercise as a way to make my body smaller, and nothing more, but this was different. It didn’t feel like exercise in the traditional sense. It was a game that allowed me to be aggressive and competitive and hang out twice a week with my new found girlfriends.

When it came to any kind of training I have always had a clear pattern. If a little is good, a lot must be better. In order to get results I must do more and I must do it harder. And I can’t trust myself to make my own plan because everyone but me knows what is best for me. So I’ll buy a program and I’ll follow it exactly — to the T — because I trust this stranger that says that if I do exactly this workout on this day I will get the results that I desire. Not just one stranger though, because remember that more is better, so I’ll do two programs and that will be great because these are professionals and they know what is best for me.

So now I’m engaging in way more exercise than I really need to and it’s no surprise that both my body and my mind rebel against “The Plan”.

I have only been doing this a few weeks and now I’m exhausted and want to quit. I’m tired and I feel like a failure because I can’t maintain the intensity or the pace.

If I told you how many times I’ve done weeks 1 through 6 of different training programs, you wouldn’t even believe me. The elusive week 7, I’ve heard about it but I’ve never seen it. It is something that I have not only coveted but have peeked at, just to know what I’m missing.

Week 6 is usually when I start to burn out. It’s usually when I start to REST on days that are work days and I break my streak of perfection. I miss a day or two and then I feel like I don’t deserve to go on to the next week. I usually quit at that point. This is a vicious cycle that I wish I could lie and tell you had only happened two or three times. This is what “the death of cross training” has looked like for me, over and over and over again. All or nothing is how I have trained for everything in my life prior to learning about intelligent cross training. You show up as much as is mandated, work as hard as prescribed with no room for wiggle, until you throw in the towel.

Prior to learning the principles of intelligent cross training and making them a part of my life, I was over training for a very short period of time, and then NOT training at all for quite a long time. The mental recovery that is required to repeat this cycle of perceived failure is even lengthier than the physical recovery of over training. Yet I kept doing it.

When I started training with Prime a few AMAZING things happened for me.

The first is that she encouraged me to not only lift weights, but to lift HEAVY weights! We were in our off season and what a great time to build strength! I had been intimidated by strength training in the past but she supported me and guided me through it. Who would have known that I love lifting heavy things! That lifting for me gives me the same high I get from roller derby. Like roller derby, lifting a barbell makes me feel strong, fierce and confident.

Then came Intelligent Cross Training. In the words of Prime herself, “Intelligent Cross Training is: Paying attention to the feedback that your cross training is giving you and purposefully adapting it to meet your needs better.”

I took this as Self-awareness (paying attention to the feedback my body is giving me) + Mindfulness (taking that feedback and without labeling it good or bad, using it to purposefully adapt my training to meet my needs) = #intelligentcrosstraining.

For me this was BIG! It changed the game. I could follow a prescribed plan of exercise, designed by people trained to prescribe exercise, while also trusting myself enough to make alterations to the plan based on how I felt, what was going on in my life and what my goals were.

I had already been practicing self-awareness when I was introduced to Intelligent Cross Training. I journal, keep logs of how many hours I sleep, what exercises I do and how I feel. I keep track of things like this because I really like data and I really like learning about myself.

The part I wasn’t practicing was the mindfulness. I used the data that I collected to learn about myself, but also as proof as to how and why I still wasn’t working good enough or hard enough. Intelligent cross training has helped me find this piece to my puzzle.

I can now look at my data as just that. It is what I’m doing and feeling from one day to the next. None of it has anything to do with my value as an athlete or even as a human being. I now have the tools to look at my data objectively and use it to move forward with my training and with my goals.

These days if I feel tired and it’s not a scheduled REST day, you know what I do? I rest anyway and I don’t feel shitty about it. I listen to my body when it’s speaking. My data is the voice of my body and my mind. When I take that unscheduled REST day because, well I just felt exhausted, I come back stronger and more eager to get into the gym for my next workout. I also recently completed week 12 of my Power Lifting training program. I have never made it to week 12 of any program (except maybe fresh meat).

I’m super proud of how far I have come on my cross training journey. I now find joy in moving my body for reasons other than trying to be smaller. My journey through Intelligent Cross Training is constantly evolving and I’m excited to see where it takes me!

Want more?

If you’re interested in learning the basics of Intelligent Cross Training for yourself, sign up for the 7 Day Intelligent Cross Training Crash Course. It will take you through some of the big rocks of #intelligentcrosstraining and teach you how to schedule your practices and cross training commitments so that you get the most out of it.

I can’t wait to share it with you! Sign up ==> HERE <== and get the scoop.


About IronOctopusFitness

Online athletic training and nutrition coach, full-time mom, okay skater, and connoisseur of all things tea, chocolate, and roller derby. I'll help you unleash your inner athlete by building a strong, capable body that can withstand whatever life throws at you.

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