Last year, right before my back injury derailed me (and introduced me to Intelligent Cross Training) this was about where my motivation for cross training was:
In other words:
And I know we’ve all been there.
One of the first things I ask people when they join my email list is “What’s your #1 struggle with cross training in roller derby?” There’s a smattering of answers like:
- Improve my balance
- Increase my strength/agility/power
- Pass the 27-in-5
But the #1 struggle? Motivation & Time.
Okay, okay, that’s two struggles. But let’s be realistic. If you aren’t motivated, you sure as shit aren’t going to find the time.
So maybe you’re interested in beginning your own Intelligent Cross Training, but don’t have the motivation to start. Or maybe you really want to sign up for Roller Derby Athletic’s Pump Up Your Jam, but aren’t sure that you’ll even do it. Or you love the idea of Flat Mat Yoga’s Minimum Skills, but prefer napping. Or you need Fitness Gone Rogue’s Flexy and I Know It, but you don’t feel very flexy (or like moving at all).
Your lack of motivation might stem from boredom.
It might stem from paralysis by analysis (like, where do I even start?).
Maybe it’s because you’ve been overtraining and are exhausted.
Perhaps you’re not seeing the results that you’d like.
Or there’s just other stuff you want do that’s more important (or more fun).
Here’s the thing:
I’m not going to tell you that you have to cross train. Because you don’t. Yes, there are absolutely benefits to cross training. Yes, I absolutely think that you should. Yes, a part of my already small and black soul dies when you don’t.
But the truth is, you don’t have to cross train.
I assume, if you’re still reading this, that you want to cross train but are just feeling a little boneless. Or like a toddler throwing a tantrum in a grocery store aisle. (SIDE NOTE: I used to just think that was something hilarious that sitcoms made up for laughs. It’s not. It legitimately happens. And It’s not that funny.)
1) Something is not Nothing
Raise your hand if, when you hear the words “cross training” you picture someone sweating bullets, leaning over with their hands on their knees, wheezing for breath. (Or something similar.)
Of course you’re not going to want to cross train if it means puking up your lunch tacos.
Some people like to workout like crazy. And some people don’t. If you don’t, then don’t. If you do, but not right now, then don’t.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step“. Well…cross training begins the same way.
You managed to get in a 20 minute walk today? Awesome.
You went for a leisurely bike ride with your partner? Perfect.
You did a dynamic warm-up and then collapsed on the floor? Something is better than nothing.
Start collecting wins with small things. With SOME thing. And it will get easier and easier to do more.
2) Quit Beating Yourself Up
I like to say this like it’s easy to do. (Yea, right…) But you’ll never gain motivation to workout by berating yourself for not doing it.
Change “Gee. I suck. I can’t even do my 20 minute workout.” to “I need to work harder to fit my workout in, if I really want to do it. Maybe I can schedule it for a specific time tomorrow.“
And if you really don’t want to do it. Don’t. Which leads me to…
3) Enforce the “10 Minute Rule”
You can make it a “5 minute rule” to start if you just cringed a little. Remember, something is not nothing.
You planned on doing something and are lacking motivation? Try it for 10 minutes (or 5). Usually, when you spend the time to get your shoes on and complete your warm-up, you’re more likely to finish the whole workout.
If you still can’t muster up the energy, stop. You did something. Something is not nothing.
Go eat a donut. (Or, you know, something healthy.)
4) Do What You Want
You feel like you SHOULD strength train. You know that you SHOULD do some high intensity interval training. You’ve been hearing all about how important foam rolling is.
If you’re really lacking motivation, but want to cross train, do what you want.
If you love Zumba, then do it. If you want to rock climb, go for it. If you’re really into mini trampolines, fine. (Kind of weird. But fine) Again, same principle, something is not nothing and you’re more likely to do something that you enjoy — hours of skating per week, anyone — than something that you hate.
Building up more small wins will help increase your motivation and get your drive back.
5) Re-evaluate What You’re Doing
This is especially important if you’ve hit a plateau or aren’t seeing the results you want. It might be time to go back to the drawing board and create new goals or find a new program that gets you excited again.
For example, I started out this year really excited to be focusing on powerlifting as my cross training. It didn’t take long before I stopped feeling motivated to do it even though I really loved it. After re-evaluating my actual goals and reviewing my program, I realized that it just wasn’t the right fit. So I moved on. Amicable divorce style.
You may just need to tweak one thing (like the number of days you’re working out or how often you’re lifting heavy). You might need to focus more on cardio and less on strength. You might need to find something completely different.
Don’t stick with something that’s not working. Sometimes getting excited about a new program is all it takes.
6) Enjoy The Valley
Roller derby, cross training, and fitness are all made up of peaks, valleys, and plateaus. Gainzzz aren’t linear.
Sometimes you’re absolutely killing. Right now you just…aren’t.
Chances are good that you’ll recover from this lack of motivation quickly, so don’t make yourself miserable by forcing yourself out of it. Enjoy the lull. But try not to wallow in it.
Always remember, something is not nothing. Plateaus don’t last forever. When in doubt, go boneless.
If you’re interested in more exclusive content, access to my FREE resource library, and the slightly weird workings of my inner mind, you can sign up for the Iron Octopus Fitness email list HERE. Wherein I harass you weekly with all things intelligent cross training, mindset, and…other.