I used to find it easy to get myself into the gym and workout. Back when I first started my business, I had about 15 clients. I worked 8 hours a day 5 days a week. As the years went by my business grew, but I found myself neck deep in work. Work that included 14 to 16-hour work days 6 days a week. I’m not going to lie to you, when my life got busy and stressful, the first thing I let go was my health. I fell off the wagon time and time again. I went from being in top notch shape, to being weak and unhealthy. I went from deadlifting 435lbs to 345lbs. I’ve battled with injuries produced by stress and lack of sleep. I went from 10% body fat to the high 20s.
You may be in a similar situation. Maybe not with operating a CrossFit box, but maybe you own a business. Or, maybe you’re just going through a tough time in life. Trust me, I know that it’s way easier to crack open a beer or binge on junk food after a long stressful day.
My friend and first business mentor, strength coach of Rutgers University wrestling and founder of the Underground Strength Gym and Training, Zach Even-Esh, talked a lot about “gut check” workouts. He would use these workouts to test himself and his athletes to see how badly they wanted it. He would say that these workouts will either break you or make you. He found that most kids would quit, but only the true champions prevailed.
When I find myself in a funk or unmotivated, I’ll put myself through a “gut check” workout. I force myself outside of my comfort zone. Not many people can get themselves there, and not many people should. But, I like to use these workouts to gauge where my mind and values are currently. If I decide to quit because it get too uncomfortable, then I have a problem. I know all is well when I’m breathing heavy, my heart is pounding, my legs are burning, and no matter how uncomfortable I get, I keep going with a smile on my face.
One of my favorite quotes that relates to the topic of “gut check” workouts is:
“Life will beat you to your knees and keep you there if you let it”. – Rocky Balboa
It’s easy to let life keep us at our knees. We all go through rough patches. Trust me, I have had my fair share over the past few years. But, the key is to find ways to get yourself to a better place. Don’t wait. Get up, and go now. I don’t care what you do. Whether it’s doing 50 burpees a day, signing up for a marathon/mud run or coming to CrossFit, JUST GET AFTER IT. You will be glad you did it.