Not so long ago, fitness was my main priority. Life itself wasn’t so great in that I was back home after the adventure of a lifetime and in a ‘transition phase’ waiting until my masters started this autumn… Working out was a great distraction with that, along with learning about my body and the way I eat by doing a Whole 30. At the time, this focus kept me healthy… It kept me sane.
Now, however, life is rather different. As I progress through my masters (which I am absolutely loving by the way) the quantity of time I’m spending working is going up and up. This is okay, it’s what I want to do after all and I fully know that this is the right path for me, it feels so natural. Nonetheless, studying all the time is exhausting. The amount of time I’m able to give to working out has dropped and I’ve learnt to be more flexible with my eating to keep my energy up, still on the real foods though 😉
I can’t give all my non-study time (aka not much) to working out and CrossFit and running. I need some form of a social life and sleep to remain my sanity. My aim has been to work out 5 days a week but sometimes this slips to 4 and that’s okay. But remembering that fact can be downright tricky at times… Last week, with all the stress and ups and downs my workouts were pretty minimal. On Friday morning I set my alarm for 6am to hit up CrossFit before catching the train home again and I just couldn’t get out of bed, my body was crying out for rest… Now, I like to push myself. In my head this just wasn’t good enough – I used to train 13 times a week when I was rowing, why was I being so lazy? But as a good friend pointed out to me, it wasn’t that I was being lazy, it was that healthy is so much more than what you put in your body, and how much you move. Healthy is your mental state. Healthy needs low levels of stress, lots of sleep and space to breathe. When I look back, properly, at that week I can 100% see why that day was so difficult. It just took someone to wake me up to it.
I once heard a saying that it isn’t overtraining but under-recovering, and to me this is so so true. Athletes lives revolve around their training (I mean this in the nicest possible way!) and so they are able to focus on their recovery, resting and fuelling up to be the best they can be. Not trying to eat breakfast in 5 minutes whilst getting dressed, frantically trying to cool down from that morning’s workout, and dashing to catch the bus and then spending the whole day studying, with the hope of meeting a friend for dinner before getting home late and doing it all over again the next day…
Once upon a time, working out was my priority. Hell, most of my life I’ve lived for training. But now? I need to workout, I need to train. But it’s not the number one thing in my life anymore, I’ve found something I absolutely love (my masters and human rights) and that’s bloody awesome. That’s my priority.
How have your priorities changed over time?