Lockdown Coaches Blog 2.2 – By Alice Sciascia
How’s lockdown going everyone? I’ve been on vacation from Instagram for most of this year, so I’m not sure if everyone’s still baking sourdough or digging out the puzzles they inherited from their grandparents. I hope so!
For me, lockdown feels harder this time around, which is strange, considering that during the last one I was five months’ deep into cancer treatment and getting irradiated every day! I’m not sure what it is, but there’s a distinct layer of stress and dread that is overlaying that general feeling of anxiety that just emerges at the mention of covid in the community. Maybe it’s the weather? Wellington seemed to get its annual quota of sun during March-April 2020. Maybe it’s calculating that despite being 17 months into this pandemic, things feel as vulnerable as ever? Maybe stress and dread is just what you feel a couple of months out from your 40th birthday. Actually, maybe I’m still reflecting on Brian’s housing crisis post?
No, if I’m honest I actually think it’s because this time while locked down I’m not sick, with lowered expectations of myself that I’m managing to exceed every time I lace up the nanos and walk through a workout. This time around I’m in full health, working like a grown up, back to full mum and wife duties (no, this is not going in the direction of Coach Ben’s advice – heads out of the gutter team) and I’m not quite measuring up to the (very much self-imposed) expectations I’ve set for myself. Some of you A Types will probably recognise what I’m talking about here.
How many times over the past few days have you thought?
– I’ve got to get a workout in, there’s been a lot of lollies / chocolate / home-baking consumed and very little sweaty movement
– Maybe I should be home-schooling, rather than switching on the video-game babysitter
– I can’t just eat a pie, gotta get some veges on that plate
– I really should get out of bed…
For all you CCW members out there that recognise shades of your own internal monologue in the list above, you might be feeling stressed out by a nagging feeling that you’re at risk of losing your fitness / strength / toned bod gainsss over this past week and the [insert best guess??] weeks ahead. You might be wondering about how hard it’s all going to feel when you get back to the gym. You might be gutted thinking about all that hard work building your upper body pulling strength and how close you were to a strict pull-up…
Sorry in advance to all you blue and blue/yellow crew, but I’m going to take a really overused line from your favourite Aunty Jacinda and remind you guilt-wracked over-achievers to Be Kind – to yourself. One of the key messages for these Covid times really could become a baseline mantra for ourselves to get us through modern day living. Maybe if I was on Insta a bit more, I would’ve seen a few memes already reminding me that it’s important to reset expectations and cut yourself some slack. As revealed above, I’m not very good at it, but I think probably the first step is recognising the unhelpful narrative. Something to work on .
Despite being a rookie at skill “Be Kind to Myself”, I do have a potentially useful perspective to help you manage your gym withdrawals and the associated worry about gains reduction. After 12 months of cancer putting me on my arse, every day that I’ve got to the gym since has been something I’m grateful for. The journey back is more fun than I thought it would be.
It is an exciting part of the process starting out as a CrossFit athlete – starting to know your body on a deeper level, appreciating what it can learn to do, how strong and tenacious it is, how much it helps you when your mental health is at a low ebb. We notice this a lot more at the start of our CrossFit journeys, and less and less as the years of training stack up. However, when you’ve had a season off, whether you’ve been sick or injured, birthed a baby, or been in a lockdown, on your return you get the chance to fall in love with CrossFit all over again. It’s almost better, because you can experience it with a bit more knowledge, and maybe a bit more care.
So when that nagging inner critic starts chirping your lazy / unmotivated / squishy butt this lockdown, try not to give it too much power. Instead, it might be helpful to remember the opportunity in this time away from the gym. Focus on The Comeback! The post-[insert shitty event] PBs. The chance to re-train skills that you’d got into bad habits with (e.g. the chicken wing BMU). The sheer euphoria it will be returning to Metal Mondays with Timmy and Alice.
Drinking the koolaid all over again guys – something to look forward to this lockdown!