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The Comeback Trail

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“If all you can do is crawl, start crawling.“ – Rumi

It’s Monday, and it’s your first day back to class after a long break. You walk into the gym, your heart pounding just a little bit, not knowing what to expect. You look around the room at your fellow classmates. How did everyone else get so fit while you were gone? You look at the workout on the board, groan, and wonder if it’s too late to leave quietly before anyone else saw you come in.

If you have been away for work, or on a vacation, or been busy having a baby…whatever the reason, coming back after a long break can be hard. You have to accept that your fitness might not be quite the same as when you left. In fact, it might feel like starting over, and you might be tempted to keep putting it off, knowing how much it’s going to hurt.

Here are a few tips to help you get back up on the fitness horse:

1.  Go at your own pace
If you have taken a significant amount of time off, your strength and conditioning capacity is not going to be what it once was. This can be a hard nut to swallow, especially when you’ve put in so much time and effort getting to that level. But don’t worry! Be patient with yourself. It will come back sooner than you think.

2. Don’t be afraid to scale
See above. You might not be ready to hit everything RX right out of the gate. Don’t worry about it! Leave your ego at the door and give your body a chance to catch up. The last thing you need after taking a lot of time off is an injury that keeps you out of the game for another long stretch.

3. Make it a priority
Sometimes the hardest part is getting back into a consistent routine. Adjust your daily schedule to allow for training and get it done. Don’t leave it to chance. It’s too easy to backslide if you don’t put fitness at the top of your To-Do list.

4. Rest and Recover
Travel and time off can allow bad habits to creep back into your life. Make sure you are eating food that nourishes you. Drink water. Get enough sleep.

And most importantly…

5. Have fun!
Fitness is a journey, not a destination. Use this time to get in tune with yourself. Notice what needs work. Clean up your technique. Make new goals. Enjoy the company of your classmates. Take pleasure in gutting it out with each other, and find joy in the process.

Don’t wait too long to find time for yourself again. Get back up on that horse and start riding!

 

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