min read
April 2, 2023

It's Ok for Your Fitness Mindset to Change

When I first started in the CrossFit world, I became instantly obsessed with it. When anyone asked, I told them that my goal was to simply be “as good as I could be” at CrossFit itself. Competing was really important to me, as was becoming better and better year after year. It almost felt like a promise that I made to myself when I started out, to essentially spend my life getting “as fit as I could”.

Around year 6 or 7 of my CrossFit training journey, I started feeling a sense of burnout. I was proud of the body and the strength that I had built, but it was feeling less and less fun to maintain it. While I don’t think working out needs to always be “fun”, it was feeling like more and more of a drag every day. I would also have periods of discouragement of feeling like I “should” be fitter, stronger, or faster, for no reason other than I just felt that I should be. Something that started out as a fun way to be healthy and keep active was turning into training sessions filled with anxiety because I constantly felt that my performance wasn’t good enough for whatever standard I had made up in my head for that day.

Somewhere along the line, I don’t remember exactly where, I had a realization. A major thing that was holding me back was feeling like I had to get to a certain level of fitness, or a certain competitive tier, in order to start “just having fun with it”. It felt like I was chasing an imaginary point where I would be able to relax and say, “Ok, I did it. Now I can relax and have fun.” Acknowledging that I had that thought also made me able to realize that the thought and belief itself was utterly unhelpful, and I should work to reframe it.

While I believe it’s entirely unrealistic for working out to always be “fun”, I have been working to see fitness differently, in a way that leaves less room for anxiety and comparisons. I have been trying to treat every single workout as an opportunity not only to improve my body and fitness, but to celebrate and appreciate its capabilities. Fitness is earned, but it’s also a gift, and I think we can all take measures to continue to remember to be grateful for what our bodies can do.