Workout Fatigue & Newly Discovered Motivation for Mind-Body Connection

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A lot of you out there might have been at this point or are currently facing physical and mental fatigue  – to me, a general lack of the usually daily fitness motivation. 

It was bound to happen a some point. With quite a bit of personal and work-related stress creeping up on me, I came to a point, a couple weeks ago, when I realized how much of a toll this has taken (and is still taking) on me (whine, whine). 

It’s true though. I can’t recall the last time I wasfeeling exhausted – both mentally and physically –and didn’t feel like throwing around weights or doing any kind of tiresome physical activity. Well, wonderful, because CrossFit is exactly that and many of you may know that this is quite a big portion of my weekly routine. Well, at least up to this point. The logical consequence of that? I have not properly worked on my fitness for the last three weeks. Great job, Julia, great job. (meeh).

My mind is just tired.

Usually, I can kick myself in the butt, pull myself together and hit the gym – if it’s really just being tired from a long day or sore from the day before, which serves as an excuse not to work out. It’s more the laziness that I have to overcome in that case. 

I have been thinking about whether I should put my current thoughts on “paper” or no, because I feel like even though a lot of you can probably relate to this, I know that many people cannot. Also, even though this is my memory box, my therapy, whatever I like to call it, I usually want to spread happy vibes on this blog. But, I guess since this is a huge part of me, showing the real picture is just as important.

It’s difficult to describe but I feel as if my mind is dragging me down, weighing heavy on me. Maybe it’s negative thoughts? I have noticed that I tend to be absolutely moody these days, more than before, in a very negative and lethargic way. Weird to describe. Anyone getting the point here? I am sitting at a Starbucks right now and feel a bit strange writing this. Not sure if this guy at the table behind me is actually reading what I am typing. 

Anyway. My mind ultimately affects my body. And my mind is tired. 

And my body is ultimately, too. 

A big reason for lacking motivation and not really wanting to work out is my back. My lower back started hurting a few months ago; it’s been a constant up and down since then. There were days I could not move at all and was lying on the couch whining, with heat and ice packs. The next day, I stretched an mobilized a lot, pushed through the workout and it felt fine – not half an hour later though. I thought it would go away, as I never had any back issues before and used to laugh at the people who did complain about pain in their backs. Guess I got the payback. Mental note: Always take people’s physical pain seriously. 

This whole back issue thing really started affecting me and literally has been a constant pain in the back butt during the past 6 weeks or so, ultimately leading to my lack of enthusiasm for working out. 

Or rather the lack of motivation in every respect. 

With things here and there going on around me, there has, at the same time, something started to go on in my mind that makes it weigh super heavy on me. Pessimism, being moody, feeling absolutely tired and an emotional rollercoaster that is even surprising to me (and I am saying that because I generally tend to be an emotional person, just absolutely not to that extreme).

I eventually accepted the fact and am letting my body and mind take the rest they need. 

You know, I have never been someone who has been into this whole mind-body-soul connection, yoga, meditation and breathwork kind of thing. Good, physical workouts are the way to go – and you either do them or no (and then, too bad for you, if not). And they will make you feel better. Sometimes, you just have to overcome your weaker self and go. Alright, it worked fabulously fine until the end of last year. Then, due to personal and professional circumstances and the fact that life doesn’t always play out the way you want it to, what I described above happened. Drastic mood changes, physical exhaustion, a mental and spiritual downfall (I tend to be dramatic). The last thing I want to do at this point is push punish myself by making myself lift heavy weights at my gym. 

Finding my peace of mind in inner stillness.

So, I have been doing way more stretching, including yoga once or twice a week at CF Humanity, to at least help my body (back) recover – and realized that these good stretching sessions, for some reason, helped calm down my mind, if only for a little while. About a week ago something clicked and I realized that I should maybe do more yoga – for the healing, balancing aspect of it. Chels is very into this, but traveling frequently, so does not have a membership at a yoga place. 

And so it happened that we stumbled upon a yoga offer on Groupon that we could not turn down: $16 for 21 days at the House of Yogi. It happens to be around the corner from where I live, what a win. The day we got it (that was on Tuesday), we went after work, me not really knowing what to expect, as it’s a “real” yoga place (as opposed to more mobility like yoga at the gym). 

I was blown away. It was hard (power yoga and such) but it made me feel so much more positive, might as well be because of the conscious breathing part. It was good on my back, as well (and I have to admit I also went to the chiropractor on Thursday, after debating whether or not I should actually, for a good 4 months). 

I think it starts working.  

And here I am, pretty happy actually (I didn’t finish this post the other day, so the tone has slightly changed here). If I had finished it a few days ago, then this would be a rather pessimistic ending, I believe. Now I am restoring my faith in what is happening around me, and, most importantly, in the healing factor of yoga, for both body, mind, and spirit. I have been 4 times - yoga twice, meditation, deep stretching this morning - since we purchased the yogi place pass. 

Do I sound like I am getting into this whole thing? I might. And you know what? If this is the way to go to re-align my body and soul, then that’s the way to go – and soon I will be listening to hip hop and upbeat tunes again at the gym more regularly, while getting my weightlifting game on more (with yoga and meditation as a perfect addition).

You just gotta find what’s best for you. Don’t underestimate your mental wellbeing. It’s just as important as a healthy body. I am coming to experience first hand that a healthy body is more than just physical wellbeing. I encourage you to think about it. The time we take for ourselves to restore, to relax, to clear our minds for more focus, health, and energy is a vital part of a happy life. 

Over to you: 

Is anyone currently experiencing something like this or has been at that point and somehow found their inner motivation again? Any tips on how to get through this lethargic phase – I would most certainly appreciate it.