The following blog post originally aired as a podcast episode of the Fuel Your Freedom podcast. You can check it out below or on all major podcast platforms!
E032 | What is Your Pre-Workout Routine? – Fuel Your Freedom
This article starts with a post. I shared a post on my Instagram last week talking about some thoughts I had while trail running.
I want to take this a step further.
If a surfer was to stop paddling while they were in the rough waters, they would inevitably be pushed back to shore. There’s no way to move through it if we fully stop. But, that doesn’t mean there can’t be pauses in between paddle strokes.
We can take a break and float, but as a wave starts to crash, we’ll have to start paddling again. The same is true in our fitness journey. There will be quiet times where we’ll able to pause and rest. But, they will be followed by times when we have to continue moving our bodies to even stay in the same place.
In fitness, there are many goals: progression, regression, and maintenance.
I would argue that all three are choices we, intentionally or unintentionally, make as we move through our fitness journey.
There are times when we want to push forward and progress. We paddle hard toward our goals with such intention and vigor that not a single rough patch of water will slow us down. We catch the dream wave, or reach the goal, only to find ourselves back at the starting line of another goal.
For example, I’ve had goals to build strength in a specific lift. If I’m working toward my deadlift max, it’s not likely that the same training plan that will get me there will help improve my running time. When I want to improve my running, I’m back in the rough waters of starting a new program to improve. It’s time to push again.
But sometimes we’ll spend time in that maintenance phase that exists after we reach a goal. We hit the personal record (PR) we’re working toward and then need a break. We paddled through the rough waters, caught the wave, and we’re back on the beach. This is a goal in and of itself. To maintain where we’re at and keep the fitness we’ve now acquired.
Finally, there’s regression. Getting stuck in the rough water and giving up before we even have a chance at catching a perfect wave. We’re pushed back to shore, without actually accomplishing the goal we had when we first stepped foot in the water in the first place. This is stopping. We feel like we’ve done a lot – likely because we have put in hard work and paddled. But, ultimately, we ended up at the same place we started – sitting on the beach and staring at the waves, wishing we had the ability to paddle through them to catch one.
This is where the magic of the pause lives.
Because, if we didn’t stop altogether, we wouldn’t be sitting back on the beach. If we only paused, we would keep the progress we gained while still putting ourselves in a position to paddle further out when we’re ready to do so.
The pause is powerful.
It allows us to reflect on how far we’ve come. It allows us to pause and think about what we need as human beings. It gives us time to check in with ourselves because we do need to reassess our goals sometimes. Is the wave we’re trying to catch really the one we want to catch? Make sure that it is before you hop on it…At least that seems logical in my view of surfing 😉
But the point is, there is magic in pausing compared to stopping altogether. If you’re reaching a point in your goals when you do want to stop, look at it as a pause, instead of a stop. Maintain where you’re at while reflecting on where you want to grow toward and who you want to be in the future.
Are you progressing, regressing, or maintaining in your journey? Is this a conscious choice for you right now or have you found yourself in uncharted waters? Take time this week to define direction in your fitness journey. Next time you do want to stop, press the pause button instead. Set yourself up for future success by maintaining where you are now instead of being forced back to the beach where you started.