Lesson 1 in bouncing back from burnout: Workout in a way that works for you

Lesson 1: Find a way to work your workouts in – in a way that works for you. Don’t be worried if this looks a lot different than the way you used to do it. 

Obviously I am not going to be setting any PRs for number of blog posts this year.

Which is not to say that things haven’t been going well this year – they have. There just hasn’t been much time or energy for blogging. As I mentioned in my last post, after burning out in spectacular fashion last year, my goal this year has been all about finding balance in my life. What I’ve discovered, is that finding balance is hard frickin’ work.

And the truth is no one is going to do it for you.  I work in a very supportive environment where we are conscious of the impact and risks of burnout – and still, if I were to let it happen, I could work 18 hour days and never be done all the work.  But I learned that putting in the 18 hour days now could lead to me not being able to put in even 8 hour days later…so I have been actively stopping myself from working too much. Sometimes more successfully then others, but overall I would definitely say that I am closer to finding some semblance of work/life balance than I was before.

One way that I did this was that I re-introduced Crossfit – in a way that worked for my lifestyle. This is the core of Lesson 1: Find a way to work your workouts in – in a way that works for you. 

I realized that trying to go back to my 4-5 times a week, in the evenings, was just not going to happen with my life right now. At the end of my workdays, I resemble week-old roadkill and can barely lift my eyelids –  let alone heavy weights.


But d*mn it, I missed lifting. I missed doing squats. I missed feeling strong. I DID NOT MISS BURPEES (not once, not ever!).

So I checked out my company’s flexi-time policies. Flexi-time is “a system of working a set number of hours with the starting and finishing times chosen within agreed limits by the employee”. For more info check out –>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flextime.

Flextime is a big selling point for all the Millennials who will entering the workforce, but hey, why should young people have all the fun, right? Turns out my organization has a pretty good flexi-time policy and I was able to arrange to start later in the day twice-a-week.

Enter the Teenage Mutant Ninja Trainer, or “T” for short here on CiC.  Now you may not be aware of the awesomeness that is my home gym, but let’s be clear, it’s awesome and it’s in my home. I hardly used it before T came into our lives. Now T comes to the house to torture me twice a week before work.  I’m pretty certain that he is evil incarnate but he’s so nice it’s hard to tell. He’s also super stingy with heavy lifting sessions. He hands them out like cake at your diabetic grandma’s house. I get them if I’m really good. Most of the time, we are focused on improving my endurance, losing some of the weight that I put on last year and generally getting some of my stamina and strength back. Compared to my previous lifting numbers, I’m a baby kitten this year. This program is in line with goals that I set with T…this doesn’t stop me however from whining incessantly about wanting to just do the lifting part.

From Iphone August 2016 034

Here’s me in my home gym (yes, that is a new Concept 2 rower behind me – I am in love with it). My weight set is really thick so this looks more impressive than it is, but you can be impressed if you want, I don’t mind. :).

Adjusting my work schedule to allow for working out in the morning has been fantastic and I’ve been able to workout semi-regularly again. As an added bonus, it has helped my work performance. We all know the benefits of exercise on our stress levels – if not, googled it, there are, like, a trillion articles on that sh*t. Seriously, I think it is only slightly less popular than kitten videos or whatever the f*ck Pokemon-Go is. Seriously, wtf is Pokemon-Go?!?…countdown to me becoming addicted to Pokemon-Go in (5-4-3-2-1….) 

So in summary, in case you’ve forgotten the lesson amid all my stream-of-consciousness-babbling:

  1. Let go of the way you used to do things (hanging on will just lead to anguish..and procrastination – let it go).
  2. Identify how much working out you realistically can handle and identify when you have the most energy to work out
  3. Explore your work’s policies around flexible working time to see if your peak workout times can be achieved. If work isn’t the issue, look at your daily schedule to see where it can fit.
  4. Explore alternatives to the gym. Sometimes, just getting out the door is impossible. There are a ka-billion online videos with workouts – you don’t even need a bad*ss gym in your backyard to do them. I’ve recently seen that Julie Foucher has started some online training programs. I haven’t checked them out but she’s pretty kick*ss so I imagine her training programs would be.

If you have any tricks that you use for incorporating your workouts in a way that works for you, please share them in the comments section.

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