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Settled in routine

Tracy Highland

Settled in routine

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I came across an interesting theory as I was reading this week: the 21-day concept by Dr Maxwell Maltz. The essence of the theory is that if you devote at least 15 minutes a day to the formation of any habit you wish to adopt and do this faithfully for 21 days, by the fourth week it is easier to engage in the new behaviour than to continue with the old.

I feel like this is happening to me with CrossFit. It’s becoming a habit; a part of my routine.

A lot can happen in 21 days. I still have a long way to go but I can see a different person emerging with a different attitude about exercise. It’s no longer this thing hanging on the periphery of my life that I invite in every once in a while when I’m feeling guilty. It’s dead centre playing an active role, making me stronger, helping me cope with stress and building my self-confidence.

CrossFit served as my trainer and my counsellor this week. I had a rough start on Monday. By the time I reached my 12:30 p.m. CrossFit WOD (Workout Of The Day), I was not in a good place. I was sick of dealing with not so nice people, stressed by pending deadlines and struggling with a case of writer’s block that made the deadlines loom even larger. I really did not want to go but I decided I would just show up and see what happened. I’m glad I did.

Somewhere between tricep dips, ring rows and kettlebell swings, I totally let go of all the things that were bothering me that morning. You don’t have time to overthink things and dwell on negative thoughts when you are physically exerting yourself. It’s one of the things I’ve come to love the most about CrossFit. It allows me a space in the day when I am focused on nothing but completing the task in front of me. I’m not thinking about work, family or finances. I just want to finish. My thoughts are simplified. My body works hard but my mind gets a rest. I left that workout feeling distressed and renewed.

And I noticed this was the trend for the week. Every effort left me feeling like I’d been built up. My run on Tuesday morning was 3 600 metres of struggle but instead of reducing me to tears, this time it made feel stronger. My rowing workout on Thursday did the same thing, made me feel strong and taught me a valuable lesson about how maintaining composure helps your body cope with stressful situations.

Friday’s workout, a combination of lifts with 400 metre runs in between, called on all the motivation and strength I could muster, but I completed it and felt like a superhero afterwards.

I’ve gone from being the person petrified of difficult workouts, to the person that looks forward to the sense of accomplishment she knows she will feel when the workout is over. I honestly don’t know exactly when and how this happened. I guess the saying “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you” is really true. I’ve challenged myself and I have changed. I no longer think I can’t do it. That continues to amaze me every day.

And speaking of changes, I’m seeing some differences in my body too. When I started three weeks ago, I weighed a little over 151 pounds. The first two weeks my weight stayed pretty constant but my clothes started fitting differently.

My waist is shrinking, my jeans are looser and I can fit into some tops I couldn’t a few weeks ago. I’m starting to see some muscle tone in my legs and I swear a two pack is peeking out at the top of my stomach.

Over the last week, my weight has gradually come down by about four pounds.  I’m trying not to be scale obsessed because I realise this time around I’m working on building muscle and muscle is heavier than fat, but it’s nice to see a change. The hard work is paying off in so many ways.

Week four, I’m ready. Bring it on!

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