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Old 03-12-2008, 08:17 PM   #1
Tim Donahey
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Unhappy lacking the will after a 2 month layoff

Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I'm reaching out to the community I guess.

So, I've been taking a sabbatical from almost all training the past 2 months due to injury, recovery, then sickness... and ultimately depression. About a month ago, after having recovered from a hernia and foot issues, I went into the local affiliate to get myself back in the game, hoping to be reinvogorated by the comeback... I pushed myself too hard, met pukie the one day, and after doing front squats and deadlifts at poundages I had no business lifting after a layoff, I gave myself some of the worst DOMS I have ever had and simultaneously got that flu crap that had been going around bad... and it wasn't long before the depression hit... and that was it; I stopped caring. Up until last week I hadn't done so much as a sit-up, bringing it to about 2 months of total stagnation.

I'm trying to get back into things, starting slooowly (I don't need a repeat of the last upset) with SS, peaking at 6 or 7 weeks time, and hopefully returning to CF after that. It's been really hard for me getting back into the swing of a routine though. My general motivation is poorly lacking and I am nowhere near reclaiming my former gusto for training and find myself coming up with excuses and skipping workouts without remorse. I am frustrated at the reversal of my conditioning; lifting meager poundages and seeing my pull-up numbers nearly halved, and I haven't reattempted a met-con. The whole notion of reclaiming my fitness feels daunting and insurmountable and kind of frightening to me at this point. I hate feeling like this. I need a strategy to get myself mobilized again and out of this funk. It's more than just feeling sorry for myself, it's like I'm trapped behind a veil or something... I don't know.

Has anyone else dealt with this?
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:29 PM   #2
Joe Cavazos
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Re: lacking the will after a 2 month layoff

I can empathize. I haven't gone through something like this, but I can imagine how it would feel: knowing that, not only is there no chance of a PR in a workout, but it's 100% certain that you're going to perform so far below your old stuff that it's no longer exciting and just depressing. I really only have a couple of suggestions.

1) Pick something you're not much worse at now than you were before the layoff (o-lifting, powerlifting, odd gymnastics, running, whatever) and work the hell out of it. Find a program for it or something. The acute effort should improve whatever you're working very quickly, build your confidence, and let you demolish others in certain WODs. You'll still do poorly in other WODs not involving your specialty, but you won't mind much because you've still got a strength others don't have. And if that "Oh yeah? Well can you do THIS?" attitude isn't CrossFit, I don't know what is.

2) Do random WODs/exercises that you can't compare to pre-layoff levels because you've never done them before. Run weird distances and do weird things.

In any event, you're not going to get better by doing nothing.

Best of luck!
My WFS Log || Stats I'm least proud of: Max Muscle-ups: 1 | Max Push-ups: 38 | Max HSPU: 9 | 19" Vertical Leap | Max L-sit: 5 sec.
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:57 PM   #3
Derek Maffett
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Re: lacking the will after a 2 month layoff

I go through this pretty much all the time. The garage becoming more junk than gym, some injury bugging me, or whatever - it's annoying. My advice would be to ease back in the way Joe said, or find some WOD's that you haven't done for almost a year. Even with the layoff, your fitness level should be quite enough to surpass your previous times. I also find myself motivated by my workout log and a general sense of pathetic-ossityness if I dare to slack on my workouts. Do you have a log?
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:49 AM   #4
Melissa Urban
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Re: lacking the will after a 2 month layoff

I've gone through this too, sometimes for a month or two at a time. And I would be ready to come back to training well before I actually did something about it. If I thought about how far I had to go to get back to my pre-break conditioning, it would have seemed insurmountable. Exhausting. Too much work. So I didn't. I just thought about doing something today.

I decided to simply get up in the morning and go to the gym. I told myself I didn't even have to DO anything once I got there, as long as I walked through the door. That seemed easy enough to accomplish. Of course, once I got there I wanted to work. And while it sucked to have to scale back so much, it felt really good to have done SOMETHING. I kept reminding myself that a crappy workout is better than no workout. And when it got really hard to get going, I promised myself that as long as I did something today, I could totally skip tomorrow. Of course, tomorrow turns into today, and today means I have to walk through the doors of the gym.

The "one day at a time" thing really helped me break the giant task of getting back to peak conditioning much more manageable.

Hope all of our ideas help.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:22 AM   #5
Matt Thomas
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Re: lacking the will after a 2 month layoff

This kind of thing has happened to me. Although not really due to illness so maybe not as severe. But here is what would work for me. I would pick someting that I really enjoy doing and base a workout around that. Or choose a workout that I think would be a lot of fun, but not something I had been doing before the burnout. So no crossfit. Lately I've got it in my head that it might be fun to try a dumbbell based strength program. And I always liked th idea of strongman workouts too. Or heck even if you wanted to work on some beach muscles and do some body building stuff for a few weeks. Just find something you weren't really good at before, so you won't be as hard on yourself with your progress, and something that's just fun to do. Screw the parameters of fitness and benchmarks for a while.

When I came back from basic I was kind of fat and out of shape because the PT there was so lame. I was really umotivated because whatever WOD I did was nothing compared to how I use to be able to do it so it was almost like why bother? Strength work really gets me jazzed though. It's so fun to me. So I decided that's when I would do SS. No running, no metcon, no gymnastics skill, just the fun stuff. After a while I got strong and happy and then I felt ready to tackle some metcons. Now when I went back to metcons I certainly sucked horribly at them, but I knew I was at least good at something so it was only a matter of time before I got good at this too, and by that time I was back in "the mood".

Maybe that will help you. Just do something fun. Good luck!
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:25 AM   #6
Fred Paepke
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Re: lacking the will after a 2 month layoff


I think I dealt with a similar situation and I'm just now coming out of it. (I've covered most of what I'm going to say next in another thread, so I'll try to keep this short.) I started Crossfitting in July of last year. In September I started getting sick, a lot. From mid-September to the end of December I was sick with respiratory infections, vomiting, or colds a total of six times. It really took the wind out of my sails. In October I became severely depressed. By November I'd lost the desire to workout and pretty much quit doing so until the end of December.

In January, leary of metabolic conditioning and the role that I suspected it was playing in my frequent illnesses, I decided to shift gears and work on strength building (via SS). I'm still at it. In January or February I met with my allergist and when I informed him about how much I had been sick he suggested that I stop my weekly allergy injections. Since I quit the injections I've only been sick once. I feel much better!

So, to make my already too long story short; I plan on returning to my local CF affiliate next week; starting slow and scaling the workouts. At the same time, I hope to keep at least two SS workouts in my weekly routine as I'm going to a CrossFit Barbell cert in April and I want be the best possible shape for that.

I find that forcing myself to workout when I don't want to makes me feel better when I'm done. It helps to build my desire to exercise more. (I wish I knew this fact during the two decades that I lived the life of a couch potato!) I think signing up for the Barbell cert has motivated me, too. Attending a CF cert was one of my New Year's goals and the fact that I'll achieve that goal in 37 days fires me up!

So, my advice: (1) force yourself to do it and your desire will grow and (2) make a goal that has a specific date and work towards it.

You're not alone, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

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Old 03-13-2008, 06:28 AM   #7
Justin Algera
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Re: lacking the will after a 2 month layoff

As you can see you are not alone... I go through this on a semi-regular basis. You get hurt/ injured and then its just much easier to sit on your butt and do nothing, and once you get into that funk, it takes a lot to pull out of it. Its especially hard for me because of the diet issues. I dont know if you go to an affiliate or not, but for me what pulls me out of it, is getting back to my "box" and realizing how much I miss working out with the people there. They really help me to see how much I miss it and eventhough I may just not be into training that day, at least Ill be working with great people and knowing we are all getting our butts kicked.
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:01 AM   #8
David Wells
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Re: lacking the will after a 2 month layoff

I would recommend going back to your local affiliate and telling them what is up and that you aren't really ready to meet pukie just yet. Being around a group of crossfitters and watching them get after it can help you. Also forget your old PR and start from scratch. Compare the level you are at now to your future workouts and watch your improvements.

I have been somewhat sidelined for about 2 months with a broken fibula and ankle. I have had to teach classes on crutches and a whole host of problems but I figure I get to start over. Life is full of obstacles and this is just one you have to climb over.

You hang in there and compare yourself to your current levels and watch improvements! Don't get bummed out by what you used to be able to do
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:35 AM   #9
Michael Thornton
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Re: lacking the will after a 2 month layoff

Instead of starting back with crossfit or SS, are there any other sports you are involved with? I find it much easier to get back into the swing of things with a sport. Lets face it, sports are a lot more fun and if done with others it is self motivating. Give the sports a few weeks to start getting you back into shape, then add crossfit back into the mix.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:28 AM   #10
Howard Wilcox
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Re: lacking the will after a 2 month layoff

The power of habit is strong, whether it is a good habit or a bad habit.

Now that the body is used to doing nothing, it will want to continue that. Once the training habit is reestablished, it will be much easier. SS sounds like a good plan and with that you can set small workout-to-workout goals (like increasing the squat 5lbs/workout). If you run the numbers, that'll be 60lbs in a month, which is not too shabby. Start low enough to avoid injury/setback and let the habit get established.

Good luck...


p.s. After a triplicate of injuries last year, I ended up sitting around for much of the last half of the year. I've started back seriously with SS in February and am getting close to PRs on all lifts (though still weak compared to many).
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