It’s my personal opinion that there are a few things that make everything better: music, popcorn, red wine, warm sunshine, and having a buddy.
While I like to play the needy-independent type for some reason, that’s really just a cover for the majority of me that actually really prefers to be self-sufficient, self-motivated, highly opinionated and decisive, very much in control of my brain and body, and able to maintain a high level of discipline…entirely on my own.
What I’m starting to realize, though, is that not being a competitive athlete right now makes all of that a little more difficult to keep up with than it was back a year ago when I had the support network of my training buddies that felt more like a “team” than merely a group of individuals who all worked out at the same place, at the same time together, followed the same training every day, and were all competing in the same competition.
What I’m trying to say is that for one of the first times in my life, which is not coincidentally lining up with one of the first times I haven’t been competing with the exception of being pregnant/post-partum, I’m struggling with being able to control things like my nutrition, for example.
I’ve always been the type of person that had the ability to put on a few pounds if I felt like I was underweight, or lose a few if I had to. I’ve never let things get wildly out of control or anything, but I could, with 100% certainty and in a 100% healthy way, lose or gain 3-5 pounds in a week so that I could get back on course and reset back on cruise control.
But, things are different now: I had major shoulder surgery 6 weeks and 2 days ago, and I don’t consistently train with anyone on a daily basis.
What I’m finding is that those two variables in that equation are the kiss of death.
Any competitive CrossFitter that’s had this level of shoulder surgery will tell you what I’m about to say: no matter how hard you get after the 20-30 minute cardio-based workouts involving the exact same 5 movements you’re “allowed” to do post-surgery can’t compare with the level of intensity that competition programming demands.
One of the many things I’ve taken away from this whole process so far is the confirmation that “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement” works. Specifically, “moving large loads over long distances, quickly” is the way to get really fit, actually feel athletic, and find yourself in a place where you feel like you’re genuinely getting uncomfortable and finding the confidence and will power to work through that…and, overcome it.
That’s what I’ve been missing. All of those things.
But, it’s ok.
Actually, it’s not just ok, it’s good.
I’ve done this before. I’ve missed this sort of stuff before, particularly during my pregnancies with Bode and Harley Love.
I know what it’s like to feel this void, and I know how good it feels to get it back.
Look, I’m not some wise old owl or anything, but I’m not young and impatient anymore, either. And, believe me, I was young and impatient. Like, the definition of those things.
But, I’m not “young” anymore, and one of my favorite personality traits to work on and see improve on is patience because I think it’s one of the world’s greatest treasures that’s really hard to find.
Pregnancies, injuries, surgeries, and recovery periods can be the best things that ever happen to you…because you end up realizing how good you usually have it. How lucky you are. And, how much you love what you do…regardless of how hard and uncomfortable it often feels.
MAN, do I digress.
My original point was supposed to be this: for someone as independent as I think I usually am, I need a buddy.
Whether you consider a “buddy” to be an actual person, a journal, or even the white board at your affiliate, I think most people find better success when they are accountable to someone…or, something.
What I’m saying is that since I no longer have a “team” to train with and answer to each day, I have something.
I have a coach, whose class I take regularly.
I have friends in that class that I see every weekday.
I have this blog that I am an open, honest book with every day.
I have options. And, I have no excuse to pretend like no one will know if I have a glass of wine on a non-special occasion, if I go out for dinner and eat caramel-bacon popcorn, or if I fill my carbs with rice instead of nutrient-rich berries and sweet potatoes.
Buddies make everything better, including your goals.
And, they don’t need to be your best friends. In fact, sometimes the best buddies to have are not your “best” buddies, or your best friends. It’s like I told Maya about your Freshman roommate: the best roommate is usually the one who’s not your best friend. It’s usually someone who you’re just acquaintances with and doesn’t spend every free second with you. It’s usually someone who knows you just enough, but someone that you have a good level of respect and commitment towards.
But, in the end, the best “buddy” to have is someone you can be honest with, who motivates and inspires you, and whose company you enjoy…just enough.
So, who’s your buddy?