May 06

You Don’t Have To – You Get To

You know what’s awesome? Taking a month off of life and exploring Thailand.

You know what’s not awesome?  Coming back to CrossFit and feeling like your beginner self circa 2010.

I am only saying this as I hope that it will give some of you some inspiration and let you know that it happens to everybody, even your coaches: getting in shape SUCKS.  Within the first 5 minutes of your first workout back, the questions start to hover: Why did I take so much time off? What is this torture? Will I ever be back to my old self? Do I hate exercising? 

Last week (my first week back from a month off) was my personal 7th circle. I was so sore that I was miserable, and felt terrible about myself after every workout. BUT the good news is, this week is better. And next week will be even better. And soon I’ll be back to my fighting weight (that’s a term, I don’t use a scale).

Did Nikki even have a baby?

SO – if you are facing coming back to the gym after a vacation, sickness, wedding or just a plain break – there is hope for you too. Here are 3 tips for getting back in shape:

1) Just Go.  When you are out of shape, showing up is 100% the battle. Once you get into the gym (especially a place like CrossFit) you remember all the things you love about working out – the people, the music, the laughs, the shortness of breath. And regardless of  how “well” your preform, you definitely out-preform the other version of yourself that would have eaten Fresh Brothers while binge watching Scandal instead.

2) Give Yourself a Break.  I did Grace at 75lbs yesterday after completing that workout Rx many times. And it still sucked. Check your ego at the door when you’re first coming back to the gym.  Give yourself 2-4 weeks to ease into it (depending on the length of your break) without expecting certain weights, times, or scores from yourself. Remember – it’s not a race to get back into shape, it’s a lifelong promise to stay healthy.

3) You “Get” To – Not “Have” To.  One of my favorite life philosophies is changing the phrase “I Have To” to “I Get To.” You never HAVE to go to the gym. Your life doesn’t depend on it. Your family doesn’t get food on the table from it. No, you GET to go to the gym. You have the OPPORTUNITY to better yourself, see your friends, sweat, and do your body the extraordinary favor of improving your heath and wellness. So when you’re staring down the barrel of getting back into shape remember – you don’t HAVE to get back into shape. You GET to get back into shape.

On that note, please give me extra encouragement when you see me around the gym. I need it. Just kidding. Kinda.


I hope these three tips help out any of you that feel like you’re discouraged trying to get back into a routine, or even those of you that need some extra motivation to remind yourself why you show up everyday.

That rant turned out a bit longer than I expected, so here’s just a link of an amazing recipe for this week – I use this one all the time!! A great and easy summer grilling favorite.

Health Bent’s Hawaiian BBQ Bacon Burgers: