I’ve been in quite a rut lately. I think I found my way out, however. You know the feeling – not sure how you got there, but slowly and surely, you find yourself slinking into this place of discontent. Slightly annoyed with the world around you, it starts creeping into the interactions with others and rubbing off on the people surrounding you. How do you stop it? How do you turn it around?

This time around, I found that I had my continued ambitions, but my willpower to stick to them was waning. Every long day of work, every call off of a staff member, every time I ended up staying late and getting up extra early, my vision became more cloudy. What was I focused on? What was my goal? What result was I working towards? All of the nagging issues that were screaming for my attention had let me get distracted from my real goals. Worse yet, as I started to lose my focus and direction, the nagging issues chipped away at my willpower, making it even harder to stay on track and re-focus on my targets again. Lack of sleep and mental bandwidth being drained by issues that were cropping up from all angles had taken their toll.

Have you ever found yourself this way? What was I working on again? Wow, I’m just not in a position to care as much as I used to. Wait, what?! Yeah, you’ve said it. I don’t really care right now. I don’t care about getting healthy, I want some ice cream. I don’t care about doing a workout this morning, I’ve been good long enough, I can rest a day or two. I don’t care about going the extra mile – nobody else is! My hobby, yeah it can wait. Oh, the kids are fine, I don’t need to get on the floor and play with them today, I can just watch them and check my phone instead…

Admit it – You’ve done it! You’ve thought it! How do you avoid it? Who knows? How do you fix it? Well, I’m not sure if it will work every time, but this time, the solution was a combination of challenge and alone time. Maybe it is because I’m competitive. Maybe because I’m an introvert?

Our workout was 80% of 1RM on Deadlifts – 6 sets of 3. As I was warming up, waiting for my training partner to arrive, I started doing some back squats – my favorite. Worked up to body weight and just doing some sets of 5 to get the blood flowing. Then deadlift warm up – still adding in 5 or so between warm up sets of deadlift. So, we do our full working sets and our accessory work is overhead squats. Shit. My posterior chain is already lit up. I’m coming off of a hip and low back injury, and my shoulder on my right side has been messed up for some time. I’ll start light and I’m going to the best damn overhead squats I have ever done. So, we load up the bar, start light. Sure enough, by set 3, I feel better about my overhead squat than I ever have in my years of lifting and CrossFit. In my head right now, I’m winning. I’m keeping up with the workout, even though I’ve added in extra sets of squats. I’m nailing OHS, like I never have before, after taxing my posterior chain and coming off of injuries. Mentally, this kicked the switch for me to keep moving.

Workout is over, we wrap it up. I’m still feeling great, although I know I’ll be sore tomorrow. The house is totally empty, so I start cleaning up the kitchen. I listen to some more music, and it just keeps driving me to want to do more. Here it is – the moment of truth. I know I’m going to be sore tomorrow. I feel like I accomplished a lot for the workout, but I know that I can do more. Well, there’s going to be some pain involved if I keep going. Embrace the pain. Stretch yourself! That is where the growth is! When you would normally stop, and normally say, “Okay, that’s enough. I can rest, I can stop, I’ve done enough.” Be okay with the fact that tomorrow is going to be hard, and ride your wave of accomplishment to do more! Look pain in the eye, and tell it – I’m comin’ for more!

So, I ripped out the toilet and the sink in the bathroom, and started laying a new floor. Four hours later, after being hunched over, laying a floor of all things, we have a new setup in the bathroom. Yes, I did some stretches, ate right, did some yoga, and got myself ready for the next day. But I did tell myself – it’s gonna suck, that’s okay. The last mile you’re running is the one for you. Finally, after it is all said and done, when you are worn out and worn down, and you feel like you don’t have anything left in the tank, that is your time. Those are your reps. That pain, is what is getting you closer to YOUR dreams, instead of dealing with what everyone else needs from you. So accept that it is going to be hard, find something to get you into your groove – music, video, movie, something you read, and don’t let it go. Let it push you to start. Start the pain of growth, and to inch you closer to your outcomes. Yes, it sucks. But, that’s what it takes.

Written by Tony Floyd