8! 7!…5!…3! 3! 3!…1! Ah! Catch your breath, take a sip, we move on to…the next near-death move in (insert any hardcore bootcamp-context workout class).
Repeat after me, “We aren’t making EVERY workout a near-death experience anymore!” Shout it! Chant it! Sing it in the shower. We are AWAKENING!
I know what you’re thinking, this chick, who is not exactly petite (and probably lazy), is sitting here telling me what to do and think about fitness. I’m not telling you to completely leave hardcore workouts in the dust, but I am here to tell you that it’s okay to rethink your movement.
A backstory: I’ve put in the work in this life, lost and gained and lost and gained 40ish pounds in three different eras of my existence in adulthood since age 19. These journeys involved working out, of course, healthy nutritional choices, and yada yada, you get the idea. I did 200 HIIT workouts in LESS than a calendar year in 2022! I’ve done almost every concept of workout on the entire planet and trends across this country, and guess where it’s all led me? Here I am, at 38, still realizing that the “hardest workout of my life” was a temporary achievement, and the sun will rise and set tomorrow, and I’ll “have to” do it again tomorrow. And I’m coming to this awakening that day after day, healthy activity and movement are ALWAYS going to be something I will just have to keep doing, not only for my fitness but for my mental health.
So that’s where my journey has awakened me. The Awakening: not every workout needs to be near death. YES, I can do burpees (woof) on any day I want – and I do some days, or I can take a class that kicks my butt on any day as well. There are some things that I truly can do EVERY day. Walking. Stretching. Loving myself.
Naturally, in this awakening, I turned to the age-old advice-giving wormhole of TikTok trends! Back in January, I gave the 12-3-30 treadmill workout a whirl. Bear in mind, up until this, I’d been attending a boutique HIIT gym with workouts that were always so challenging in the best ways, and I’d gotten results, but sometimes the thought of Romanian Deadlifts at upwards of 100 pounds just took its toll. It was also taking a lot of discipline in nutrition to see scale movement.
Suddenly, after a few weeks of walking (most days doing 12-3-30, but not all), I saw results in a different way. I was still seeing my mental health thrive from this context of workout day-to-day. This was when it hit me. It’s not about nearly killing myself with box jumps or sumo squats. It was about movement. (I still do the box jumps and squats, by the way.)
But you get the idea – I backed off this pigeon-holed mentality I’d had for almost 20 years that unless I walked out with a peaked heart rate of 160, I hadn’t truly gotten my workout that day. Leave. This. Ideology. Leave it!
I implore you to reflect. Maybe my sentiments don’t resonate with you. Maybe you want to keep kicking your butt into near death. Do you, Boo! But as I approach my “main character energy” middle-aged story-arch in this life, I’ve decided that not every workout has to bring me to needing a defibrillator. 1 (foot in front of the other)…3 (steps more)…5, 6, 7, 8! Come join The Awakening!