I want to share something that happened to me recently and how I overcame it.
About a week ago, I had a bad day of training. My game was just off, even though I was mentally prepared for my training that day. I walked in the gym ready to destroy. Warming up for squats I felt great but once I got to my working weight, absolutely nothing felt right. The first set shook me, when I am normally unshakable. I got my mind right and dramatically improved my second (and last heavy) set but I kept catching myself having a negative attitude towards my lifting and even my physique. I have had problems with squats on and off over the last six months and started to go down a rabbit hole of bad thoughts. I had to stop myself from negative self talk after every set even though the whole rest of my lifting was going really well. It was a rough day, and far more draining than it should have been.
Something you need to know about me is that I’m big on all things mindset. But here’s the thing: a proper mindset won’t necessarily prevent bad days. It can, however, prevent a bad day from becoming a bad week or bad month. Proper mindset and mental self care CAN prevent you from sabotaging yourself and shaking your confidence!
23 year old and 38 year old me have very different versions of what we would have (and did do) following a bad training day.
Here’s what 23 year old me would have done:
- Quit my training session because obviously I’m not worthy of calling myself a powerlifter.
- Ate allllllll the junk food in sight.
- Picked a fight with my significant other.
- Cried and thrown things (hello 2 year old with a temper!)
- Probably skipped the whole rest of the week of training.
- Realized how irrational I was being, and then feel very embarrassed and ashamed.
- Figured there was something wrong with me for doing all of the above and feel even more ashamed and isolated.
- Continue to eat my emotions and probably not have great training sessions.
Yikes, right? 23 year old me followed a pattern of self-sabotage and negativity that, left unchecked, would continue to downward spiral until it hit rock bottom. However, I have had many years to learn, adapt, and grow. In that time, I have discovered better and more productive ways of handling bad training days or just bad days in general.
Here’s what I did for myself after last week’s mentally challenging day to turn things around:
- I reached out to people! I reached out to my coach and training partners and told them my struggles. Just acknowledging my feelings helped give me perspective and telling others about them made me feel less isolated.
- Reflection – what exactly was I feeling? Was there anything that triggered these feelings?
- Meditation – this always helps calm me and reset my brain but also allows me to sit with those feelings and process them rather than ignore them (ignoring always makes them come back 10 fold).
- Enjoyed time with my husband and pups. We had a nice dinner, good conversation, and watched a show that made us laugh.
- Got a good night’s sleep.
I don’t like living in a world where things aren’t discussed and where struggles are kept hidden away. It breeds shame and loneliness. We all have struggled! You’ve heard the quote “tell the story of your struggles. It might become someone else’s survival guide.” I can’t agree with that enough! I hope this helps you know that you aren’t alone or inferior for having a rough day. It’s how you recover from those days that matters. ❤️ KL
Listen to the episode where I discuss this in more depth HERE
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