Week 2 on truly getting that workout in. If you missed week one, here’s the link (trust me, you won’t follow through on week 2 without truly getting week 1). It’s finally time to talk about some practical application.
First thing’s first, throw out that thought that you don’t have time today. None of us have time, girl. We make time. That’s kind of the amazing thing about women: our ability to literally make time. Proof: leave your husband or boyfriend alone with the kids for an hour and see how much (without a list or any hinting at what you need him to accomplish) he actually gets done. Now think about that hour that you just took care of the kids, cleaned up (about 20 times because they undo it about as fast as you do it), did the laundry, laid out the school clothes for the week, and still managed to get squats in at the sink while you were doing dishes and cooking and had the baby in the sling all simultaneously. God gave us the gift to make time because He knew we were going to need super powers for all we take on and are given in life.
Secondly, covered last week, you deserve the time to invest in yourself. You’re an amazing human who deserves a few hours to build herself up, even if not for her own benefit. You can’t keep emptying yourself out for everyone else and never getting built back up. You will be better to your family, more patient, more confident than ever, and have more strength to go get all the things you were already killin’ in life.
Third, training isn’t written in pencil, or even pen. It’s written in blood. It takes as long as it takes, and it is not negotiable unless you have a parent, child, spouse, or yourself that is currently dying in the hospital. Even then, not to brag, but my sister Molly, and a competitive member of Lions Den, finished her practice, sat on the floor, and I asked her if she wanted me to watch her kids while our mom drove her to the hospital. She ended up being able to drive herself because that’s what bad bitches do. So I don’t mean that they’re in there for a long slow death—because then you need your training time and self-strengthening more than ever—I mean you or them are in there for the kind of death that is happening immediately from a car crash or very terrible and sudden heart attack. What happens if you need to be their care taker and carry them to the bathroom? You think you’ll have the strength or patience to do this without your boxing training? I don’t think so. This is a date and time on your calendar whether it’s with your team or it’s your side work that needs to get done alone that you’d have to sell your soul for in order to break.
So three and a half: Be prepared for practice. If you are coming from work, don't wait until that morning to pack your gym bag: have it in your car the night before. If you need extra snacks and food to have a properly fueled practice, have that ready to go too. Don't show up to a practice without hand wraps, gloves, jump rope--common people. If you really want this thing, show up ready and hungry for success. And if you don't have something you need--go and bare the consequences. What do I mean? I bet you can still get away with shadow boxing, even barefoot, if you forgot all of the rest of your equipment. Do you know how much work you'd get in if you shadow boxed for an entire practice with push-ups as active rest? But it would not be a fun practice...and I bet you'd remember your stuff from then on.
Fourth, don’t over commit. Once you break a date with working out, it’s easier to break the next one. We’re building a new life here, we’re not on a fad diet. Just like I talked about in nutrition the first week, pick one habit at a time to start to build on. In the same way, pick one time and day at a time to build from, then give yourself 3-4 weeks to build it into your routine and adjust. Commit to one more practice each time you level up. So, maybe I start two days a week. I religiously, written in blood, do not miss those two days a week. When I’m finally okay, not forever sore, I move on to three days a week. In my heart and soul, it is never okay to miss these days that I’ve carved into stone like Moses on the mount. He wouldn’t have dared break these tablets that have these two days a week (and now three) carved into them and had to climb back up that mountain. If I started out over committing, then first I just skipped that one Thursday, and then that Tuesday, oh but the same Thursday thing is going on this week, oh and now just this one Wednesday for a family thing…and all of a sudden, I realize that I haven’t been to the gym in a month. No way girl. Commit to what you can handle, and then start slipping in more. And if you’re getting resistance from family/friends that you previously spent this time hanging out on the couch with, this is a great way to combat and practically deal with that too—or better yet, invite them to come with you sometimes!
Related, but a separate point: only commit to the kind of workout intensity that you can finish each time. I will write more about intensity next week, but here’s the deal: write on an index card your workout plan for the week (EXACTLY what you’re going to do—times, reps, weight, all of it. Then always complete it barring injury.) Make this realistic, but always pushing to the next level when you’ve stopped feeling like you’re going to die as you barely push out that last three reps of each exercise.
Fifth, it is GOOD for your kids to be in the gym, so do not use them as an excuse. Of course there are nights that one of them just really, truly needs a break or has a very special thing going on (which you knew about, so you of course planned a make-up workout time for). If you have kids, lets be real, it is HARD to always answer questions about how it’s bad for them to be around that “violence” or even just that their evenings are devoted to YOUR workouts. Isn’t that so selfish? Shake that off right now. Take a second in the middle of your workout and look around. It is good for them. And if it’s not, then it’s because you’re not in the right gym.
Boxing gives a lot of opportunities to talk to your kids about real life things that the rest of life doesn't always give great lead ins to. For example, I have taught my kids—both a girl and boy—about consent since they were one and three years old. We don’t do anything unless it’s in a safe and consensual environment. What a weird statement, right? But I’ve had this opportunity by using our boxing: My sparring partner wants to be doing this, they aren’t pressured into it. And it’s definitely not me jumping them. They are wearing all of the correct protective equipment, and we have the safety of the coach or ref. My nephew wears himself out on his routine of Tuesday or Thursdays participating in the structured environment of conditioning practice, and then boxing practice. It’s the only time he stays on his bedtime routine—in part because he knows exactly what to expect each night in the same way his body reacts to bath, story, bed type of routine. There’s nothing more structured than a boxer’s life. All of the kids I’ve seen come through boxing gyms value fitness. They know how their parents change when they don’t have it, and they truly value fitness in more than a “it’s good for you” kind of intellectual knowledge. And lastly, they make incredible friendships that last a lifetime with other gym kids who actually understand what their very unique life, and perspective of life, is like. Oh, and double lastly, they watch their parent struggle and push through any boundaries necessary to achieve their goals. That is not to be forgotten.
Physically write out your goals and three strength words. Post them somewhere that you can see every single day--and that they aren't a secret. You have to be able to quickly re-strengthen yourself the second that you start loosing faith in who you know you are and want the rest of the world to see. Cue words--those three strength words--really, truly help that. When you feel too weak to get out of that super cozy bed, or to stop at the gym on your way home from a really bad day, or even in the middle of an insane set, then remind yourself how badly you want it and how strong you are with your cue words and goals. If you haven't shared your goals before then ask yourself why. You need people to know about them so that you can be held accountable, or at least have to own up when you've given up on them. Which leads us to our last point.
Finally, add in some accountability. That’s the really great thing if you’re a part of a team. It isn’t just about you that you’re showing up—you need to be in shape for your teammate’s progress as well. You also are expected. But even when you’re not on a team, you probably have friends. Iron Sharpens Iron. I never know when I’m going to get a call or text from a friend who needs some extra defense work or sparring on the side, or just want someone to hold them accountable on their morning conditioning while they’re scheduled for two a days during fight prep time. Are you ready for that text or call? Surround yourself with people who are trying to bring themselves up—not to excuse themselves. No matter how strong you are, no matter how self aware, how intelligent or how many degrees you have, you can always grow and learn and self-improve. So are you surrounding yourself with people who are always challenging themselves? Or are you surrounding yourself with people who are always excusing their own behaviors, ignorance, and choices so that you can feel more comfortable excusing your own weaknesses?
So lets sum it up:
Be prepared for practice. No excuses. You knew this was coming--it was written in blood on your calendar.
Never break a date with your schedule unless you, your parents, or your children are IMMEDIATELY dying.
Remember that you’re worth it.
Step you schedule, intensity, and new nutrition goals up slowly—this is a process to achieve a lifestyle change. Change takes time and patience--this isn’t a fad diet.
Remember that the example to your kids is worth it in a million amazing ways.
.Physically write out your goals and three strength words.
Lastly, Iron sharpens Iron—so who are you surrounding yourself with?
It may not seem like a long list, but trust me, it’s an effective one. Give it a try this week and see what happens. …plus, you’ll want to definitely have these habits down for when we step up the intensity lessons next week 😉