Recover to win

It seems like ages since I’ve had a vacation. And though I’ve been off-work the better part of this week (Thursday and Friday, two of the most action-packed days for me), I can’t quite say if I’m on a vacation. Because I’m not.

The SFG (level 1) cert has been a grueling experience. In a very good way, it has reinvigorated my desire to get back to kettlebells and use them as my second wind workouts (more on that later). Not to mention the awesome learnings I’ve had about kettlebells, the exercises, the drills and the wonders it can do to me, my clients and strength in general. Most importantly, I’m driven more than ever to focus on my general conditioning than just powerlifting.

But two of the biggest takeaways I’ve had from the weekend are:

  1. You don’t wing your way out of certifications. You need to prioritize it along with your other priorities, if not over everything else.
  2. You need to pay attention to how well you recover. Not just during physically intense days but how you do it every day. Your body is a reservoir of energy. But utilizing energy isn’t cheap. You’ve got to make energy management more efficient and the best way to do that is by conditioning your body to recover and rest.

The challenge is that we’re all obsessed with the grind. So much so that it is now fashionable to do that. Nobody’s paying attention to the fact that there’s only so far you can go on “empty.” You have to fuel up and service your body once in a while. The most cost-effective way is to eat and sleep well. Every day. The alternatives are ending up in a hospital for a long-term treatment that will sap you off of your finances.

I felt shitty all through the weekend because I didn’t prioritize training for the event. Of course, I was still focused on my primary sport (powerlifting) but that surely didn’t help me perform up to my potential at the cert. And now I have a couple of months to rework on what I missed out and submit the test again. Did you see what happened here? I now will have to prioritize.

That’s typical of our lives. If we don’t prioritize what’s important, we will be forced to. For the next 2-3 days, I’m going to relax. Avoid the gym while I eat healthily. Focus on short 10-20 minute workouts every evening to get back to what will eventually be my second wind workout henceforth. Speaking of which, I learned about this (albeit I’d been following it even before I came to know there’s a term for this style of routine… as you would expect) from Robin Sharma. Here’s what he has to say:

Here’s the basic idea: given that exercise is one of the finest productivity tools ever created, why not use it more often within a day to get more valuable things done?

Yes–definitely do your morning workout to get you mentally and physically amped for a brilliant day. But then, at the end of your work day, go for that walk or take the swim or nail a run.

Creating a second workout ritual later in your day will give you so much more energy each evening, relax you with your loved ones, minimize the dangerous effects of stress, deliver a deeper sleep and even reduce your cravings later in the night.

My Strange Success Rituals by Robin Sharma

That’s about it! After a long time I’ve come to give myself permission to relax, which just a perfect opportunity to reassess my priorities and work my way from there… 

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