Now I’m trying to get back on track, and here’s how:
1. Taking a step back and remembering WHY I do gymnastics. It’s not like I really HAVE to. Some of my friends might be a bit disappointed if I stopped showing up, but there wouldn’t be any serious consequences. I want to keep doing gymnastics because I love moving my body, I love flying through the air, and I love learning new skills.
2. Intentionally taking a few more days off from exercise. Maybe my body really does just need more time to recover. Instead of intending to go and then feeling bad when I don’t, I can commit to just two days of gymnastics instead of three or four. Working out less often makes me appreciate the time I spend in the gym more, and use that time more efficiently. I also learn faster when I’m well rested.
3. Changing things up a bit. I felt like I wasn’t really making much progress, so I decided it was time for a new approach. Instead of doing the same tumbling passes over and over again, I’m trying to find new drills, and I’ve started working on beam and bars more often, which ends up improving my tumbling as well.
Even though I’m writing about gymnastics here, these strategies could work for any non-essential activity you do regularly - any type of exercise, playing an instrument, writing, studying for your degree when you love the subject but you can’t stop complaining about it…. Remind yourself why you started doing it in the first place, give yourself breaks, and take a new approach if you find yourself getting stuck or losing interest.
I know it often feels like you don’t have a choice about how you spend your time, but you do. Whatever it is, is it really something you NEED to do? Is it really essential for your survival? Unless it’s eating, sleeping, or making the minimum amount of money for you to live on, probably not. There’s always a reason, even if you’ve forgotten it - you want to stay healthy, or you want to pursue a particular career, or you want to do something you can be proud of. If the reason’s no longer relevant, then maybe it’s time to move on.
Do what you do because you CHOOSE to do it, not because you feel like you have to.