Working with frustration in your fitness journey

Yesterday, in my enthusiasm to help my team win a relay race while teaching a team training class, I launched myself across the finish line at the end of my bear crawl to secure the victory. The minute I did so, I felt a searing pain shoot down my right arm from a shoulder that's been injured since March. 

But my team won. 


I’m not sure exactly what kind of damage I did, but I know two things; you can’t deprogram your competitive nature and it’s really frustrating to deal with the consequences.

A few weeks back, one of our clients who is a former Division I athlete said it best:


“I’m like a lab that just keeps eating socks, no matter how many times I need surgery to get the socks out.”

I see a lot of folks like the two of us battle similar frustrations month in and month out: you get into a workout routine and then someone invites you to play in a teacher/student basketball team and you break your finger. 

So for the next few months you work out around the broken finger only to end up with a bum shoulder. After a few months working around that you end up with pain in your toe. 

The cycle goes on and on.

What's important in the above scenario is that you keep on working out. 

The other kind of frustration I see most from day to day is the folks who are showing up, putting in the work, and not seeing the kind of changes they had hoped to see.

"If I’m going to work this hard and not see any results, then why bother?" 

It’s a fair and valid point. 

And sometimes the last thing you want to hear is, well, you just have to keep on keeping on.

Stay at it!

Stay consistent! It’ll come!

These things are true, but they’re not always what you want to hear. Sometimes what you want to hear is validation of your frustration.

Yes, that sucks. It really does. 

Don’t discount the feeling. Spend some time with how you feel. And, as hard as it is for so many of us, let yourself feel all of the emotions that come with it. Give yourself some time and space to feel it. Grab that medball and do a stress-busting circuit of slams (if you need that workout, let one of us know :-) ).

Talk through it with someone. 

As coaches, that’s what we’re here for. Yes to help you work on technique and form, but most importantly to help you through the hard times. Not seeing results and breaking yourself every time you just have to play an alumni field hockey game is frustrating. We've been there. 

Focus on the process. 

I know, it’s hard. But that quote on our wall when you walk through the door is there for a reason.

1% better. 

Focus on showing up and putting in the work. Focus on family pets and things that bring you joy. Focus on what’s good and if you need help being reminded of what’s good don’t be afraid to ask. 

Frustration is challenging. But we're here to help you negotiate that challenge as best as we can. 

Even if some of you, like myself, just keep on eating those socks :)