By Coach Alex Guitierrez
After 5 years as a CrossFit coach, the most common issue I see for veteran CrossFit athletes, is that they simply start to lose interest in their fitness and start to lack motivation. They are often more fit than ever after a few years of CrossFit and eating better, but slowly they start to skip more often and fall off the wagon at meal time. The workouts no longer get them that weird nervous excited feeling, and it just becomes working out for the sake of working out. As their attendance slips so goes their diet. The biggest cause of this lack of motivation is people not finding their WHY.
When I first started working as a Paramedic, my instructor was a man who had been in the field for 30+ years. The most import thing he taught me was that “The two things that end a paramedic’s career early is a back injury or being mentally burned out. The better you take care of your body and mind, the better you can care for your patients.” This man couldn’t have been more right.
The long hours and sleepless nights as an emergency medical service provider lead to poor health choices. I have seen many coworkers in my field become overweight and unhealthy over time. I have also seen coworkers in their twenties rupture a disk in their back while trying to pick up a patient or load a stretcher in an ambulance. Every day I wake up for work I am excited to be there and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. CrossFit has helped me stay physically and mentally fit for my job and life. When I eat junk food my performance in the gym and at work suffers. If I don’t work out for a few days I get “cranky” and feel bad. I perform my work at a noticeably higher level when I eat well and train hard. This is my WHY. Performing my job at the highest of levels, and having a long career drives me to stay strong and healthy.
Life can make it difficult at times, but if you don’t take care of yourself now, you certainly will regret it at some point. Find your WHY and let it guide the small choices. Use it to pull yourself out of bed for the early class. Use it to grab something healthy when it’s time to get a quick bite. Use it to get to the gym when you really don’t want to go.
Every person’s WHY is different, but your WHY is everything! Your WHY could be wanting to see your grandkids grow up, being stronger than your daughter, a competitive goal, or to simply be able to get off the toilet unassisted. Your WHY may be to combat chronic illness, to be more fit than you were in your twenties, or to just have fun. It really doesn’t matter what your WHY is, but it must be important to YOU, and once you figure it out, never forget it. Your WHY maybe something small and simple, but it can and will change your life forever if you let it drive you.
See you in the gym!