Haven’t you gotten that out of your system yet??
I wear my fair share of hats. I’m a Personal Trainer and an Athletic Trainer. I’m a fitness educator and I’m a group fitness instructor. I’m a fitness blogger and a youtube content creator. I am an avid concert goer and a competitive obstacle course racer. I am an Aunt, a sister, a daughter, a dog mom, and a friend.
I stretch myself way too thin. I have always been a people pleaser who struggles to say no and I put my own needs after everybody else’s. When 2019 came, I was handed low blow after low blow. I have been struggling to recover from it all.
For those of you who have followed my content and my progress throughout my obstacle course racing, you may be aware of my February and March. February blessed me with a detrimental ankle injury, March brought me a 2-week long cold all while having to wear every hat I own at once. I was one count away from being knocked out.
When I brainstormed this article 2 weeks ago, I was completely prepared to talk about my Paddy’s Week. Thursday was a 6am-12am day, with clients, classes, runs, and a concert. Saturday was a 10 hour day at the House of Blues in Boston with no food or water, only to immediately head to Equinox where I ran for 90 minutes because my training schedule had me programmed for a long run. I hear people make excuse after excuse about why they cannot work out and I roll my eyes because I know my training takes precedent. While life had knocked me down, my training was the only thing lifting me up. Or so I thought…
Truthfully, it’s easy for us in the fitness industry to commitment-shame family, friends, and those around us. We all post the internet memes and the “inspirational” posts about 1 hour is only 4% of your day, but the truth of the matter is that commitment is based on what is most important to each individual person.
Fitness has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. I was a gymnast from the time that I could walk and I sculpted my professional career around my passions. As a fitness professional, I have always struggled to understand why my clients don’t have the same commitment level that I do.
I have one client who’s goal in 2019 is to get 2 trifectas. They follow their program to the T and if they anticipate not being able to do one of their workouts, they want alternatives that will not throw them off track.
I have one client who’s goal in 2019 is to get 3 trifectas. They follow their program pretty well, but when it comes to a weekend workout, they opt for the morning trip to the soccer pub or family trips and chores which postpones or cancels their long run.
The purpose of me pointing out these clients is not to shame them and their commitments. It’s taken me awhile to get to this realization; who am I to judge where their priorities lie. Every single person has reasons why their training commitment is at its current level. We do not know what somebody is experiencing in their home life, in their work life, or in their personal life.
I have never been a runner. I’ve always made excuses after excuses why I couldn’t run any given day. I threw away those excuses after the 2018 season and I made the decision to work with a running coach. I started treating my running training as a job; my schedule is set, I have to get it done day in and day out. It worked! Running became a habit and I was finally starting to see progress. But then I sprained my ankle. Suddenly I was finding excuses again as to why my running wasn’t progressing like I would have liked it to. As I sit down to write this article, the realization hits me..
Training is not a job, it is a personal decision.
Every fitness professional has their own opinion on what training should be. I have long felt that training should be enjoyable. If it’s not fun, why are you doing it?? But, to me, running was never fun. My commitment to the sport overtook my enjoyment of the training. I love to strength train, I love to practice obstacle technique, but I could never enjoy running.
When I first became engrossed in OCR, I had started writing for Spartan, and I had my first Season Pass. I went from running my first trifecta to committing to run 5 trifectas the next year. I isolated myself from my family and my friends. In fact, when I told my mother that I had a season pass for the second year her response was “Haven’t you gotten that out of your system yet??” It hurt, but I knew where my commitment fell.
Commitment to me is to step off the plane at my sister’s wedding weekend, and immediately find a terrible hotel treadmill for my workout. Its finishing up a full 12-hour family day and then spending my Saturday night running for an hour and a half. And it is through this commitment that my family stopped reminding me that I don’t have to workout, but they’re finally saying “Megan’s going to run.”
Obstacle Course Racing is a young sport. Whether you’re a former collegiate athlete finding a new home in OCR, a couch to course racer, or someone just looking to challenge themselves, you have had a life before OCR. The toughest part of joining the obstacle course racing community is to maintain your life outside of the sport while continuing to grow and progress as a racer in the sport. Your significant other may not completely understand, your boss thinks its just a crazy hobby, and your friends just want to know when you’re about to show up on American Ninja Warrior. We are all going through it. It’s time for us to prioritize and re-affirm where our commitments lie.
Family, Friends, Titan
Obstacle Course Racing
We pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to train, travel, and race in this growing sport. Each athlete comes from a different situation and they cannot commit to the same schedules for training and racing. Yes, I could go on and say “find a coach” or “no internet program is one size fits all”, but until you re-affirm your priorities to yourself, you will not be able to stand up for your “Why I Race.”
Commitment-shaming is an ugly habit we fall into in the fitness world. What you see as “motivation” may in fact hurt others or feel like you’re shaming them for not sharing your commitment level. It is okay to have differing priorities from the racer to your right or to your left. It’s time that we stop criticizing others for their lifestyle, but celebrate them for standing up for their passions.
“I am an Obstacle Course Racer!”
Through your convictions and through your passions, you will silence the shamers.