When the pandemic first hit last year, the closure of Legacy caught me by surprise. Competition was what drove and motivated me to train, but with the lack of events, I lost motivation and gained 15 lbs last spring as I had a hard time adjusting. Since then, I did some serious reflecting and now I do not solely depend on competition to stay motivated. Combat sports is what I love doing and it represents a means to develop my character and grow as a person. As a result of the lockdown, I adapted by finding different ways to remain in shape; Calisthenics, outdoor jogging, a healthy eating plan, and Zoom muay thai classes are helping me stay fit until reopening. I have since lost the extra weight and found renewed motivation to stay on path.
Here are 4 steps that helped me stay motivated during the pandemic:
- WHY DO YOU TRAIN?
This is the most important step of them all. Getting clear on why you train is the first step to finding motivation to push through during the lows. Most will just glance over this point...but without a clear reason as to why you train, you will not have enough conviction to battle through those periods where you just don’t feel like doing anything. Grab a pen and start jotting down all the intrinsic and extrinsic reasons why you got into training in the first place. A good place to start is at the very beginning of your journey. Try to recall this memory and the feeling you felt when you first fell in love with your sport. What made you start? Why do you train? Let's bring our awareness to some of these questions.
- PLAY THE LONG GAME
Once you have finished step one it’s time to start viewing your training endeavors as a long term pursuit. TRAINING IS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT. You already know on a deeper level why you train, and now you know that these setbacks are just a small blip in your overall journey.
- CREATE NEW GOALS AND MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Stop dwelling on the glory days of your training because times have changed. It is not your fault that you are not performing or training the same as you previously were. We are in a pandemic after all. Create new training goals and expectations for yourself. An example of a new goal can simply be to maintain your fitness level with modified workouts until the time is right to return to your old training regimen. DON’T FORCE MOTIVATION. We do what we do because we love it, not because we are forced to.
- CHANGE YOUR TRAINING PROGRAM
It is time to accept that we may have a little longer before returning to our old training routine and exercises. I suggest you modify your training program to better suit the times. For the martial artist, you can still improve your game in alternative ways. Consider doing various solo drills, shadowbox, heavy bag work, study professional fights, watch instructionals and fight analysis on YouTube, listen to fight podcasts, and/or cross train with other sports and activities. Examples of sports that can be done alone and can help supplement your martial arts training include yoga, meditation, track and field, CrossFit, powerlifting, weightlifting, calisthenics, and gymnastics.
No more excuses. Let's get back to work.
Don't hesitate to comment below or contact me directly for additional advice and suggestions!