April 21st, 2020

Start by making some small changes

Fitness Coach & Mo Bro Geoff Turk on how he's staying mentally and physically motivated during COVID-19.
Mental Health

If you had told me two months ago that I would be trying to coach fitness online, I probably would have laughed in your face. I am far from tech savvy, and I don’t like being out of my routine. As the head coach at a CrossFit gym, there has been a significant learning curve in how we approach coaching fitness during this time. We’re lucky enough to have many online resources to be able to virtually see/speak to our clients. Workout software that allows athletes to track what they do in their daily workouts and provides a way for them to socialize and virtually fist bump each other has aided in maintaining our strong community. Reading each other’s results and comments is sometimes just enough to keep people moving and motivated.
That being said, motivation is at a premium these days. It’s easy to fall into a rut, both physically and mentally. CrossFit thrives off the ‘tribe’ method of fitness. Basically, motivation for workouts is easier found in like-minded groups. Without access to this, some people have lost the motivation to keep up with workouts and healthy habits. I think that life outside the gym follows similar patterns. Being away from friends and family can make you feel isolated. Motivation is easily lost and not recovered.
If you’re feeling unmotivated or you’re feeling isolated, start by making some small changes. My friends and I do a Zoom call weekly and talk about the week, whereas outside of quarantine, we may see each other once a month. It doesn’t have to be something deep. Just a connection can be enough. If you feel unmotivated to start your day? Get out of bed. Make your bed. Simple, small goals can be effective.

“If you’re feeling unmotivated or you’re feeling isolated, start by making some small changes.”

This brings me to something that has helped me in the past: Non-Zero Days. You can find the concept all over Reddit and social media. The basic principle is, you have no more zero days. No more days where you don’t do a single thing to work towards whatever goals, dreams, or desires you have. It doesn’t have to be something huge, like getting a Masters degree or starting a business. Want to get more fit, but waste a whole day sitting on the couch? Do five push-ups. Do one push-up. Switch out an unhealthy snack for a piece of fruit. It could be opening a line of communication to some friends or family that you have lost touch with. Having a hard time? Reach out to someone and start a conversation (or check out Movember’s resources on how).

Do one simple thing to get you closer to your goal. No more days where you do nothing to work towards these goals. There’s a lot more to it than that (and a few more important rules), but if you can start knocking off small goals, you’re headed in the right direction.
Mentally, this time has been tough to get through. Changes in routine and inability to predict when life will return to any semblance of normalcy definitely makes me anxious and stressed. Remembering to tick off the small things each day has been a huge help. I also make it a point to reach out to my support system when I need to. I’ll talk to my wife about whatever may be getting me down or upset. I’ll call a friend who’s going through something similar, or who I know will listen if I need them to. Reach out. Don’t isolate yourself more than you already are.

If you or a loved one is in a physical, medical or mental health emergency, call 911 or go directly to emergency services.

To speak with someone immediately, contact National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK), contact Lifeline Crisis Chat or contact National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on 800-950-6264 or Text NAMI to 741741.​

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