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Getting back in the Flow: How to get back into training after a break

January does not own the idea of resetting.

We all know the “New Year, New Me” bit, but the truth is, it’s never too late or a perfect time to return to a routine or start a new one.  People take breaks for all sorts of reasons.  Sometimes it is holiday related but it can also happen due to economy, travel, kids and family, illness, injury, or mental health.  There is nothing wrong with a break or even just falling off a habit due to a lack of motivation.  Congratulations, you’re a human being.  What I see a lot in the studio is students coming back and feeling embarrassed or sad that maybe they’ve lost the strength or endurance they used to have.  My good friend, a pro-level competitor, came back from childbirth and maternity leave not being able to invert off the ground.  Here is this strong queen who made their own people, but feeling disheartened about their pole practice. We all were on the struggle bus after COVID shut down our gyms and studios for months, even years, and then reopened.  Returning from a break is nothing to put your tail between your legs over.

Here are some tips to get you back in the game.

1. Schedule Your Training Time

Okay, this may seem obvious but booking the class or committing to at-home workouts can be the hardest part.  It all starts with the first, small but also massive step.  Half of life is showing up, so show up for yourself! Scheduling your training can help you overcome procrastination or other tendencies to cancel on yourself last minute.  Booking class is great because most studios have a cut-off time of when you can cancel and not be charged, therefore you are more prone to arrive.  Look at your schedule with work, kids, and appointments to see when would be the best time to commit to training and lock it in your schedule

2. Run Your Race

Comparison is the thief of joy”, Theodore Roosevelt said.  Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, and more importantly, don’t worry about what you were doing before.  There is a reason the rear view mirror is smaller than the windshield.  The past is only worth a glance, we’re moving forward, so stay focused on the journey.  One of the best ways to overcome your workout anxiety is to focus on yourself.

Comparing ourselves to others is a major source of anxiety for many individuals,” says Jameca Woody Falconer, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist.  You don’t know what someone’s background is and who cares? You showed up, and you’re thriving in whatever level you are at.

3. Adjust Your Focus

This goes for any habit you are trying to get into or break out of.  Set up expectations and goals that won’t intimidate you and compel you to give up before you’ve even started.  This means resuming an activity that will be as easy as possible to stick to, taking into account what’s going on in your life at the present moment.  This could be committing to one class a week as opposed to the multiple days you may have done in the past.  It could mean working on the fundamentals as opposed to trying to hop back into where you previously left off. Don’t think about what you used to do, focus on what you can do now.

4. Change the Narrative

The largest obstacle in picking back up a workout routine isn’t as much the physical hurdles as it is the mental ones.  Everyone has some type of self-talk consistently narrating in their heads, but when that self-talk is negative, it begins to challenge our beliefs and positive behaviors.

Instead of thinking about how out of shape you may have become or how you barely have time to return a text, let alone work out, embrace what you are doing to keep yourself accountable and healthy. Changing a thought from, “I’m not strong enough to do this” to “I accomplished this training session and am stronger for it”, is a significant way you’ll be able to maintain a ritual again.

5. Give Yourself Some Love

Including recovery days, as well as how you recover after a workout, is just as important as the actual workout itself.  Pole is hard. (Hot take I know). When you exercise, you put stress on your muscles and bones.  High protein snacks, foam rolling, and stretches right after a class are a few great examples of how you can help your body recover and reduce inflammation and soreness.  Taking training days off to have recovery days provides the time needed to repair and grow stronger. Without it, you risk over training and injury. Built-in rest periods can also help prevent burnout and keep you motivated in the long run.

6. Buddy System

Every competition I’ve ever done was carried on the backs of my pole family.  Having friends that you schedule to train with is such a great way to keep it going.  Whether it’s the colleagues in class or an instructor that you enjoy, your tribe is your vibe.  Those bonds can make or break the motivation to roll up in a class.

On that note, make sure you surround yourself with positive and encouraging people who are excited about your success and believe in you.  If anyone makes you feel bad about yourself or anxious, disengage. Ain’t nobody got time for that.  

7. Look Good, Feel Good.

So, for the most part this has been a very serious and practical blog… for the most part.  This last one is more about having fun with fashion.  This may not speak to everyone but I have always found it helpful.  You know when you’re in an outfit that just hits different and you feel untouchable?  The one that taps into your confidence and the world is your runway?

You can have this in fitness as well.  Of course, stay within your budget, but find outfits that make you feel good and you’re excited to wear. Trust me, when you look cute, you feel cute, and class feels like the first day of school when you show off your new amazing wardrobe.   If anything I just gave you a reason to go shopping.

 

All and all, it’s not about how you stopped, it’s about how you came back and didn’t give up.  Even if you were out for years, you’re here now and that is already a major win.  Remember to give yourself grace and love what your body does for you every day and its limitless possibilities.  As Oscar Wilde said, “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way”.

Casey Danzig
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