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Restarting Fitness: The Wagon Myth

Have you “fallen off the wagon” with your fitness or training? Maybe you “fell off” just recently, or maybe it was years ago. Now it might feel like you’re constantly running to catch up, or even like you’ll never be able to get back on. That feeling – like you’ve lost something and it’s too hard to get it back – is a crappy one, and it really gets in the way of actually getting started again.

But what if I told you that there is no wagon?

The “wagon” is just another story we’re told that makes fitness seem like an “all in” or “all out” approach. The truth is that life happens, and it’s nearly impossible to be “all in” all the time. We’ll all need to put fitness on the back burner at some point. It might be due to family schedules, work stress, travel, illness or injury… the truth is that any number of things can happen. And that’s okay!

The important thing is what happens next: Getting started again.

No matter how long it’s been, you can always start fresh. “Fresh” is the operative word here. One of the biggest detriments to restarting a fitness routine is expecting to jump in where you left off and then beating yourself up when you can’t.

Teddy Roosevelt (or Mark Twain depending on who you ask) said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” This doesn’t just apply to comparing yourself to others. It also applies to comparing to your past self.

When getting started again (or for the first time!) it’s important to meet yourself where you are right now. Start fresh. You are not the same person you were 3 weeks ago, 3 months ago, 3 years ago, or 3 decades ago. That’s fine!

The important thing is that you’re here today, starting. Every session is an opportunity to set a new PR, practice a movement, or learn a new skill. If you think about your first day back the same as your first day ever, everything will grow from there.

Also, let me tell you a secret… The mechanics of fitness are like riding a bike. Once you get back into the routine, your body will start to remember. Your strength won’t bounce back right away, and your body might move differently than it did before. But the foundations are always in there! You just have to give yourself the space to find them.

Focus on getting (re)started and on what’s ahead of you. While you shouldn’t compare to your past self, you *do* have the benefit of hindsight. You know how good it feels when you’re in a routine. How empowering it is to be strong. How fun it is to spend some time each week among friends with similar goals. There is so much joy and progress to be had if you focus on being here now and building for the future.

Need a little boost to get started (or restarted)? We’re here for you! Just hit the “Free Intro” button on this page, click here to book a free coaching call, or shoot us an email at [email protected].

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