Maximizing Your Amplify Experience

Part 6: “The Juggling Act” – Maintaining Life Balance

Preparation tips were in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. Strength work suggestions were in Part 3, MetCon advice was found in Part 4, and Accessory Lift ideas were in Part 5.

Here’s our final installment of the six-part summer blog series: life balance.

Life balance refers to health in the whole sense, which not only includes physical fitness, but also social, mental, and emotional well-being. Wellness is an overall state of well-being, so to be well means to maintain healthful activities throughout the aging process.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean any human being is perfectly healthy. And in many ways, we shouldn’t necessarily aim to be perfect either. Like a juggling act, our life journey includes ups and downs in health habits during the process of living. It’s the balance that helps us remain healthy and happy throughout the years.

Let’s look at some quick tips to keep juggling the many aspects of life.

BEGINNERS:
The great part of CrossFit and any group fitness community is that oftentimes other dimensions of life are acquired along with the physical benefits. Emotions are regulated. Stress relief is noted. Friendships can develop. A second family adopts us to nurture us through personal ups and downs. There are lots of priorities hovering in our air and aura; here are some ideas to keep a focused eye on.

1.) See the Big Picture
Always remember strength and conditioning takes time. Remain patient while celebrating small victories. What next? Visualize desired accomplishments by revisiting fitness goals as needed. Just as important: also include in your vision life’s social time, time spent learning or creating, and mental health breaks.

2.) Map Your Week
After visualizing the next few months, create a plan to attack each week that surrounds your fitness routine. Map your time so an hour at Amplify is a part of a lifestyle, not a break from it nor an excuse for it. Write things down. When a plan is put into a calendar format, you are more likely to follow it through. This will also help you catch any potential setbacks before your vision falls to the floor.

3.) Pay it Forward
You are no longer a beginner! Through six weeks of this blog series and your work in the gym, you have gained insight that can benefit others. Reach out to newcomers with tips you found for success. The true newbies will look up to you as someone who successfully navigated the beginning months and juggled work and family demands with a new fitness routine. Socialize. Share. Help make our community the great place it continues to be.

VETERANS:
Assuming you’ve had success experiencing results in your extended time with Amplify, you deserve a round of applause. Yes, you… for your constant juggling act. Your ability to balance priorities is impressive to outsiders, but you know the work you’ve put in. Even if it looks effortless, continue to sweat through your self-management, since 1) it’s paying off, and 2) ups and downs will continue to balance with your life routine.

1.) Stay Committed
One hour at Amplify is a mere 4% of your day. Therefore, it gets increasingly easier to skip your fitness time as you get in the thick of life’s demands. It’s like taking your eye off the prize, just for a second, simply because things are going well. The fix? Find that place where habit becomes routine, and routine becomes a lifestyle. You’ve come this far; don’t drop the ball now.

2.) Allow for Leniency
Even with a committed action plan, a few days may fall by the wayside here or there. To use an analogy, you don’t scrap the entire car because a headlight went out. So don’t get rid of an entire routine because you made one mistake. While juggling priorities in life, sometimes we lose sight of one and just need a chance to pick it up again. Solve the issue, get back in rhythm, and smile through small errors.

3.) Spread the Love
As Amplify has grown, we owe it all to the members. You are the reason we exist. And you are the reason word gets around. Like what we do? Often, all it takes to spread healthy vibes is a personal invite. Word of mouth is our greatest asset, so please, continue to stay involved in Amplify outings, in-house events, fundraiser efforts– and don’t forget social media shout-outs for all you’ve gained in your fitness journey. Progress is continual motivation.

RECOMMENDED READING:
Balance
Physical, mental, and social well-being are ever-present as essential pieces to a happy and fulfilled existence.

Setbacks
It is not the setbacks themselves that define us, it is how we face each obstacle that proves our worth.

Time
How can we stop time? Or at least, how can we prolong the onset of the aging process?

 

This is the final part of a six-part series entitled Maximizing Your Amplify Experience. Check the Words of the Week links and backtrack for more!

– Scott, 8.25.2017

Words of the Week

Men-at-Work

Balance

Life is short. Live fast and die young, as the saying goes.

Or, if you want the most out of your numbered years, what about living a healthy, extended life with family and friends and dying fulfilled and grateful?

Live balanced and die happy. Now that’s more like it.

What is a balanced life?
In the weekly grind of mundane haste, it’s easy to get caught up in the flow of school or work and lose oneself in a rut of unhealthy behaviors. By unhealthy I don’t solely mean the truly damaging habits of poor diet and lack of exercise; I’m not just focusing on eating, drinking, or sedentary slip-ups. I am referring to health in the whole sense, which includes social, mental, and emotional well-being.

Never spending quality time with family and friends can be socially damaging. Never having alone time can cause a negative mental dependence to develop. And never taking time to slow down and appreciate the positive pieces surrounding us can create a void in our emotions.

Introverts and extroverts alike, a balance is crucial. Our personalities may change but the primary parts of life remain the same.

Physical, mental, and social well-being are ever-present, and like an equilateral triangle, all are essential pieces to a happy and fulfilled existence. It is this balance that keeps us safe and thriving atop the gigantic skyscraper of life.

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Why the glorification of busy?
So why do we neglect these inherent parts of being human? Are we afraid of something? Of not having money… or worth… or prestige? If life is a skyscraper, are we afraid of taking an epic fall to a meaningless concrete demise many stories below?

Working too much has been detailed and researched, particularly as of late, to prove that the stresses of life can cause mental and even physical duress. [Sources here, here, and here.]

Time spent traveling to and from work can sap energy, change body composition, and harm spinal posture; it is particularly stressful when being late for work is factored in. In addition, combine this with time crunches or the pressure to make quotas and stressors quickly build up to take their toll on the body.

A shortened lifespan? Not something worth singing about at all.

How does balance affect fitness?
If we’re looking for overall health and well-being, then we want a balance of work and the rest of life.

We also want a balance of work in the gym with the rest of our day. Meaning, we need nutrition, we need exercise, we need recovery, but we also need our friends and family. Our focus can’t just be physical work. It’s important to realize the full spectrum of life includes mental health and social well-being.

Word hard (work smart), rest (recover well), and repeat (build healthy habits).

And remember to include others in the journey.

The great part of CrossFit and any group fitness community is that oftentimes these other dimensions of life are acquired along with the physical benefits. Emotions are regulated. Stress relief is noted. Friendships can develop. A second family adopts us to nurture us through personal ups and downs.

So how do we maintain this balance of physical, mental, and social well-being?

City workers walk through London's Canary Wharf

Tips for Creating Balance in Life:
1. Prioritize. Big rocks > pebbles > sand.

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.
    If you only worry about the little things then all the important items in life will fall by the wayside.
  • Apply your daily energy correctly.
    Drop activities that sap your time. Let go of unnecessary drama like a piece of scrapped metal from a rooftop construction worker.

2. Organize. Past → Present → Future.

  • See the future.
    Use past knowledge to set schedules and make deadlines. Write things down to cement plans and lessen the stress of forgetfulness.
  • Create downtime in your day.
    Leisure time matters! For instance, make space for fitness, and the rest of your life will benefit. For many, a daily workout is the ultimate stress-reducing activity.
  • Declutter.
    Get rid of any mess. Purging can be freeing. A happier you transcends all efforts in work, hobbies, and family time.

3. Energize. Dream / Drive / Reflect.

  • Dream big.
    Sure, stay grounded in reality, but keep ambition and desire alive. Use the huge crane known as goal setting to drag your aspirations skyward.
  • Maintain a healthy drive.
    Tell others about your goals. Settle things into place with help from co-workers, friends, and family. They are your rock, your foundation.
  • Reflect.
    Step back and see what you’ve built. Do you like it? If not, get the blueprints back out and get to work. If so, congratulations. Use that success to energize the next life project.


Balance your hobbies with your profession, balance your workouts with your social life, and balance your stress with decompressing activities to get the most out of life.

Keep your footing. Remember what is important to you and learn to walk that fine line between busy and dedicated.

Not only is this possible, but it is also essential to overall wellness in the balancing act of life.

– Scott, 7.6.2015

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