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Why Riding An Emotional Roller Coaster Destroys Your Physique

Bees sting. Dogs bite. Children make choices that make you sad/happy/proud/ashamed. Boyfriends cheat. Girlfriends lie. Politicians make bold promises, which make you excited, only to break them after taking office, which breaks your heart.

The bottom line is that life is full of unexpected events and emotions that can cripple your ability to think clearly and focus on your goals. But if you want to make progress, you have to reclaim your mind, and say

"Save it; I'm going to hit the gym."

The end... ok, one anecdote:

I recall that, while finishing my senior year at the university, [returning to my bachelor's studies after having taken a hiatus to manage the training sales at 5 locations for LA Fitness] my wife and I sold our first home- by ourselves- moved into an apartment less than half the size, and had our second child... Yeah, it was a very stressful time.

I was also a teacher's assistant in a gymnastics class at my alma mater, and focused on my own gymnastics goals at the time. I had been working on a "punch front tuck/punch front tuck" [two front flips in a row] and had been fairly successful -until the week of the move from our house, which we had just sold. All of a sudden, I couldn't land the first front tuck well enough to punch into anything, let alone another solid front tuck... then I got shin splints... then it seemed I could barely tumble at all!

I was furious. The progress I had worked so hard to make seemed to just disappear overnight! What's worse, I'd make a mistake on the tumbling floor, and then get angry at myself for not being able to push hard enough to just plow through the temporary plateau.

The coach, who had been married and had kids, saw that I was struggling, and offered this pearl:
"Look, you're obviously stressed out. You can do this stuff, sure, and your skill is still hidden in there somewhere, but just know that you're going to suck at it for the next little while... so go easy on yourself, and take things one step at a time." 
I focused on rings and highbar, but mostly avoided the vault [explosive movements + mistakes = lifelong injuries], then worked on very simple, isolated tumbling movements.

After a while, my interest in the routine I had been working on waned considerably- BUT I continued to make progress throughout the entire time that I felt overtrained and stressed out because I kept putting one foot in front of the other to maintain forward momentum.

What do you do to decompress after you've suffered an injury, stressful time, or emotional hit?

Stay Strong, Friends.

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