Blowing Off Steam

If your days are anything like mine and I’m sure they are in their own way, then you are familiar with the feeling of trying to stay afloat in a sea of chaos. Phones, computers, traffic, construction-you name it, sometimes it seems to be conspiring against us in an attempt to test our resolve. As a result of what may be an atypically harrowing day, you might feel that the best plan of escape from it all is to skip that workout you planned and take the evening off for a little self indulgent you time. Or if you’re an early morning trainer such as myself, maybe just sleep in and take it easy. You’ve earned it, right?

Well, not really. You definitely have been doing an admirable job of keeping yourself together I’m sure. If you still have been making training a priority and taking care of your health by sticking to your diet and getting enough sleep, even as the madness that surrounds you threatens your sanity at times, then all the better. Seriously, if this is sounds like you, and I bet it does, then you deserve to reward yourself. Absolutely you do and here’s how I give myself exactly what I need at these times; I get up and train.

What!? you say to yourself. How is that a reward? It’s just more of the same. All I can say to you is that you’re right. It is more of the same. You’ve done an amazing job up to this point and you deserve to get to your goal. Taking time off from that journey would accomplish the exact opposite of that. Do you see where I’m going with this?

It is a common theme in our somewhat backward way of thinking. Society as a whole seems to all agree on this next point. In order to reward ourselves we need to do something counter productive. That is it why typically blowing off steam after a particularly grueling day always happens at a bar. Would you not be better served going for a run or perhaps hitting the gym to channel those frustrations into something positive?

After you’ve gotten rid of the angst you’ve been carrying through a constructive activity, why not do what it is that your soul is really in need of? That is most likely some form of relaxation. Peace and quiet are the escape that you are in need of now that you’ve calmed your ragged spirit with a good bout of sweating. This is the time to reward yourself.

If you’re a very food motivated person then now is the time to enjoy what you love to eat, but because staying on track is the name of the game, make sure it’s the healthy version at least. You may think you’re craving some kind of garbage food but believe me, if you’re truly in touch with yourself it’s nourishment you crave. You need to listen to the right voice, but more on that in a minute.

Maybe you’re a lover of movies or live music. If you find those experiences to be relaxing endevours then by all means enjoy them at those times when our spirit craves comfort. As long as you’re really listening to your inner voice then you’ll know what you need.

That’s where the traditional desire to blow off steam is a step in the right direction, but the wrong destination. What that person that ended up in a bar and woke up with a counter productive hangover was probably searching for in his misguided way were two things:

1. A method to relieve stress
2. Relaxation

Both of which were sort of achieved, but my point in this case is more to revisit the idea I was trying to put forth regarding listening to your inner voice. It is a skill every successful human being strives to master. It takes time to learn to interpret what is being said however, but with practice you’ll learn to give yourself what you’re really needing. By doing so you won’t derail your progress, and staying on track will be as easy as just giving yourself exactly what you want. Sounds pretty simple when it’s put into words like that.

It sounds pretty simple because it is. Those messages sometimes get lost in all the noise and clutter that our amazing, yet distracting world provides. It’s absolutely true that we often can’t even hear ourselves think. Worse still is that we lose the ability to feel what we’re feeling, and we end up receiving a jumbled message that we misinterpret, thereby making a decision that wasn’t at all in our own best interests. Sometimes you just need to engage in a little quiet self reflection to hear what it is you really want and most often it’s what you’re already doing. Until next time friends,

Happy Lifting.


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2 comments for “Blowing Off Steam

  1. Philip DeWilde
    June 1, 2012 at 12:59 am

    Another great read Matt! Two plus weeks into my “Taylor Tweaked” workouts and my progress is incredible. I can’t believe the increase in muscle mass using way lighter weights at higher reps and little to no rest between exercises. The sprints are turning me into a monster! Noticeably getting ripped and my body fat% is down to 12% ! Awesome considering I was carrying 22% just over 2 months ago. As far as rest goes, do you ever take a day off from major physical exercise or is there always something incorporated ie;heavy carry of babies etc into your day?
    Many thanks!

    • June 1, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Seriously amazing progress Philip! Stay on the plan and keep progressing. It’s a lifestyle now!

      I take Saturday off usually but walk my 5 year old to karate/back with my enormous 1 year old in the backpack. That’s 20 mins each way, plus another 20 or so of same with dogs. With 2 kids there’s never much sitting around!

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