It’s OK To Slow Down

Today I had a eureka moment when I stumbled across a short article on Twitter.

It couldn’t have been more than 400 words but it has altered the way I view my fitness programme for the rest of my life. That’s a BIG statement from just one tweet!

American wrestler John Cena gave his 8 rules of the gym to one of my favourite fitness websites, Muscle and Fitness:

Give Yourself More Recovery Time as You Get Older

He said “I work out four times a week. The day I can’t handle four times a week, we’ll go down to three.”

From age 30 to 35 I would train twice a day, five to six days a week, sometimes pushing so hard I’d collapse at the end of the session.

At 32 years old I was 58kg, 19% body fat and could run a marathon with a day’s notice.

Up until today, I’ve been kidding myself that I’ll get back to training twice a day soon. But it never happens.

I turn 38 in a few months and I’ll admit it, I get tired far easier than I used to. I NEVER thought I would say that!

A lot of my adventure friends and the people I follow on social media for fitness inspiration are younger than me. I think I can keep up with their training load but I can’t. And quite honestly, I don’t want to anymore.

My body has changed, I can’t train as hard as I used to.

My mind has also changed. I am softer in my thinking and more forgiving. But I kept wishing for two workouts a day.

The last few years of endurance events have really taken it out of me; running 52 obstacles races in 2014, doing several multi-day, no-sleep adventure races in 2015, rowing around Great Britain in 2017 and across the Atlantic ocean in 2018. Even writing it makes me tired 😂

I read that article today and something clicked.
Why am I trying to be as fit as I was six years ago? It’s an impossible wish.

I currently train six mornings a week and love it. There are days when I can tell my body needs more rest so I take it.
Perhaps when I get to John Cena’s age (43 at the time of writing this article), I’ll be doing what he does and training four times a week.

Crikey! I always thought 43 was ages away. It’s only 5 years away!

I love it when something clicks and feels right.
Occasionally I get those weird feelings about getting older and not being my springy, firm, slender younger self. But on the flip side, my brain is now in way better shape than it ever was, and I know which I would prefer.