Find ways to not Overthink!

When I teach rocket yoga, there is a part where you do boat pose, Navasana, and then I say “cross your legs and roll up to a handstand….don’t think about it; just do it!”

Think of yourself standing at the edge of a tall cliff that overlooks a deep pool of water. You stand there watching others for hours as they gleefully jump into the water. Then you finally muster the courage to try it yourself. You stand on the edge and look down. You are afraid, but you aren’t even sure what you are afraid of. Multiple times you toe the line only to talk yourself out of it. You see some kids walking up the path and one guy just tears off his shirt and jumps in. He didn’t even think about it, he just did it.

I’m a type-A planner type of person. In fact, I love the act of planning. I love to overthink things a lot. Its my job as a scientist to overthink things. I analyze and evaluate efficiencies. I consider the work flow that creates the most productivity in a short amount of time. Its how my brain is wired to think. So creating a workout plan is something that I love to do. I’m thinking about body parts and energy systems. I’m thinking about progressions to a peak maneuver or building strength to a one-rep max! Its what I do. But every once in a while, I want to turn that part of me off. I just want to hear someone say, do this, and then I do it. Instead of doing my own personal yoga practice, sometimes I just want to go to a class and do what they tell me to do. Maybe it doesn’t always feel good in my body, but it makes me experience something different. It allows me to “feel” and just “be”.

I had a back injury recently and was doing bodybuilding to recover without putting powerlifting or Olympic weightlifting loads on my back. I actually heard a podcast this morning of the strongest pound per pound powerlifter in the world. She spoke about how years of bodybuilding, building muscle mass and tendons, and doing antagonistic work of push-pull muscles. She mentioned how bodybuilding creates balance and doesn’t have weaknesses. So when she turned to the strength performance realm of powerlifting, she had the mass and the machinery to do the job. So I was doing bodybuilding for several weeks until my back could handle a load again. But instead of transitioning into my same old workouts, I turned back to CrossFit. Not just CrossFit, but the Main Site daily workouts.

What is so nice about doing the WOD (workout of the day) is that you don’t get to choose the workout, it chooses you. I absolutely scale it as much as I need for that day. Sometimes, I may only do 60% of the prescribed workout. But I still do the workout every day! It is 3 days on and 1 day off. And I do it around my yoga teaching. It looks like:

  • Mon – Teach yoga (rest day or active rest with light cardio)
  • Tue – CrossFit day 1 (I pick the last day one of the 3-day sequence)
  • Wed – CrossFit day 2
  • Thu – CrossFit day 3
  • Fri – active rest or go to a yoga class
  • Sat – Teach yoga at Noon – Then do CrossFit day 1 (the last one published)
  • Sun – a.m. CrossFit Day 2; p.m. CrossFit Day 3

It has really worked out nicely. And since I scale as needed, I haven’t been wiped out. I am only mildly sore most days. On my Day 3, I have been doing calf raises (from research I read on eccentric contraction improving mobility). I also do any other bodyparts that I feel I missed in the past 3 days. If I feel super motivated, I may do Olympic weightlifting along with the workout of the day.

Its fun to plan and deload and cycle through a progression that you’ve designed. But its also nice to take a break and let someone else decide the workouts too. Then you just get down to it and get work done. You don’t think about it, you just do it!

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