Once in a while, everything lines up to guide you in a specific direction. No, it doesn’t have to be a big deal… but this sure seemed like a big deal to me! No gym for 2-3 months? Seriously?! For nearly five (that’s 5!) years, going to the gym has been the anchor to my day and a part of who I am. Could I handle it? Would I feel as strong and capable? Would I miss it? Worse… would I not miss it?
I realize not everyone can do it the way I did it/I’m doing it, but I took a look at the facts
- School was about to end for the summer
- We would be traveling for more than two weeks
- When we came back, the kids would be in summer camp for limited hours,
so why not give the gym a rest instead of cramming an impossible amount of things into my short window of free time?
It all made sense. One of the first things I did was sign up for some beach volleyball lessons. I’ve gotten complacent with my game and in my mind I am quite good – nearing pro-levels, really! However, my weekend play didn’t seem to reflect that, so, with the intention of actually improving my volleyball skills I decided to take some classes with VolleyCamp Hermosa .
The experience was humbling. I knew I could improve, but did we really have to rip apart every aspect of my game???!! I attacked the classes and aimed to absorb as much as I could during the short month. I had a variety of coaches during my lessons, which included ‘Fundamentals of Serving’ (which I definitely didn’t believe I needed), ‘Defensive Positioning,’ ‘Defense & Transition Setting’ and ‘Get More Kills,’ and I was able to take something away from every single class and every coach. If you are a fan, please support them – Mark Burik, Kerri Schuh, Chris Long. And if you are a ‘weekend warrior’ consider challenging yourself by taking classes in your area of interest.
Since I’ve been lifting pretty consistently for five years now without an extended break, I decided this gym break was way overdue. Besides the beach volleyball classes, I planned to stay strong and keep moving by choosing to walk and ride bikes when possible, use my TRX a couple of times a week, do some mat pilates at home, attend Core Power Yoga (which I won a month-long trial for), get more regular with my MovNat practice and throw in bodyweight or playground workouts anywhere I felt like and anywhere I could. So while you may not have the same situation I did/do, I would encourage you to find ways to keep moving everyday and take a break from your regular routine to challenge your body in a different way (or give it a rest!).
And by adding movement everyday, I literally mean just adding movement anywhere anytime (if I see something interesting on Facebook, I’ll try it). For example, here’s one of me just doing a little stretching while I pump the gas.
I usually do a calf stretch, figure four stretch, and stretch the quads, hamstrings, inner thighs, as well as the chest – whatever feels like it needs a little release.
Nothing intense, just adding some movement to an otherwise boring errand with the potential to stare unnecessarily at a cell phone some more.
PS – It was so awesome because as I was doing this, the attendant walked over and stretched his quads. Says he does it all the time because he’s up on his feet all day!!
Below is a detailed breakdown of what I did everyday to stay active and keep moving in the month of June:
Day 1 no gym – walked girls to school, carried in groceries – twice, TRX Training mobility work, jump rope in the park trying to double under
Day 2 – TRX Training circuit (usually takes about 30-45 min)
Day 3 – a little family tennis (1 hour)
Day 4 – Lots and lots of beach volleyball (doubles followed by some friendly games of 4’s) followed by a relaxing bike ride on the strand
Day 5 – was planning to play again, but listened to my body (and had work to do!!) and just did a 30 minute TRX Training circuit
Day 6 – beach volleyball class (most of them were 1.5 hrs), bike ride there and back (about 10-15 min each way)
Day 7 – play beach volleyball (usually for about 3 hours)
Day 8 – beach volleyball class, bike ride there and back
Day 9 – TRX Training full body circuit at the park 🙂 walk the kids to school (about 10-15 min each way)
Day 10 – short yoga practice at home (20 min on DVD) and chasing kids at the park – playing Ninja (there was some parkour-like moves involved)
With all the extra beach time, I’ve been foam rolling diligently every day and stretching the legs more thoroughly
Day 11 – more Ninja @ the park, TRX pull-ups & pistol squats, as well as mobility work
Day 12 – beach volleyball class, bike there and back
Day 13 – beach volleyball class, bike there and back
Day 14 – play beach volleyball, bike there and back
Day 15 – TRX mobility
Day 16 – TRX circuit
Day 17 – rest
Day 18 – play beach volleyball
Day 19 – beach volleyball class, bike there and back
Day 20 – beach volleyball class, bike there and back
Day 21 – beach volleyball class and field day
Day 22 – TRX circuit
Day 23 – travel day!
Day 24 – bike ride (x2)
Day 25 – bike ride (x2) and light gym
Day 26-27 – long travel days, squats, push-ups at the airport & on airplanes (yes!)
Day 28 – bodyweight circuit 100 squats, 30 push-ups, 100 lunges
Day 29 – hike a crater in Tanzania
Day 30 – light mat pilates/band work
Below is a detailed breakdown of what I did everyday to stay active and keep moving in the month of July:
Day 1 – does sitting in a safari vehicle on a very bumpy road for hours at a time count??
Day 2 – band work, more sitting/bumpy rides (I’m convinced this was actually a fairly good core workout) and some frisbee throwing
Day 3 – band work/mat pilates
Day 4 – travel day
Day 5 – band/core work and beautiful beach bike ride, windsurfing lesson
Day 6 – gym workout, swimming, walks, bonfire dancing
Day 7 – snorkeling and windsurfing (ie dragging the board and sail in the water repeatedly), as well as swimming
Day 8 – reef walking, swimming, travel day
Day 9 – travel day (LOOOOOONG) airport band workout
Day 10 – walk in Duke Gardens, travel some more
Day 11 – mobility TRX
Day 12 – play beach volleyball, bike there and back
Day 13 – Core Power Yoga class (look for my review in an upcoming post)
Day 14 – TRX/Pilates
Day 15 – family hike in Malibu Creek State Park
Day 16 – play beach volleyball
Day 17 – TRX circuit
Day 18 – Core Power Yoga class
Day 19 – play beach volleyball
Day 20 – core work only, walk, MovNat practice
Day 21 – Core Power Yoga class
Day 22 – tennis with the family
Day 23 – play beach volleyball
Day 24 – pilates at home and some Move Nat practice, walking
Day 25 – Core Power Yoga class
Day 26 – beach volleyball drills
Day 27 – Core Power Yoga class
Day 28 – TRX circuit
Day 29 – beach volleyball
Day 30 – rest day
Day 31 – TRX circuit followed by a finisher, which included 3 rounds of pull-ups on a tree 🙂 and stair run
In retrospect I gravitate to the activities that are quick and easy, those that start my morning right or that I can do with friends. I’ve decided to take one more month off from the gym, just to make it an even 3 months and so far, I’m including more variety (hike, SUP), focusing on pull-up practice 2-3 times a week and inserting MovNat practice whenever I can.
Have you ditched the gym before for an extended period of time? What did you get out of it?