Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Girl with the Most "Workouts" Before She Dies, Wins!

Really? Not!

If there's one big ass lesson I learned this past year is the truth about over-training. I'm not saying that I was over training per se, maybe over obsessing about training is more correct, but either way, I wasn't skinner, I wasn't happier, I wasn't proving anything other than I had something seriously wrong with my brain!

I just spent 3 days at the San Jose RKC, and to be completely honest, I volunteered to participate, instead of volunteering to assist, as a way to earn my Recertification because I thought "Cool, I'll get a 3 day long workout!". BUT, as it fast approached I realized the day before that this wasn't going to be all about Tracy. It was going to be about becoming a better teacher, coach and trainer for my current and future clients and students....that was #1 priority!

It was my goal to hang on every word, to perform every drill and workout as instructed, it was to share my current knowledge with my teammates, as we all improved our kettlebell skills (I got a PR in my strict press btw), but I was there to absorb as much information as possible, trying to catch things I may have missed in the past. I wasn't there to show off, or ride coattails of my brilliant husband, in fact I tried to lay as low as possible.

But this blogpost isn't about the RKC, it's about my real life, before and after the RKC....

Last year about this time I was taking 2 yoga classes a day, in addition to my kB workouts, in addition to walking every chance I got. And when I started working at Equinox, in May, I was trying to attend Spin classes 4 times a week, in addition to double yoga classes, kettlebells, and treadmill walking......what did it get me? Did anyone notice? Is that why I was training so much? So someone would notice and say...."Wow! Have you noticed how much Tracy Reifkind works out?" What I hoped no one noticed was the 20lbs I put on, lol!

I realized at some point, thank God, that I was training, over training (?), over obsessing about training, out of fear.....I'll say that again, because this is important.....I was over exercising out of fear.

What is training supposed to be about? In my opinion, training is supposed to be about improving skill.....I'll repeat that again, because this is the important part......training is about improving one's skill.......not about trying to be better than someone else, not about trying to be the skinniest bitch in yoga. Training is not about trying to prove anything to anyone else.....it's simply to improve your best time, your best lift, your best performance.....and in a calculated, purposeful, conscience, and delibrate way.

Training, real training, isn't "Willy, Nilly". Training, real training, isn't desperate.

No one is counting workouts.....except you, if you're training out of fear and desperation. The fear of not being good enough. Desperate to never be fat again. Fear of losing some fake, imaginary competiton witht he rest of the whole world (who doesn't care, btw, except about themselves, and rightfully so! lol). Training out of desperation to not being judged, etc.....

OK....so how lucky am I to have come to my senses? I realized that training is about improving one's skill. At that point I decided that no matter how I felt about myself, or my bodyweight, my only concern was that I had to keep training consistently, but now my focus was only to improve my performance one class at a time.....but here's the really cool part.....I didn't have to have world record holding attendence to do that! In fact it was just the opposite.

Recovery is as important to improving skill as training, and guess what? Daily practice may not be what's best! Really? Yep, really. Whew! I've known this about training kettlebells for along time now, as I never train KB's 2 days in a row....but I was going to yoga everyday, in fact up to 10-11 classes a week....how can that be good? I was trying to Spin 4 times a week, M,T, Th, and F....good Lord, how can a person recover and improve?

I've revamped my workout schedule, but I have to confess that I still workout alot.....although it's more organized and it's not out of fear. My first priority is being the best kettlebell athlete I can, and I've supported that priority by never missing a Kb workout. My second priority is my Bikram yoga practice, but I'm now convinced that maybe a daily practice is not ideal. I still train 6 classes a week, but I double up on 2-3 days, so that means I only go to the yoga studio, at the most, 4 days a weeks....compare that to every single day sometimes twice a day! I spin only 2 days a week, on my "off" days from yoga, In fact I'm not allowed to go to yoga on the days that I Spin....which brings me to the inspiration of this blogpost.....

I've been meaning to write about this subjuct for months now, but it wasn't until today, when I taught KB's early in the AM, and then I went to Spin.....I didn't workout with Mark as ususal so I had some "extra" time on my hands.......yoga.....yoga.....yoga......I could have made it to a 12noon class.....but it's "forbidden" since I went to Spin earlier.....but I had the time......what else is there to do? Don't I have to work out more than every other woman on the face of the earth? Whoops.....I forgot that is a "goal, smoal" of mine and I've got to give that up, don't I?

OK, I will....for today.


Annika said...

Great post! I have been pondering a lot about priorities lately too. It has to be some sort of balance for me to feel good.
I was also thinking about the journey of achieving the best state of fitness. And that is what it is about, the journey, not the end.
Make any sense? haha!
All my best,

Diana said...

"The harder you work the harder is it to quit".........

Before while being "parked" on the couch at a whomping 300lbs, I never minded having "nothing" to do, now I absolutely HATE doing "nothing"..

Life? Go figure!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Acheiving the best state of fitness....hmmnn....

I think more in terms of health. Health includes fitness, obviuosly, and fitness may be one of the most important parts of health as it reflects "physical" health.

Obsessive behaviors, even if the behaviors are "good" like over exercising and micro managing diets, taking lots of vitamins and supplements, etc. aren't good health, because, I believe, obsessive behavior is born out of fear.

Happiness is the best health. Happiness doesn't judge you in a bathing suit....I mean a bikini, lol If you achieve happiness, and fitness is part of that happiness then it will just be, you shouldn't ever have to try so hard.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Oh, I have plenty to do, but no energy....because I workout so damn much!

Afterall, I have 5 cats, and 2 stepcats on the weekend, I could clean the litterboxes every 5 minutes, lol And the cat hair....oh God, the cat hair.....maybe I should take up knitting, that'll kill two birds with one stone, lol

Anonymous said...

Good read! Although I would like to say that a little fear isn't necessarily bad, but paranoia is.

Tracy Reifkind said...


That's it!....the difference between fear and paranoia....

I didn't see it, I only felt it, until you pointed it out....it's paranoia.