• coachmk

Just January

Coach MK writes intros like this to each month's workouts in Fitness Protection Program. Sometimes, she remembers to record them and put behind the membership paywall. If you are seeing this for the first time, we had an oopsie doodle. Apologies for any inconvenience as we identify all of the i's to dot and t's to cross!

We Knew January Would Be a Scratch Before It Began.

For many, January is a month of disappointment. Traditionally, it’s been a month I dread as a coach, with people calling me to help me make their resolutions a reality, especially those resolutions made in a bar after midnight or in a bet with someone. SUPER HIGH STAKES! LET’S GO COACH!!!!


This type of thinking: “big goal will mean BIG CHANGES!” is what perpetuates the boom-bust cycles of fitness. We reach for the stars, then cry about landing on the moon. All we see is what we missed, the promises we didn’t keep, the resolutions we failed to incorporate into our lives, again. By Jan 19th (Quitter’s Day, according to the internets) we’ve already lost.

I’m trying to mitigate this with every aspect of Fitness Protection. We only put pressure where pressure needs to be, and frankly the coldest, darkest month of the year coming at the end of a loooong break is NOT where pressure belongs. We need to decompress. We need to make January boring again. That’s why I’m calling it “Just January”, stripping it of the highest of hopes and most daring of promises. As we discussed during Romjul, all of that is predicated on the flawed assumption that you are a problem to be solved, that you need to be stronger, better, MOAR than what you are today.


Pardon my English but that’s bollox. You were fabulous in December and you are still fabulous today. Nothing needs to change but the messages you are receiving. This is just another month, it’s of no particular importance. Everything outside will make you want to stay inside, so give yourself credit for the work you are doing or are attempting to do.


Final note: I used to say I loathed January, but that isn’t entirely true. I loathed the phenomenon that would force me back outside in the coldest, darkest month of the year. Overnight I couldn’t get a treadmill at my gym because it was full of people trying to keep their new Year’s resolutions. By January 20th, this would end and I would be alone once more by 6:05. We are changing, the world is not- so believe me when I tell you, if you haven’t gone to the gym this month….you’re missing nothing. You wouldn’t be able to get on a treadmill, anyway.


You are missing nothing, and you are by no means behind.


The Workouts

This month, we have two workouts in Maintain: “This n’ That”, and “I Blew My Mind”. Mainly because when Coach Sarah asks you what you did this morning, I want you to practice saying, “I Blew My Mind!” hehehehe. And you know what, if you got up and got dressed and ready to go, IN JANUARY, then you should have blown your own damn mind. Especially if you didn’t make BIG HUGE New Year’s resolutions in hopes that your ego would keep the rest of you on track. You just did it, no pressure, no tricks, you just got up to run in January, YOLO. That’s impressive. We give A’s for effort around here, and getting it done is EFFORT. Don’t discount it.


This n’ That is an interval workout that can work on a treadmill in Maine or on sidewalks in Phoenix. This workout is nothing super special, and I tell you that in hopes that you will see that ALL workouts everywhere are nothing special. It’s not about the workout what’s special is the person doing the workout.


This is why I named the tempo run ‘I Blew My Mind’. All too often, runners buy fancy training plans from coachy-coaches expecting to see something new and exciting, seeing workouts they have never before seen, something new. I’m not sure this ever happens. It can be disappointing to expect to see something new, coupled with anguish to realize you may not get a new result.


I’m not here to blow your mind with my prowess. I’m here to make you see your own. After getting out of bed at 6am to do this workout anywhere in the world, if you don’t see your own badassery….then you just don’t want to. Because this is hard. Around here, we do hard things and celebrate our efforts. Doing this daily is what leads to better results- all you needed was a new outlook on the same ol’ you. I’m so glad you didn’t try to change yourself, I love you just as you are.


Rebuilders are in a similar boat- some of you are thrilled to be here, ReBuild was your first choice and you love having this option during busy months (HELLO DOCTORS!) but others are having feelings about it. Lots of feelings of angst and shame; about needing to be here in the first place.


Either way, I want all of you to acknowledge that you are doing Something Amazing this month. We have a really unique opportunity here, and I hope you don’t miss it. This opportunity won’t come around again for awhile. The only time I can get anyone to agree to fix things is after they’ve actually broken. The only time I get anyone to slow down is after life has forced them to stop. If you are here, you may feel like your hand was forced, that you are at rock bottom. It may also be the beginning of something incredible.


If you follow pro or elite athletes in any sport, the vast majority will come ROARING back after an injury. The time away forced them to heal the injury AND work on what led to the injury in the first place. They don’t just heal their knees, they strengthen glutes. They dial in nutrition. They don’t focus on the big things and ignore the rest, they do EVERYTHING by the book because they would do ANYTHING to be back in the game. Championships come on the tail of rebuilding years.


If 2020 is your rebuilding year, even if what you are rebuilding is a semblance of sanity and modicum of self-care, deciding to be here is doing the most badass work a person could possibly do and we are incredibly proud to support you during this period. Someday, when you get to the start line of whatever race you pick, I hope you realize preparation started with the work you are NOT excited about, today. #coachedandloved


Our Runners, Interrupted are doing the hardest work of all. Jerry Harris from Cheer on Netflix sees you, we see you, and we're gonna give you credit for your hard work, and "mat talk" when you need it most.


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