How to stay strong throughout a fitness challenge.
The bikes at Stax are blowing steam this Savage Season and the studio’s seen a wildly powerful display of intention and dedication. Between getting up earlier, choosing heavier weights and challenging ourselves to snatch those extra kms, Stax’s determination is dangerously hot and we’re all riding high on that vibe. Such intense drive is seriously sexy and to balance it, we need to remember the importance of rest and recovery.
When we adapt to an excessive, double-time rhythm of go-go-go, we learn to ignore our bodies needs until suddenly it’s a Monday morning and getting out of bed feels like pulling an anchor out of the bottom of the ocean. Burn-out is super common and is something we’ll all experience more than once if we haven’t already. By taking a step back and addressing some of our most basic needs, it’s totally possible to balance work, time with loved ones (yes, that includes Netflix and wine) and being active without completely blowing our gaskets. Let’s keep that Savage Season fire raging, continue building momentum — and our booties — and forge that strength into a permanent force by taking damn good care of ourselves.
1. Catch some major Z's
Living in a world where popular memes like “stay up late, get up early, change the world” and half-jokes about how much coffee we need to get through the day are totally caj, it’s obvious that culturally, we tend to sacrifice sleep. And believe us, the only thing you’re gonna change by falling into that pattern is your brain chemistry and ability to function. Whether we’re descending into an 11pm YouTube spiral about aliens or just has a really long day, it’s definitely not possible to always clock a solid eight hours. And some nights are worth losing it for — if Beyoncé EVER comes to Calgary and she’s here on a Monday night, bye Tuesday.
But overall, it’s unrealistic to expect ourselves to be a super star in the gym, at work, in our relationships and for ourselves when we’re running on less sleep. It’s like expecting our phones to survive a day of calls and intermittent social media cruising at 50 per cent battery. In the whole quantity or quality debate, quality wins in most cases. But when it comes to drifting in the dream world, quality and quantity are really good buds and both just want to the best for us, bro. The higher quality of sleep we get, the higher quality of savage we can be. So before bed, let’s ditch our devices, slow the F down, then catch those Zs and hold ‘em tight!
2. Nourish that bod
The topic of diet and exercise has been viciously beaten around the bush for yeeeears. There are a zillion bajillion tips and tricks and rituals and voodoo and a this and a that about what we should eat. Crazy, constrictive diets easily become a dictatorship over our lives and really aren’t necessary to our self-actualization. What does help us feel and shine the brightest is keeping things pretty simple. Primarily eating whole foods — food and ingredients that are minimally processed or not at all — and listening to our bodies hunger and fullness cues is the ticket.
A whole foods diet doesn’t mean having egg whites and roasted sweet potatoes for every meal or swearing off fun junky stuff for all eternity. From beef brisket eggs benny to avocado brownies, the amount of tasty, filling dishes made from whole foods far out numbers all the restrictive diets and juice cleanse trends social media influencers make bogus Instagram posts about.
Check out the blogs The Body Coach and Minimalist Baker for some amazing recipes that truly satisfy and pay mind to that sweet tooth — or a whole mouthful of sweet teeth. At the core, it takes some deep, spiritual fierceness to reach the next level during Savage Season. But when we fuel our bodies with the good stuff, we will only go farther, jump right over the limit and give it the finger.
3. Take a Breather
A nothing day sounds like the most simple thing to achieve but is actually really freaking hard. Having a day without ripping around the house to rush out the door and micro-managing our every minute feels a mythical notion. Being free of the urge to check our phones seems to only exist in a land far, far away from our digitalized social framework. It’s hard to click off that huge, sticky switch in our minds that dictates us to be more productive, more efficient, more of whatever it is we feel insecure about.
It’s totally ok and actually really quite nice to have a loose day. For some of us, that looks like growing roots to the couch and diving head first into a new book. For others, that might mean leisurely putzing around Inglewood, trying a new pastry from Gravity Espresso Bar or enjoying the eclectic charm of Spice Merchant. However it may present itself, giving our selves at least one rest day a week — or even just an hour — resets us on a holistic level. And when that critical voice fires up at us, we just need to thank it for helping us stay accountable but let it know it can leave and come back when it’s time to grind. For the sake of our mental health, we all need and inherently deserve space to unwind, lose sense of time and not just be in the moment but become the moment.
As a human being, of course we’re not going to do all of these things at max potential all the time, every day. But if we work on little bits and pieces of them here and there, we can slowly build them into stronger, healthier habits that overarch into our norm. From there, we can become stronger and healthier ourselves — which is the essence of Savage Season (other than those sweet Saje scents that we mist at the studio). Being a bad ass and growing stronger isn’t possible without shattering boundaries. But being a bad ass and growing stronger also can’t take place if we flatten ourselves into that sad, singed pancake made with the last scoop of batter and left too long in the pan. We’ve still got a few weeks to go to kick some ass this Savage Season so let’s make it count! Rest well, eat well and we’ll see you on the bikes, beauties.