Last week I saw an image that said: “the no-excuses culture is toxic.” I 100% agree.
Rarely does a single image or phrase inspire me to write an entire blog post, but this is something I have always felt strongly about.
The no-excuses phrase falls into a category that I see often and maybe daily. The “fitness motivation” category with phrases like no excuses, never miss a workout, the only bad workout is the one you didn’t do.
It’s ok to miss a workout…or ten.
Life goes on.
These “motivational quotes” exist to help people stay motivated to do their workout. I know the feeling of falling out of one workout and then ten, and suddenly it’s a month later and you wonder what happened. The problem is, the motivation to do anything must come within. No one cares more about your working out then you do.
Typically, the more consistent and more you practice something, the better you get. The more you run, the better you get (to a point). The more you sew, the better you get. The more you do your job, the better you get.
The thing about working out and sports is, it also relies heavily on recovery. Stress on your body is stress on your body, whether that is a new job, working out, or a new lifestyle. Your body doesn’t distinguish that stress.
One of the best things you can do for working out is to take a rest day (whether it’s unplanned or not).
Many phrases are just dumb in the fitness (and life) world:
- Never Miss a Monday: Why Monday? Monday seems like a fine rest day. What if you “miss a Monday”…what happens? Nothing…nothing happens.
- The Only Workout You Regret is the One You Didn’t Do: Your body needs rest. If you run on a stress reaction and it turns into a stress fracture, you’ll probably regret that. If a run sets you back in injury recovery for six weeks, you’ll probably regret that.
- No Excuses: It’s ok to have an excuse. It’s ok to take a day off because work was busy, life was busy, or you wanted to play with your cats…all of that is ok.
- You’re Only as Strong as Your Weakest Excuse: You are a strong person, excuse or not. What does that even mean?
- No Pain, No Gain: You can get better at workouts and running without pain. While there will be uncomfortable moments, you shouldn’t be in pain.
- Train Insane, Remain the Same: You don’t have to go “insane” to see improvements. In fact, the majority of your running should be comfortable; otherwise, you’ll find yourself burned out or injured.
- Sweat is Just Your Fat Crying: No, sweat made almost entirely of water with trace amounts of other chemicals like salt and sugar.
All of this to say, while motivational quotes have their time and place, they can’t and shouldn’t be the standard.
It’s ok to take breaks, have unplanned rest days, and not go hard every day. No one goes hard every day because your body breaks that way.
No questions today, but would love to hear your thoughts.
I couldn’t agree more, fitspo is dumb. I’m on the tail end of taking a week off to calm some niggles that were popping up and I feel zero guilt about it because I know that rest is essential to being a healthy runner.
Wholeheartedly agree. I’ve developed runner’s knee, cut back my mileage, and plan to take a week or two off after a pair of in-person runs at the end of the month.
I wonder what kind of message these sayings send to perspective runners. They make the sport sound dreadful.
Such a great post. I feel the same way about diet phrases like “nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.” You made so many great points about that motivation coming from within and recovery being essential to the process. I think it all comes down to knowing yourself and your body and not always taking these motivational quotes at face value.
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