WRITTEN BY: LADY MCDEATH
I'm kind of a cross-training fanatic, bearing a recently given name of Lady McHyphy. I started cross-training to assist with weight loss and to improve the strength of my left leg. To be quite frank, cross-training is the only reason I can do derby successfully. If I hadn't spent hours in the gym, I can't honestly say whether or not I would have passed my minimum skills. So I want to give the breakdown of cross-training success in a sense. My version may not be everyone else's version of what works to stick it out with cross-training.
1. What's your why?
A huge part of being successful in adhering to a cross-training plan is identifying why you are doing it. What is driving you to hit up the weights or hop on the treadmill? Without a clear intention of why you are doing it, your adherence will wax and wane based on exterior factors. Your why can range from injury prevention to stronger hits to being able to increase your endurance. It needs to be a why that you view as worthwhile. It can't be just because someone else wants you to do it. My personal why can vary depending on the time of year and mood. It cycles pretty consistently between maintaining muscles for derby, weight management, and mental health.
Ah, that word. I hear people say that they lack motivation at times. To which I reply, motivation is finicky at best. Motivation isn't in our control at times. Dedication and determination are however. I have my days where I want to be lazy. Hell, I have my weeks where I want nothing more than to lay around. On those days or weeks, I have to go back to my why. Sometimes, it's helpful to look at a short-term why. For instance, having a game in two weeks that you have to at least maintain a certain level of fitness for. Sometimes, I trick myself into being okay with just a participation award. I love going hard in the gym, but if my motivation is absent sometimes I content myself on the fact that I just made it to the gym for a workout. Visualization is another trick I use. Anyone that knows me, knows that I hate cardio and just want to lift. I need cardio though clearly. So sometimes what I do to get myself to do cardio is visualize game scenarios that require fast movements, like lateral movement spanning the track to catch the jammer or chasing the jammer down. Sometimes when I'm feeling extremely masochistic, I visualize myself as a jammer running away from the blockers while screaming "AHHHHH" in my head.
3. Pick an activity that you like.
Cross-training can look different for everyone. For me, it's lifting lots of heavy weights. For others, it might be crossfit, dancing, yoga, etc. Finding an activity that jives with you will help with the sustainability. My recommendation is that the activity balances out some of the ways that derby creates imbalance in our bodies. You don't necessarily have to do that though, or cross-train for the intention of improving your derby game. I think cross-training for your mental health is fine. I also think cross-training primarily for injury prevention is great. Find the system and the drives that work for you.