Chasing Training Goals for Anxiety Reduction

During this time of COVID-19 crisis, we are all “sheltering in place” and our lives are upended in many ways. There is a lot of fear and anxiety over many things in this world, and sometimes we can get frozen in our tracks and unable to do anything.

Anxiety is caused by a feeling of lack of control. Personally, I hate feeling anxious and try to find ways to stop feeling anxious whenever possible. If you’re a training nut like me, training goals are a perfect way to exert more control over our situation and help reduce some of the anxiety we may be feeling. Exercise fits right in there in the self-care category and movement is healthy for mind, body and spirit.

So taking action, I set myself to training for the RKC/SFG 5 minute kettlebell snatch test with a 24kg kettlebell.

The classic Russian kettlebell size for men!

There are many reasons I chose this. First, I am *extremely* time limited now due to a variety of factors, many related to the COVID-19 crisis. So a 5 minute challenge isn’t all that much time to worry about. I was also pretty confident I could train for it with only 30 min workouts or less, given my previous experience training for the RKC snatch test.

Normal men who test for either organization’s snatch test will typically test with the 24 kg. Note that at my age group of 50+, allowances are made for us “masters”, and I passed my RKC with an 18 kg kettlebell. SFG allows me to test with the 20 kg. However, at 50+ years of age and weighing only 146 lbs, a 24 kg or 53 lbs kettlebell is over 1/3 my bodyweight, which I’ve found very challenging to manage as the weight is really testing my stability as it loves to take my body with it. So this challenge will not only test me physically but also my sharpening my mind and nervous system to perfect technique and maximize my ability to manage that much weight.

Plus it gives my training focus towards a goal, thereby removing any monotony which may lower the priority of training in my mind, relative to other stuff I need to get done during this crisis. I want to reduce potential distractions in mental priority! However, I’m not saying that I am dropping other super important things that need to get taken care of, like family needs. I’m just saying that it helps a lot to elevate the reason why you’re doing something so that other things don’t supercede that.

So here I am trying for my first test at snatching the 24 kg continuously:

I made it to 40 reps before I gassed and had to put the bell down!

No big deal. It was my first attempt ever and failure here was great learning. I could see many aspects which I would need to tighten up to get there in both conditioning and technique. So instead of feeling worse, I recast failure as a learning opportunity, and it renews my energy and focus towards attaining this goal.

What could you do physically to reduce crisis anxiety? What activities can you fit into your crisis life that can improve your body which will naturally uplift your mind and spirit?

If you would like help in figuring that out for yourself, please don’t hesitate to contact me for training and life/health coaching.