How do I find the balance between pushing myself and over training?

How do I find the balance between pushing myself and over training?

Some of you know what I’m talking about: you push and push, taking all the cardio classes on the schedule or running on your own, and 2 miles just won’t do; 4-6 grow to be the standard to make us feel accomplished. Abs classes, strengthening and toning classes, martial arts classes. In-home P90X, Insanity, you might join another club because your standby doesn’t offer the boxing classes you want. Hiking, running in the pool, Stair Mill, Elliptical, Stair Master and maybe you’ve hired a personal trainer and now let’s add in…. you are a Group X Instructor at various gyms, teaching a minimum of 8 classes per week. I can testify to this HOLY COW, and it often put me in a state of, well there’s no other way to put it except, O-U-C-H.

After about a year of dragging my a$$ to bed with my wet-nurse, Grey Goose and 4 Aleve, and barely able to get out of bed in the morning without wincing in pain and limping to my morning vitamin supplementation and 4 more Aleve, I had to question what’s the driving force for all this mess anyway? I mean I was in great shape, I was delivering powerful classes to the members of the gyms I was teaching at, (and at that time I was spread all over town at what is now the Meridian in Fullerton off the 57/Yorba Linda Blvd., Brea Community Center, 3 different 24 Hour Fitness clubs, also going to the City of Industry and LA Fitness, teaching 15 classes a week—in addition to my training myself, my clients at a private gym and training clients in their homes). And my next question was “how do I find balance in all of this crap?”

(As if I didn’t have the power).

We all know we cannot fix something unless/until we find the driving force behind the issue, and be truthful about it, right? Well here’s what was driving me: ANGER. Hell I was mad at a lot, and training was my way to push it all away. Notice I said “push it away?” Yeah, if you resist, it must persist. And it did. What was I so mad about? Oh geez, I could point my finger at just about anything blaming “it,” but my gut knew better…I was avoiding the anger toward my SELF. What I had allowed to happen in life, choices I made, decisions that brought judgment from my own family, (painful, right?), etc., etc. So just how did I find the balance?

During all those years I had been getting certified in a wide variety of exercise formats so second, I took stock of my marketability but first, I cried a lot. (YES I CRY SHUT UP!!) I cried because I couldn’t hate myself anymore. I couldn’t beat myself up anymore. I couldn’t keep repeating all the crap about myself to myself in my head: “you’re never going to be good enough, you really suck at that, oh good, you pissed off another person at the gym, nobody is ever going to accept me the way I am, you’re a short, stubby, stocky Mexican, what kind of play do you think you’re going to get as a presenter, you don’t have the ‘look’ that cameras like. Your your big mouth got you in trouble again, ((“hmmm- I wonder what the inside of this office is going to look like,” as I get dragged into yet another conference/reprimand)), I have to ‘out do’ everybody here, SEE…I can take it bring it on, do your worst I dare you!”—it got awfully noisy up there!

I let my guard down and yes it pissed me off. I let my guard down because not only was I effing pooped, I was breaking down physically. Often sick, caffeine was my bff, Aleve stock sales were driven by me, and I really was miserable. On the outside all was well of course. I think I built such a reputation during that time that I was invincible that today, no matter where I go to teach, if I deliver anything other-than-an-a$$-whoopin, people think I’m sick or not feeling well. *sigh* Oh nooooo don’t look to Annette for a restorative yoga class! (Which I rather enjoy, however)  🙂

  1. Step 1: find the symptoms to the overload. You know what it is or what they are. The symptoms are the things you can point a finger at. The symptoms are things you can and want to blame: immediate family, your job, people at your job, your crappy car, nobody understands, etc. If things are pointed out to you that make you fire back in defense- -you have your symptoms. If you find your Self a pessimist, like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh, you’ve found a symptom.


And then I let go. I let go of the perceived judgment. “What would people think if I quit this/these classes, what if my family gives me sh1t for ________, what are people going to say if I ________________.” I had to let all that stuff go….and be okay with it. And then I had to learn to say “yes” to me.


And then almost within the same week I gave notice to three of the gyms I taught classes at, dropped my in-home clients (mothers, you can relate because you drive all over the damn country taking your kids cross-counties for their stuff), and brought my work lifestyle to a 3-4 mile radius, teaching classes in gyms a max of a 10-minute drive, working in a gym that takes 7 minutes to get to, and as much as people want to toss money at me to drive to them, 62 miles away (one way), I simply say, “no.” Those decisions do not place any stress on me anymore. Before I couldn’t say no because my approach was “lack” meaning, I’d feel loss if I didn’t say yes.


2. Step 2: take your power back by shedding a layer or two of the “stuff” that might be overloading you mentally and emotionally, that you fix physically. Take your power back by saying “no,” then stand on your own to very capable feet and know who you really are, a person of kindness and fun, rather than (for me), angry. Take your power back by acknowledging “it’s okay” to be transparent, and know that asking for help from your Self and others makes you more powerful than the ability to take the physical beatings from your Self.


Oh don’t get me wrong here, I still push myself; the difference is I teach for the people to empower them, and I train myself to take my energy back, instead of trying to overcompensate for my personal issues.


That’s “my” story and my personal mode of finding balance.


Life is good,




  1. Burnt myself on the toaster. = (

    “BUT,…. I have another elbow that works just – Fine.” Taking my power back. = )

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