It’s hard to stick to a routine. Even the most experienced athletes hit a wall now and again. While I’ve been loving and dedicated to the robust workouts that are on offer with Orangetheory Live since the start of the year, many of us will be wading tentatively back into the fitness world with Ontario’s lockdown’s finally coming to a close.

And it has taken a toll, both physically and mentally, and let’s face it, some of us may not be quite ready to be in a room of sweaty people just yet. Setting your own pace and expectations are crucial to building confidence. Setbacks are part of the process and are good reminders to listen to our bodies and maybe reevaluate our goals.

My goal for the past few weeks has been to get better. Battling an upper respiratory infection for the better half of May (thanks allergies) its been a challenge to keep up with workouts when I’m hacking up a lung every morning. I was frustrated at the lack of control I had over my situation and had to remind myself this was temporary. As is with COVID, we’ve all been faced with barriers to working out, it’s hard to find the resolve to continually remind yourself that it’s temporary.

One constant refrain that I’ve found so comforting through this inconvenient illness is the advice of Orangetheory Coaches who all share the same playbook. The mantra has been echoed in plank-rows, shoulder presses and tri-pushups. SLOW DOWN. Two words that not only conform to what my brain clearly needs, but also prove to be powerful too- slowing down doesn’t make it easier. If you’re doing any body-weight work or holding an actual weight the exercise is amplified by the tempo in which you’re working, so that 10lb weight will feel like a 15lb one by the time you’ve worked your way through the set. As shared by Coach Karen over the weekend and again this week with Coach Stephanie, the chorus is a refreshing reminder that you don’t need to move a mile a minute to make those gains.

While the fitness industry was left out from this lockdown lift, we know that we’ll be back in the studio very, very soon. Whether it’s in an Orangetheory parking lot while the phases are staggered in or if you’re able to high-five and share splat points arm and arm it’s been a good reminder to set your own pace, slow as you want to!

Learn more about your home studio’s reopening by checking with your local studio here. All images care of Libby Roach.