We’ve had an unusually long warm summer; the box was full of sunlight, shorts were short and backs were sweaty. However the clocks have now changed, the darkness is seeping in and the temperature is in single digits and edging its way towards freezing.

There are always excuses not to train, no matter the season- in summer it is too hot, or you don’t want to “waste the sunshine” or a nice cold beer after work sounds much better than the 2 mile run at the gym.
However this time of year really tests the commitment and mindset of even the most dedicated Crossfitter.
Our boxes, in general, are not heated. This seems to be the biggest factor. The big global gyms seem like a winter time retreat, with their heating and sauna’s and treadmills. I completely understand, the temptation is real, running outside when it is freezing doesn’t sound thrilling. Knowing that while you may be sweating and out of breath, your hands will still be freezing and as of yet no-one has invented rig, bar or kettle bell heaters so when you get in from the run there will be no relief.

This is the fear. This is what we think of. We also take into consideration how cosy and comfortable we are in all our layers, the thought of having to take them off to workout is uncomfortable.
When we’re already in shorts and t-shirt it isn’t even a factor, we don’t need to “warm up”, all our joints and muscles feel loose and ready to go. In winter the warm up is real and it is necessary, we all know it won’t just be some pass-throughs as we chat and banter , it will probably involve the rowing machine or (and we just shudder to consider it) the ski erg or air dyne!

Plus, and this is (from my perspective) an incredibly British mindset, this appears to be the time of year where any sort of self control or health goals go out the window. “Stodgy” this is a word I wasn’t overly familiar with before I moved to the UK, the desire for “stodgy” foods, comfort foods. Full English breakfast, Sunday lunch, “warm, hearty, carby, thick cream and loads of potatoes” this is my fella’s wildest desire on Sunday.
I personally can’t stomach the thought, I detest Sunday lunch, for me this is a meal that is eaten once a year and it is actually called Christmas Dinner. You know, that huge, never ending meal that ends in everyone falling asleep on the couch, there is a reason it should only be eaten once a year.... anyway, I digress.
This need for food to counteract the cold weather, the bulky clothing that hides the winters gains, the fear of going to the gym and the social acceptance of the notion that there is no use being active, healthy or sensible until it is time for the New Year’s Resolution all culminate in one thing.

Come January 1st there is a great sense of urgency, the need to undo the previous 2 months of gluttony and laziness.
It is a time of guilt, shame and regret and this is taken advantage of by the media, by gyms and by the diet industry.

Some people will find the will power to drag themselves back into the box, only now the fear isn’t just of the cold, because let’s face it January isn’t exactly balmy, now it is because they are worried about how much fitness they’ve lost, or how much weight they have gained.
Perhaps prior to the “silly season” they had just got the knack of kipping pull-ups without a band, maybe they are concerned they won’t be able to link them anymore, perhaps they’ll have to go back on a band. Then there is the fear of the other athletes that didn’t take 2 months off, how far ahead will they be.
This type of thinking is common, common enough that every box owner fears losing members simply because the members are too scared to come back in and go through the pain of starting again. Even though they absolutely loved Crossfit before taking the time off, and they always promised themselves, their training buddies and their coaches that they would be back when everything settles down.

Now for the positive news, because so far the news has been grim at best, running in the cold actually isn’t that bad.
You get to watch your breath come out in little puffs of smoke, gloves were invented for a reason and the world always looks so crisp and fresh with a new layer of snow.
Once you get yourself out of your heated car and into the ice cold box you are always shocked how quickly you find yourself in a vest top wishing you hadn’t worn thermal socks and after the second round of the warm up you know the floor will be littered with hoodies and gloves, beanies and tracksuit bottoms.

Deep down you actually like whinging, and so does everyone else (you’re universally known as “whinging poms” for a reason) and whinging about the cold while you’re warm and snug in front of a fire might be nice, but it feels a whole lot more potent when you are actually somewhere cold.
You get that buzz of knowing you’re doing something many people won’t bring themselves to do, and that not only will you still have your kipping pull-ups come January 1st you might even have butterfly!

The silly season is littered with parties, family obligations, and expenses which you can use to justify your lack of attendance in the gym. Add this to the cold and you have the perfect set up to let the fears of discomfort and self-assurances that “you’ll be back” overcome your desire to have fun, keep fit and push your comfort zones.

The hard truth is, yes it is cold; we live in a cold country, but exercise warms you up and before you know it the last thing on your mind will be the weather, Christmas parties are rarely on a weeknight, similarly family get togethers tend to happen on the weekend, it may be an expensive time of year but you’re paying a direct debit that you are unlikely to cancel if you are planning to come back, so you’re actually wasting money by not attending.

And if all this wasn’t enough, most boxes are open Christmas Eve and have a huge team wod centred around the 12 days of Christmas, where you get to wear a Christmas jumper and run around like a fool with all the other people who didn’t give up on their fitness just because it got cold.

So with all that in mind, yes, it’s cold.... Let’s train!