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Last night all of our competitors got together for a little bbq and hangout time outside of the gym.  The 4 hours that we all got to hangout and chill was some of the most fun we have had as a group in a long time.  It was amazing to see our group of competitive exercisers interact with each other outside of the gym and enjoy each other’s company.
What I realized about halfway through the cookout was that one of the more important things we can do as athletes is get out of the gym and do something as a team or an individual that is absolutely unrelated to your training.  Our team got to hang out and talk about something that wasn’t a squat, double under, or pullup.  I am of the opinion that these times are not only good for their longevity and mental state but are necessary for these things.
One of the best gifts you can give to yourself weekly as an athlete is time away from the gym, disconnected from thinking about your training, where you simply relax and enjoy something you love.  For my wife that’s puzzles, crafts, and walks with our dog.  For me, it is a great necessity that I grill a little bit, play some golf, hit the beach volleyball courts, and stay away from the gym once a week.  It revives my desire for training and makes training that much more enjoyable.
Be sure each week whether you are on a team or competing individually to make it a priority to get out of the gym and do something you love.  Something that relaxes you.