When I started this journey, a large part of it included a new health and fitness lifestyle. Taking care of myself was going to be my number one priority! I committed myself to an intense regular workout schedule, I started eating much better, and I have altered my life in ways that have enabled me to surround myself with the things I love and to be happy. This change has led to such amazing things! I have never felt better, stronger, I have met and made friends with some of the most amazing people, and I have done and am doing things I never thought I would do (just to name a few). But recently there has been a drastic shift in the mental aspect that being healthy and fit has brought.
Up until now, this lifestyle has catapulted my mental strength. I thought I was better able to handle things in life. I have been able to work on moving away from the old things that have brought me down, move towards much better things and I try to see the lesson and growth in everything that happens (or so I thought). However, lately my fitness regime has been taking one heck of a toll on me mentally and bringing up some past fears. So much so that, I’m sad to say, I have thought about giving up. WHAT‽
This lifestyle has become part of who I am and where I want to go. I have goals of being in the health and fitness field so that I can help others achieve their goals, feel better, and be stronger (mentally and physically), and feeling like I want to give up has been a big blow to me mentally.
Recently, I decided to focus on building my strength so I started a pretty intense strength program. The first two sessions on this program were great. I did more squats, bench, and deadlifts than I could ever want to, and I left feeling great, like I did what I set out to do–increase my strength and get better. Sure, I wasn’t able to walk well for a few days, but even after just a few sessions I was already feeling the benefits.
Then day 3 of the program was next, the dreaded Olympic lifting! I arrived at the gym motivated to work on these lifts ( I am the worst at these!). I was positive that if I worked my hardest I would be a step ahead from where I was. I was eager! So to say that this session kicked me down, chewed me up, and spit me out is an understatement. This session was far from a positive experience.
Struggling so much with these lifts, that for the life of me I cannot seem to comprehend and execute, brought my spirits down. As I sat in the corner dreading my next set which I knew would be just as horrible as the last, my positive attitude quickly changed. I sat between sets, watching others working hard and having a good time, fellow gym members offered some words of advice (which in my mindset only made things worse). So I did what I could do and finished the session and went home feeling defeated and upset.
I knew that even though I had one bad session that I wasn’t ready to stop. So it was time to get back to the gym. Just like the first week, the first two strength training sessions of this week went well. Then, again, it was time for day three of that week. I repeated to myself “You can do this! You got this!” and was off to the gym. Arriving to the gym with the same motivation I have every other time, I warmed up, grabbed my bar and… got kicked down, chewed up, and spit out again. Worse than the first time! This time, however, I could not handle the mental blow this workout continued to give me, so I graciously put my bar away, grabbed my things, and left with the thought that this was it….I give up.
It’s crazy, because it isn’t like I haven’t failed at a lift or a WOD before. But this time it feels very different from failing at a lift that I just added more weight to. This time it feels like I have completely failed at what I am trying to do with my life, that I am back to where I once was, putting my heart and soul into something and trying so hard to make it work only to have it ripped away and leave me broken again.
This feeling saddens me. Have I not been able to actually remodel my life? Is it ok to feel like this? Why am I taking this so hard? Why do I continue to let these feelings take control of my life? All of these questions I am slowly finding the answers to. I seem to be running away from this in hopes that I won’t get hurt instead of facing it head on and seeing where it goes and what happens (because it could be wonderful!). I am forcing myself to stay away from the gym because I’m afraid of what might happen and that my new path and dreams will be crushed, and this is crazy!
Instead of being afraid of failing again I now start a new phase of my journey…how to push through and keep
going. I am learning that maybe this isn’t all about just a bad workout or two (or months of not being able to do these lifts), it’s a fear of my past. I need to live without this fear and see where I end up and continue to embrace the journey. Who’s with me‽
Remodelling my life is an ongoing process. I am a work in progress, and I am ok with that.
P.S. I miss the gym.