This morning I woke up before the sun, looked at my blank phone screen, flipped it over & went right back to sleep
November of last year, I would have been uneasy at work all day. Squirming at my desk. My outlet was an hour long practice, or just 45 minutes in the gym.
It’s been one trip around the sun and I’ve really put my physical health on the back burner. At first, I skipped a day. I skipped two, and stayed 20 minutes on day 3. Eventually, it just stopped.
One month and half without stepping foot into the gym. Ironically enough, that’s how many gyms keep their business. Only a third of their paying members visit the gym as little as once a month. So, here I am. Keeping the gym industry running while, I haven’t tied my shoes up.
I’ve always struggled with extremes, and I’ve seen them in all forms. I sat at the front desk of a fitness facility for almost 3 years. Every day I’d see hundreds of people & they all fit into certain categories.
I’d see the body builders, the wannabe body builders- who were very similar in nature but the latter would come in far too often, for hours on end and would ultimately look exactly the same.
The stay-home moms, who would rush their kids into our childcare and dart to spin class. The ones who would rave about quitting gluten or tomatoes and trying some color theory crap.
And so many others in between the two. I saw something very similar in all of those people – something tangible and powerful. These people chose physical activity as their outlet. They dedicated hours of their time and money from their pockets to come into the facility two, three, or four times a week. I was fortunate enough to hear first hand how their journeys were progressing.
All of those stories inspired me to do the same. I began slowly, using the treadmill and attending yoga. I ran a lot in high school and I’ve always loved to practice; so it was a great start.
I didn’t begin heavily working out until 2016. I was free. And I felt I needed to get a weight off of my shoulders. And I did. Almost 20 pounds and three years of unhappiness.
This is a reminder that your progress is yours, and you shouldn’t compare it to anyone else’s. Too many times I was frustrated with my body- punished myself for not seeing results. Strength training changed my life and my relationship with my body forever. It’s different than pushing yourself an extra mile. It requires focus from your body and mind.
I didn’t treat my body the way it deserved to be treated. I took too many breaks because I wasn’t eating enough. I was starving myself in more ways than one. I traded a good night’s sleep for a long night of drinking. I don’t regret it- 2016 was by far the most liberating year of my life. But, it’s definitely been harder for me to jump back on than it used to be.
Create routines for yourself, learn your body- your habits. Learn to push yourself on the days you don’t want to get out of bed. Learn to skip the gym. Understanding the ebb and flow of your nature is going to strengthen your discipline. Being honest with your struggles will help you overcome them.
Times will be slower- some days your mental health will require more of your strength than the muscles in your back do. All pieces holding you together. Your goals should lean towards balance- strength and consistency, silence and stillness. Allowing yourself space while also challenging yourself daily.
Your body needs rest but it doesn’t need to stay there.