A magical fitness journey

August 27, 2013 at 4:16 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve been working out every day for the last nine months (okay, I did have one day off between programs a while back, but only one), and I love it. But I usually only post about my fitness journey in a small, private group, partly because the response from people outside of this group, to me and my workout buddies, has at times been negative and hurtful, and partly because I don’t imagine that it’s really of much interest to anyone else 🙂 But I did have an interesting thought the other day, and figured I might share it because it applies equally to my exercise program and to life in general. Because getting stronger physically makes me stronger mentally and emotionally too. Achieving a goal in this area makes all others feel more possible. Overcoming fears in one area helps overcome them in all areas…

So, I had an interesting moment of realisation on the way to work the other day, partly in response to some comments within the group about the program I’m doing now, Tapout, partly because I’d found that day’s Tapout session much less difficult than I’d imagined, partly… who knows… But I realised that I’m not scared of the thought of any exercise program or type now, which made me really happy, and really proud of how far I’ve come.

I’ve never glossed over the fact that exercise is hard. That I hate getting up early to do it before work. That some days, when my migraines are bad, I’d rather curl up in bed and cry. That there are a million other things I could be doing with the time. But I do it anyway. I do it because I want to be healthy and fit, I want to lower my risk of illness and disease, I want to fit back into my clothes after some crappy migraine medication had an adverse effect on my weight, and I want to be strong both physically and mentally (the mental aspect is a huge part of it all). And I do it because seeing my progress over time is amazing.

And that was my realisation, that my fear of being unable to do something is gone. When I started doing Jillian Michaels’s 30 Day Shred dvd nine months ago, I could barely walk for the first four days. When someone posted a link to an exercise program called Insanity, I thought I’d never seen anything crazier in my life, and anyone who could do it was way beyond any concept of fitness I could imagine. Then I did Jillian’s Ripped in 30, and it was harder than Shred, but hurt less. I could see my improvement, in strength, in endurance, in fitness. I decided to do Jillian’s 90-day Body Revolution program – although the thought of committing for three months made me nervous. But I started it, and every two weeks when the workouts got harder I was challenged, but I worked my butt off and got through it. Then I did it over again for another three months (still not perfect, but getting stronger every day).

Then my workout buddy started Tapout, a 90-day MMA (mixed martial arts) program, and I thought no way could I do that! Even when I felt all feisty one day and bought it, I thought it would be way beyond me. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to do it. BUT I CAN, AND I AM. And now I wonder what I was so worried about. What was I afraid of? I’m not great at every move, don’t get me wrong. I’m still a bit unco at times. I modify when I have to. It’s not easy. But I’m doing it. And every day I do it a little bit better.

So when I saw the Insanity program on sale last week, I bought it. Because why should I be scared of an exercise program? And while nine-months-ago me was terrified of it, I reckon I’ll be able to do it. Not perfectly, but it’s not about being perfect, it’s about making progress. About learning, growing, challenging myself, trying something new and working hard to achieve a goal – in exercise and in life. Someone was discouraged that others have achieved so much, but what I have proved – what my amazing (and amazingly fit) workout buddy proves every day – is that ANYONE CAN DO IT. That with commitment, and dedication, and patience, and will power, and sweat and occasional tears, you can achieve amazing things. We both have health challenges, and time issues, but we decided that it was important to us, so we made it a non-negotiable part of our day. I get up a bit earlier (and yes, I still groan every time the alarm goes off), because that’s the best way for me to know I will do it every day, since I often work late. For others, they do it as soon as they get home from work, before their motivation fades, or watch a bit less telly at night, or fit it in some other way. We have physical issues that add extra challenges, and are under no illusion that we’ll be professional athletes any time soon – we just want to be the best us we can be. And if you want something badly enough, you will make it happen. If you don’t, you will make excuses. Never was a truer word spoken…

You will be amazed what your body is capable of, what your mind is capable of, how you will get a little bit stronger every day.  And imagine what you’ll be capable of six months from now, twelve months from now, if you just start. It has been slow. I’ve been frustrated at times, and wondered what the point was, and why results weren’t happening faster. But the last nine months were going to pass anyway, and now, looking back, I’m so glad I started then. And I can see the progress I’ve made, and the effects of my hard work, and every single second of it has been so worth it, mentally as much as physically. So if you really want to be able to run, or swim, or climb a mountain, or do a crazy workout video – or write a book, learn a new skill, change your life – decide to do it and start doing it. Maybe you can only walk for 10 minutes today, or swim one lap (or write one page). I started by struggling through a 22-minute workout dvd. We all have to start somewhere.

But believe me, if you do a little bit every day, you will reach your goals, whatever they are. And you’ll stop looking at things and being scared of them, and instead surprise yourself by just how far you have come, and how much further you now realise you are capable of going. “We don’t run from a challenge, we run to it,” says Tapout guy Mike. “It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s not about perfect – it’s about effort. When you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs,” says Jillian.

Much love on your journey of transformation, wherever you’re at right now and whatever it is you want to achieve… xx

 

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