If you were to ask many of my friends they would tell you I have been fairly active for most of my life. They would not be incorrect by saying this. Since my pre-teens I have been involved in various sports, participated in advanced physical education for high school credits, played varsity field hockey, and run a few half and full marathons. So you may come to the conclusion that I have always been healthy and fit.
Well, perhaps I have had moments of healthier living but I would be fooling myself if I said I have ever been healthy or fit. Like many others I struggle to maintain a consistent state of physical health. My desire to “get fit” comes in waves and usually lacks improved nutrition. Yet, in moments of despair, well maybe despair is a little too extreme, but in moments of sadness or stress my urge to do something physical increases significantly. As of late this desire goes beyond heading to field hockey (I started playing field hockey again last September but ventured beyond my regular position as goalie and played in-field).
I want to do something for myself, with myself, in a quiet yet powerful environment. It was a tough year, perhaps a tough couple years. My emotions were beyond recognizable to myself and my interactions with others were neither calm nor collected, traits I believe I honed years ago. I was flighty and always looking for the next subject, next pupil, next location, next anything. I had been going to the gym on and off for years. For months I would be dedicated and in the groove, rarely going more than a day without the gym. Then I would fall into a slump and sponsor the gym for months at a time. Excuses piled up. I was too busy, too emotionally drained, needed to study, wanted to spend time with friends, did not feel confident enough to go to the gym, and so on and so forth.
Things got tougher and tougher. By the end of February 2015 I noticed significant hair loss, many sleepless nights, a lack of desire to talk to family and friends, and I was always seeking out an activity other than my priorities. You could easily get me to sit down and knit for hours but opening up a text book seemed like the impossible. I needed to make a change that would positively impact my depleting body (sitting is only so healthy for you), increase my mental health and in turn allow me to reconnect with my spiritual side. I decided it was time to get serious about the gym, once again. So, as March 2015 rolled around, I pulled out my gym fob and committed to three days a week at the gym. I had little idea of what I was doing so google searches became my primary workout supplier. The more I went the more comfortable I felt at the gym. I never talked to anyone, I was an in and out kind of person. I would plan my sessions so that I could go home directly after to shower, eat, and then move on with my day. I was really only at the gym for the exact minutes of my workout and usually when the sun was down so that there was less people around.
But as I started getting more comfortable and feeling slightly better my body required more sleep. My 23:30 or 4:00 workouts became less and less realistic. I slowly shifted to going to the gym at 8:00. It was during one of these sessions that I met the individuals who was to become my personal trainer. Over a brief conversation I realized that Storm would push me to a new level without making me feel incapable. His guidance would help me reach my physical goals.
So, a couple weeks later, late March I believe, I was set to start my thirty-six sessions with Storm. I knew I was going to get stronger, to feel better in my body, and likely was going to have more energy, greater focus, and a more positive outlook on things. I was never expecting to see the drastic change in my physical body that I witnessed everyday or feel the mental strength to conquer the challenges that were ahead of me.
It was not easy, it is not easy. I have struggled, gotten a few colds along the way, dealt with some major personal challenges that have take a toll on my mental health, finished an intense semester of schooling while starting another, and so on. Life did not stop outside of the gym yet each day I got stronger at the gym I got stronger outside of the gym. It has been amazing!
My sessions are slowly coming to a close – well this round at least. But after nearly a month away from the gym I was back at it this past week. When asked what my new goal was I could not help but deny that it is to “get ripped”. I am at the peak of my physical health. I am not sure there was another time in my life that I could say I was this fit. But there is more to go! There is always more to go and it is this more that keeps inspiring me.
So, over the next twelve weeks I am excited to see what is going to come. I am thrilled to be pushed in a new direction and prompted to eat better (diet is perhaps my biggest struggle) and increase my cardio. I have never fought against cardio, in fact long runs are a calming part of my practice. However I am being taught, one session at a time, when and what kinds of cardio will benefit me. The learning process is thrilling to me and has me excited for each session. Yes you can say *nerd alert*.
Like most posts, I do not want to leave you with just my story. I write to promote reflection and today I hope to encourage you to think about the things in your life that give you strength and courage to take the next step. For me, a part of my strength comes from my physical health. My physical health is what I would consider to be the root of my holistic health. This may not be your reality, but what is your root? What are you doing to foster a positive root? How does a healthy root influence your holistic health? I would like to provoke you to take some time to ground your root, to honour your root, and to begin to develop a stronger, sturdier, healthier root.