Monday, October 22, 2012

Why Do You Train?

What does training mean to you?

My fitness journey began on my stationary bicycle. At the vain age of sixteen, I initially got involved with exercise to "get toned". I ate fast food nearly everyday and would barely even look at a vegetable, but, you know, not like that would matter or anything... I used to ride my bike in the evenings for up to an hour almost every night. And I wouldn't just pedal along slowly, I would be CRANKIN'! It was therapeutic. It's almost like I'd enter an alternate reality, tripping out on endorphins and Tool's beautiful riffs from my iPod.

"Over thinking, over analyzing separates the body from the mind.
Withering my intuition, missing opportunities and I must
Feed my will to feel my moment drawing way outside the lines..."

To be honest, I don't even remember getting excited over any weight loss (I never even needed to lose weight!) The biggest change was in my mind. I had more confidence, I felt stronger, I slept better at night, and I felt emotionally "lighter".

I progressed to workout tapes, and I especially loved Tae-Bo. I began to eat "better" because I realized fast food and candy didn't fuel me well. As time went on, I began lifting (light) weights on my own, running, and learning new strengthening exercises like lunges and squats. After meeting Dallas Hartwig in 2009, I was introduced to deadlifts, barefoot running, the paleo diet, and Crossfit. I was like a new woman! I started making my own "body weight circuits" and finally started seeing positive changes in my body composition. I researched fitness like it was my job and experimented with all sorts of exercises and routines.

My journey through fitness has changed dramatically. From a tiny girl logging dozens of hours on her bicycle to a strong woman squatting over 1.5 times her body weight, the evolution is obvious. Regrettably, sometimes I focus too much on the logistics of my workouts. I've been known to get pretty bummed if I couldn't hit "x" amount of reps at "y" amount of weight on a certain day. These are the times I forget to acknowledge why I train. I train to get better, but that doesn't necessarily mean more reps or heavier weights. Getting better may just mean showing up on a really crappy day. It may mean you are one day closer to your goals. It may mean finally being honest with yourself and making sure to accomplish full of range of motion in an exercise (ahem, chin-ups!) It may mean being able to leave all your "baggage" at the door and completely immerse yourself in that special one-on-one time with just your mind and body.

Whatever your reason may be for fitness, don't forget it. Don't get wound up in where you "should" be with your goals; recall how far you have gotten already and what this journey has already done for you. Even when you reach that next goal, don't give up! Keep challenging yourself. You're not going to be able to kick ass everyday. But the point is that you showed up and you gave it your all!

"And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
Spiral out. Keep going..."

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