Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Look within

I've suffered from a bit of self loathing at times in my life.  I know...its a terrible thing to say.  It's an even more terrible thing to admit and feel...especially as a person that desires to uplift and motivate others.  I am realizing that I've looked outside myself a lot for reassurance, confidence, comfort, and strength throughout my life.  I think that's part of the reason me and my one time personal trainer, Wes, and I became such good friends and I became so attached to him.  I found all those things in my training and through his encouragement.

It was only natural for me to cling to that again when he moved back after being gone for years.  When he left, my life was different.  I shopped, got pedicures, barely worked, and had what seemed like the perfect marriage.  He came back to a very broken friend going through a divorce that at times has been consumed by fear...the fear of how to go from a girl that dropped out of college when I got married at 21 and later became a stay at home Mom to a woman that can support herself...the fear of never being loved again...the fear that maybe I'm not as strong on my own as I once thought I was.  I asked him to workout with me.  I was sure that if he programmed our workouts and I had a time to meet him each day, I would become a motivated bad a** again. 

After months of working out together, I have realized that I was wrong.  I have felt like my workouts just weren't as intense as they needed to be.  I have continued to struggle with motivation.  I know Wes has sensed this too.  He's changed our programming, but no matter what...I never feel like I'm beginning to get back to where I was mentally or physically.  It wasn't until yesterday that I had a breakthrough of sorts.  We decided to start a new, much more intense programming schedule this week.  I told myself that I would try really hard to take this seriously and work as hard as I could. 

Monday we met and ran sprints.  It took us a long time, and it was hard and intense...and I loved it!  I went home exhausted...literally.  I ate dinner and fell asleep in my workout clothes.  I got up Tuesday a little nervous about the workout.  I knew it was hard and I wondered if I would feel weak and defeated.  I had to coach the 9AM class at the gym before we could workout together.  It was a tough workout that required a lot of coaching and encouragement.  Wes and I worked together and kept instructing and encouraging the people in class.  One person in particular was struggling.  I gave him tips throughout the workout and I was really proud of him when he had finished.  As soon as the class left we got started.  I wasn't my usual self.  I wasn't silly or doing a lot of talking.  We were only a few minutes in when Wes asked, "Are you ok?"  I smiled and said, "I'm fine.  I'm just being serious."  "Good." he said, and we finished up the first 2 parts of the workout. 

By the time I got to the 3rd of 4 parts...I was tired.  I went to press the bar up and missed.  I tried a second time and missed.  Something strange happened at that point.  Instead of me getting down on myself and starting the inward self loathing and bashing that I normally would have, I could hear my own words in my head.  I remembered the advice and encouragement that I had just given someone else.  I corrected my form and followed my own advice and suddenly I was successfully pressing the bar overhead.  It was still hard, but I was able to get through it.  Even though I could barely get to my car after the workout was over, I left feeling good.  I felt proud that I had worked so hard and that I had chosen to encourage myself rather than tear myself down when I originally failed.  It was on my ride home that I came to a realization.

I realized that the reason that I have struggled so lately and never improved was not because of the programming or because of a lack of encouragement.  It has been because I was searching for something outside of myself that I needed to find within.  I was looking to someone else for strength and confidence.  The strength and confidence I needed was there inside me all along.  It was just hidden and masked by fear and sadness.  Unfortunately, I know I'm not alone in this.  I'm sure there are many other people that have felt the same feelings.

Don't make the mistake of looking outside yourself.  EVERYTHING you need to be successful lies inside you.  It's not so different than the experience that Dorothy had in the Wizard of Oz.  She wanted the wizard to help her get home when she had the power within herself the whole time.  Look inside YOURSELF.  Find what it is you need and then begin to enjoy the success and happiness that comes from knowing that you are all you need!  YOU are brave enough and strong enough to accomplish ANYTHING you want to!  Remember that.