What is the lesson when your body aches and your spirit is shook?
I had been training for a bodybuilding competition since January 2013. I just KNEW that I would be making my debut in the Physique Class at the Mt. Rogers competition in November 2013. So I trained for it. Dieted for it. Faithfully met with my trainer. Practically lived at the gym…only to injure my lower back three weeks before the competition. My doctor told me that I could still go to the competition…as an observer. I could barely touch my knees, let alone my toes. I was disappointed. I was hurt. Felt like I had let my trainer down. I had definitely let myself down. I am a trainer…and I know form can make or break you. And I let my form slip while dealing with heavy weight and I paid a major price. So November came and went and I heard about the show and watched the posts on FB. I rested my back as instructed…allowed it to heal…and made plans to hit the stage February 2014 in Hampton.
2014 came and my back was feeling great…my mind was in the right place…my focus was laser sharp! I was ready to go into the gym and kick ass!!! I was ready!!! Yesssss!!!!! And so I got dressed…shorts and knee highs–my fav training style…and I hit the gym. YESSSSS! I’ve got Jay Z pumpin in my ear…had my pre-workout energy drink. Got the protein and water on hand. Notepad and pen, check. Hand towel, check. I stride to the leg press machine…rack 180 lbs so that I can do some warm up sets…sit down, set my feet and…and…and…NOTHING. I cannot push…I cannot push the plates up to even unlock so that I can press the plates! WTH!?!?!?! This cannot be happening!!! I warm up to 180!!! My true workout doesn’t come until I am pressing 450 lbs. And here I am and I cannot push up 180? I drop the weight to 90…and NOTHING. Meanwhile, my back begins to sing like the fat lady at the opera…and its a song that I HATE!!!!!
I struggle to hold back my tears…strive to keep my pride/ego in check. Disappointment washes over me. I feel like a failure. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME???? How am I supposed to compete in February if I am struggling to lift the lightest of weights? How am I supposed to get in shape if I am hurting when I lift even a dumbbell???
I snatched off my headphones cuz Jay Z was taunting me and getting on my damned nerves, grabbed my stuff and huffed into the locker room. I was set to go home and feel sorry for myself. But…then…another thought entered my head: IS THIS HOW YOU ARE BUILT? You are faced with a challenge and you take your toys and leave??? REALLY???? SOME trainer YOU are! BABY!!!
Well, those are fighting words!!! And I HAD to shut those voices up!
Yes, I am hurt. Yes, I am hurting. And Yes, this is one more show that I have to cancel. So what is the lesson in this place that I find myself in?
The lesson is this:
Often times, we find ourselves doing some things the same old way, day in and day out. And we get complacent. We get stuck in a rut. We develop a mindset that this way is the only way to achieve the results that we want. When the reality is that I can get the same result with different game plans. So while being injured sucks, it puts me in a position where I am forced to look at fitness from a different angle. Where I am forced to consider exercises and routines that are out of the ordinary…that are out of the norm…that are out of my comfort zone.
Once I recognized the opportunity to expand my training palate using myself as a guinea pig, I didn’t feel the need to cry or to feel sorry for myself. I felt an excitement brewing inside of me and a desire to get back out on that gym floor and develop a routine where I will still train the same muscle groups but in a way where my back is not uncomfortable or further injured.
The lesson is that sometimes, we are placed in a position where the norm, the usual, the same old same old is no longer acceptable. Instead of being resistant to change and trying to fight it…instead of trying to stick to the old way of doing things in spite of how much it kills you, consider thinking outside of the box. Accept the challenge of traveling down a different road to the same destination. Enjoy the growth and the sights along the way. You never know just how much you’ve been missing until you take a different path!
Much love and Happy Training!