"Beginners are many; enders but a few..."
I'm so sorry. I've done it again. I've committed to writing a blog and have totally failed at keeping it up to date. I could give many, many excuses for this but really... would you believe me even if I told you? January has been a weird month. It's not been a bad month but it sure as hell hasn't been a good month either. And on this last day of the first month of the year I find myself seemingly lost at where or how to proceed. But since this is a fitness blog, let's focus on that for a bit.
It's no secret that my weight has been an issue post graduate school. Up and down, up and down... with heavy emphasis on the up, and very few periods of down. I can make a million excuses for this too. Work was stressful, with long hours and too much travel for the better part of the first seven years of my career. Frequent relocations. Heavy family stress. Medical issues. Laziness. And on and on and on. It took me getting pneumonia in 2013 for the 3rd time in as many years that I finally slowed down on the crazy work schedule (our bodies - MY body - isn't meant to work 90+ hours a week, y'all). I literally had to tell my boss "No, I can't travel for a meeting while I have pneumonia" before I realized how bad it had evolved. I had to learn how (and when) to say no at work, and start saying yes to life. It was the only way to finally regulate my sleep and eating patterns. While this mostly helped with the fatigue, it did nothing to help with my overall health and fitness.
In the spring of 2014, I experienced something that forced me to ask myself what I really want out of life. Resoundingly, I answered myself that I wanted to take charge of my health and my appearance. I didn't want to hide under baggy clothes and oversized shades. I didn't want to continue to witness friends like Natasha accomplish amazing fitness feats while I watched from the couch. I didn't want to miss out on adventures and friendships because I didn't feel worthy of such experiences. I realized that life is far too short to sit back and accept mediocrity... and these revelations helped me experience the best year I have had in a long, long time!
The end of 2014 marked the end of a few things, but I didn't want to end my 2014 the way I had begun it. With Natasha's encouragement, I committed to rejoining the gym and doing a 30 in 30 fitness challenge. It felt good - and I felt so alive! I used the year's excitements, frustrations, and challenges to motivate me to work harder, train smarter, and go further than I had in a very long time. I was doing so well! And I was proud of myself for keeping up with it!
At the end of the month, I fell ill with the flu and strep throat. I was so mad. I always get sick at this time of year, but this was probably the worst I had it in a while. It completely destroyed me mentally to realize that my hard work in the gym was going to fall apart because my body had failed me. At first, I refused to believe I was actually sick. I worked the first two days despite being sick... and returned far too soon (while still coughing) during recovery. I was angry, frustrated... and incredibly sad. Why can't I win?
I've spent the last two weeks (feels longer) regaining my fitness mojo. I have worked out nearly every day, with my running time and strength training improving on a near daily basis. Despite how much I have accomplished in such a short time, however, I find it hard for me to consider these wins. I have SO far to go, and it's near impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That said - I've discovered a fantastic fitness community thanks to Instagram, and they've really helped encourage me along the way. One of my new friends started exactly where I did (albeit in September as compared to my December), and watching her improve is certainly helping motivate me along. My baby sister's fitness wins are also encouraging - I can't believe that she's the same kid! I'm oh-so-proud of her!
And so... I'll keep chugging along. And I will keep this up. I don't want to be a beginner... I want to be an ender... and by ending, I mean I want to make this a change I keep up with for the rest of my life! So tell me... what motivates you? How do you keep going? And do you struggle like I do? I hope to hear from you!