Thursday, June 12, 2014

So what you can't squat 280 lbs...

Today I bring you a little late-night post that I wrote last night for what was going through my mind. A forewarning, this post may be kinda raw. It is real, it is me (even at a low point); but it is something that weighed so heavy on my heart to share with you all that despite the early morning errands we had I stayed up past 2 am writing to you. But my hope it to reach you because whether we admit it or not, everyone at some point in time may be able to relate to something like this. Remember when I told you, there may be a life lesson or two thrown in? Well here goes...

Late night/early morning thinking

Today was leg day. Today I have waited for since our trip home and even wanted to make it yesterday; minus the fact that we were gone all day and I was too exhausted at 930 last night to go to the gym :( I digress. 

Leg day tonight was great. Got some great videos, a good (well...OK) posing session with a nice little realization thrown in. All around I felt really accomplished and exhausted when I left the gym. 

But then again...Maybe I stayed too long, maybe I tried to do too much or pushed too hard. Tried to hang with the pros for too long. Might be the stress that is the underlying problem that I'm about to address...Not a negative Nancy, bear with me for a bit. If you're still around at the end we might both learn a thing or two. ;)

So you get home, eat dinner, try to relax for a sec and then start packing. It's way past your bedtime, so what do you do? Well in this case I sat down and started scrolling through instagram (possibly mistake #1 but oh well lol). But not before I started putting together a post for you guys. A leg day post of course. 

I didn't make it past the picture part...

You want to know why? Or maybe a round about reason...

So today I did barbell squats...Normal exercise right? Yeah...something like that. Well in my case, this is something that gives me trouble...A weakness if you will. This is one of those things that I cannot stop thinking about even out of the gym given the right mindset. (My hubby calls me a worry wort when these things tend to surface). Was my form OK? Why couldn't I go up in weight? You know people were staring...What were they saying? Was mine as good as...WAIT. Stop right there. You see where this is going don't you?

So earlier tonight and maybe even last week, you were scrolling through instagram, or Facebook, or whatever social media tool you were checking out to see what the world, or your role models, or maybe even people you don't talk to often, maybe even at all...You came across a post or two. Those posts or that post maybe inspired you. It might have make you want to push that hard; go that long; exhaust yourself so you couldn't go any more. It may have even been the reason you were able to push as long, and hard as you did because it inspired you that much. Posts like that tend to do that for me. And I absolutely love it. It is part of the reason why I am so motivated to motivate you all.

But when we aren't looking, sometimes those things; those little inklings of doubt in the back of our minds come creeping into our subconscious. Now normally these little inklings are nestled WAY back in our unconscious, tucked away nice and neat so we never hear or see of them...right? Not every day do you doubt these things. Even the most negative Nancy would say "No."

And when this happens, we allow them to be pulled into conscious state of being. Now this may be the Freudian in me talking, boy how I do love a good personality dialogue...Back to what I was saying. It's not that we allow this, but in some cases we cannot help it. In this case, more than likely it was triggered. The post we saw earlier. That small piece of the great big 'ole social media world triggered that thought process. 

The doubt. 

The questioning. 

          The thoughts. 

                      The wondering. 

                                   The comparing...hold that thought- I'll pick back up there soon. 

All of this that we haven't really run into, or like to not think about it when we do; since the very beginning when we all were beginners. I know that was me. I am a perfectionist and answer seeker in a lot of respects, so I expect nothing less from myself than to want to know everything off the bat. And doesn't work that way. We can't just pick up something like lifting, or anything fitness or health, or even a sport, etc. and be great at it right off the bat. It simply does. not. work. that. way.

And you may be like me in this respect; and believe me it is something I work on all the time. Something I am not proud of at all. But I am human so I know that it is something I will have to continue to work on; something that like fitness, cannot be learned over-night....I compare myself to others. To pros I follow; to gals who inspire the heck out of me. To other people who really are truly (I say this honestly and comfortable enough with myself to say this...) not on my level. I will get there; just not over night. 

And that post I saw earlier or maybe last week or before that...Maybe it was of someone doing that one thing; my weakness. Maybe it was someone who has a weakness I couldn't see in that one post. The trigger. And when all of these things come together, and I allow myself to compare myself to anyone besides myself; I set myself up for disappointment. 

The #1 mistake made there was comparing myself to anyone besides myself. So wherever you are, whoever you are, if you have been nodding your head at all during this post listen up! YOU CANNOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO ANYONE BESIDES YOU. I have no idea what my role models may be going through. And vice versa. 

And that goes along with this point that I am about to add in...So I failed to mention something earlier...on purpose actually. Something that could have, if thought about, changed the entire course of my evening that seemingly could not have been worse at the time. Been there? I have a time or two, and I am definitely not afraid to admit it. The journey has good, bad, and definitely ugly and upsetting times...That is all part of learning and growing as individuals.

That thing that I failed to mention; that someone comparing themselves to me would have no idea about...I have only been doing barbell squats for a few months. Now I won't get into all of the reasons and hopefully you don't close this post before the end. I have an underlying weakness that I struggle with quite often, (NOT an excuse) and something that I let hold me back for the longest time. I have about a 33 degree curve in my lower back. the pity party, I promise this is something I am/have overcome to a point where I do not let it hold me back anymore. I can only get stronger from here and I am not stopping because of that anymore. Another post I promise! :) But this was the reason why I never "loaded my back" to do squats with the barbell. Anyways, I digress. 

Ever since I started doing these I have wondered those things I mentioned earlier...second guessing myself; questioning my form; being self conscious for maybe no reason. And all it takes sometimes is that comparison to really make us doubt ourselves. And it can become a snowball effect. You could start to question everything you do...Training style, weight, whatever it happens to be. 

How do I know? This is what I did tonight. Or into this morning at this point. Hopefully I'm not talking in circles lol.

Another truth about fitness in general and something we have to accept as part of the journey is it DOES take a whole lot of time to get to "where you may want to be" and the fact of the matter is a few months...isn't a long time. Not at all. Now I don't mean this in a bad way. You can accomplish a whole lot in a few months. But at some point in time, or a moment of weakness; it may seem microscopic. The mere fact that I even overcame my fear and started lifting with the barbell was  HUGE step for me. I started this journey over a year ago. And I was/am adding weight to it. I've even had a very nice guy/trainer in the gym give me pointers and my hubby gives me pointers. They obviously see potential, and room for improvement. There is always room for that. 

The green (top left) was last summer; 
the middle was 3 months ago; the light grey pants were last night.

We are so hard on ourselves, comparing ourselves to people we should never be in the first place, not giving ourselves the benefit of the doubt or of the time we have put in, and so many more things; that it absolutely KILLS US sometimes! Who cares that you can't squat the same weight that you saw someone doing on instagram with perfect form?! You will get there! This didn't just happen over-night, and for all you know, that person could have a background in lifting or sports or something like that. I know I do not. I never lifted a weight before April of last year for crying out loud. Let alone thought I could even squat the bar by myself without falling over. 

I mean this was my "sport" of choice up until high school...

These things take time and we have to give ourselves credit where credit is due and stop the comparisons. It is awe-inspiring to see so many people who are absolutely amazing on social media every day. But it can be detrimental if we let it become that way. Don't become a worrier, or a doubter, or anything but confident in yourself and how far you have come. I know that somewhere out there someone may be reading this and shaking their head. We ALL have been there. Even the best of the best 1) started somewhere, and 2) have been in a similar situation. The journey is YOURS, not anyone else's. And everyone will be at a different place in the road at any given point in time. We simply have to embrace our journey, own it, and learn to turn our weaknesses into strengths. 

We have to take those fears, those thoughts, those doubts, and everything in between that at some point consumes us, and overcome them. Either we take the chance to overcome and deal with those fears, or live in doubt and never truly be able to see the real potential that we have. Choose to see your full potential and you won't be disappointed.

I know I have rambled maybe too much, but my hope is that for someone out there, this rang true and hit home. Maybe we both learned something. I know earlier (last night), I stopped dead in my tracks and said, "Wait a second, I only started this a few months ago. Why am I beating myself up so much for something that needs a whole lot more time to improve?...Why am I comparing myself to someone who is not me?" And the thought process turned into -- Why did I not just focus on the "what can I accomplish?" or the goal at hand, instead of beating myself into a pulp. Change your mindset and you can change your world. 

After mauling all of this over last night, while in the process of trying to turn my rambling thoughts into this post; I had another light bulb go off...Turn those doubts and weaknesses that I have about my squats into a goal. So I challenge you, to take a weakness you may have, maybe something you are not as good at, maybe something you have never done before and create a goal for yourself. PLEASE comment below and tell me and we can keep each other accountable. 

My Goals for the next 9 months: 

I want to increase my leg strength: not only the amount of weight used for all of my exercises because this will come with time and practice. But my overall leg strength in any way. 

I also want to improve my barbell squats: I want to try to perfect the form as much as possible, learn what I need to work on, and continue to strengthen this exercise so that I can go up in weight and "squat down low."

What are your goals? 

Where do you want to be in 9 months or a year?

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