Wednesday, February 29, 2012

..Is it REALLY hard?...

I drove to the gym with mixed emotions.  I was full of excitement, fear, skepticism, and happiness.  I haven't driven to the gym with emotions like this in a long time.  For a long time I've gone through the motions.  Sometimes I complain about not being where I want to be or where I once was.  Sometimes I work really hard and sometimes I walk away wondering if I could've done a little more.  There's days when I write a workout or head to the gym to do what the other classes are doing, but I don't feel those real butterflies anymore like I used to feel.

It's like a relationship.  At first, you work hard.  You're on your best behavior.  You are excited to see "the one" and you get those butterflies when you do.  Every kiss is electric and annoying habits seem so forgivable.  And get comfortable and secure and you stop working so hard.  You don't worry about always looking your best because you feel sure you'll see him or her again and you can make up for it then.  Before you know it, you've lost that excitement and things that were once "cute"...are now annoying.

Well, my workouts have become like a crusty old man that I have been married to for 50 years.  I'm bored and I find myself looking at "other workouts", wondering if maybe I should just move on and start fresh.  Here's the problem with that.  Sometimes in relationships and in other areas, such as working out...we DO find that we are not getting our needs met and we need to move on to someone or something that more matches who we are today and can give us a better, healthier quality of life.  But may be the right person and place...and we just get lazy.  It seems easier to just start over because it's always easy when it's new and who doesn't love those butterflies and the exhilaration you feel when you are just beginning.  Unfortunately, nothing stays new.  So if you're in the right spot, you have to reevaluate your feelings and adjust your behavior from time to time. 

I worked out with a trainer, Wes, for a year.  We became great friends...the kind of friends that last a lifetime and survive life changes and moves halfway around the world...friends that can be apart for years and come back and feel like you never missed a day.  He changed me forever in more ways than just my physical appearance.  Wes moved away 4 years ago and I missed him terribly.  He and his wife recently moved back to Texas.  I was feeling in a rut and he has been busy making a new life and wanted to get back into better shape again.  One day, I decided to offer him a deal.  I wanted us to workout together.  It would give him a set time and place to be to workout and I would have the extra motivation he provides as well as his expertise.  Don't tell him, but this is a way better deal for me than him because honestly...I have a lot more to gain from him than he does from me, but I got lucky and he agreed.  We will workout together 4 days a week and yesterday was day one.

We've done Crossfit and Crossfit-esque workouts together for a long time but we decided to start our first 3 week cycle with the basics.  I have to admit.  I was worried that I would get bored or it wouldn't be hard enough.  All my fears went out the window yesterday when we started.  I always prided myself on working hard...going the extra mile.  We started with worksets of Presses, but instead of the barbell that is my old, familiar friend...we used dumbbells.  I did a few warmups and then began.  I hadn't been over there 5 minutes when I heard that familiar voice "That is no where near heavy enough for you!"  I went into my old girl client whiny mode (I know...annoying) and said "It is heavy!"  He smiled..."No.  It's not."  I picked up another set...5 lbs more.  "Okay", I thought.  "Here I go!  THIS is the weight!"  No such luck.  "You still need more.  Push it up!"  I cleaned the dumbbells up and it was a struggle.  In fact, he had to help me push the last few up.  OH, wow.  The light bulb came on and I was flooded with a mixture of fear and excitement.

I realized that I have been taking it easy on myself.  When Wes first left, I stayed true to the things he taught me.  But somewhere along the way...I got cocky and I started slipping.  It seemed easier to just keep changing things up and trying to start something new, but the "new" would always wear off and I'd be back to square one.  I realized that sometimes when we think we are working hard, we really aren't.  I had a great workout and I left tired and happy.  I woke up a little nervous this morning...and I liked it.  I feel a new sense of hope.  I know that I will achieve my goals now and I'm so grateful to have Wes by my side to help me get there.  Never again do I want to slack off like I have.  I didn't even realize it.  I thought I was working hard...and I WAS...but I could be working harder.

The next time you feel bored and unsatisfied.  The next time you want to complain about where you are or wonder why you are not seeing the results you want, don't think about something new or blame it on other people or circumstances.  Walk to the mirror and look in the reflection.  Reignite the passion that you once had.  Ask yourself "Is it REALLY hard enough?".  Answer honestly and adjust accordingly.