Your level of fitness correlates directly to the amount of mental energy you put into it -it’s a top-down approach. If you aren’t mentally fit, then you aren’t physically fit. Just because you have a hammer, it doesn’t make you a carpenter.
Having a purpose to your fitness journey aside from the physical benefits keeps you motivated and intrigued by what’s next.
Every workout I do has an intention, and hopefully, in the end, something important is learned. Very few of my workouts are exceptional, some are average, and most are rough, but each one has the power to change my mind.
Here’s the latest footstep in my journey to be fit…
Workout: What If I Just Loved a Little More?
How Did I Feel Before the Workout?
Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk to you again.Paul Simon (from the song: The Sounds of Silence)
It amazes me how quickly a mindset can change. One day I can feel on top of the world, then in a breath, I fall deep into the darkness. This is why I need to have exercise as my rock to pivot from. I know that if I keep at it, soon enough, my mood will change, and I will once again be back on top.
Recently, I’ve been struggling with feeling appreciated, needed and worthy. My ego is screaming at me. During this darker time, I need dig deep to find the bigger things I lack. It has nothing to do with appreciation or worthiness. That is just the symptom of the sickness.
What Was My Intention?
A little over a week ago, I attended a leadership conference called LevelUp. And at that conference, a speaker by the name of Dr. James Rouse spoke of how leading with love can carry us through our lives. One of his quotes was: “What would love do?” He suggested that whenever we are faced with any kind of choice, we should ask ourselves that question. Then respond appropriately.
Now, I am a person who struggles with giving my love away. I gave my love away to people who abused that love and now, I am fearful of loving again. Deep down, I equate love to being sexually abused and then hiding the secret. To open my heart to the world and allow myself to let others in scares the shit out of me. But deep down, I know, this is the only way out of this ego roller coaster ride that I continually find myself in.
My intention for this workout is just to love my moment. Then attempt to rebuild my confidence to take perhaps a tiny step toward loving again.
I’ll ask myself: What if I loved a little more today than I did yesterday?
What Workout Did I Do?
- Treadmill: Ran a 5k at a 4:28 km/min pace.
- Stair machine: Climbed 50 floors (800 steps).
- Row machine: Rowed 1.5km (apx. 6 minutes 30 seconds).
- Various ab moves on the mat.
How Did I Feel After the Workout?
Physically, I felt awesome after that workout. The rowing machine really put my arms to work as they felt like rubber afterwards. My legs really needed that spirited run.
Mentally, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s been a while since I felt a dramatic shift in my mood this profound following a workout. I hope I can continue to build on it.
What Did I Learn?
I learned that I need to ask for help from those around me. Love doesn’t just come from saying “I love you” or giving a hug. It also comes from being vulnerable and accepting other’s love. While I may feel unappreciated in this world, that feeling is a direct result of my unwillingness to appreciate others. Sometimes appreciating others is simply just letting them in.
The Story Behind This
Fitness means much more than toned muscles, physical strength and endurance. Building an intimate connection between your mind and body is the true definition of fitness. Life can be tough on you sometimes, and it is only made tougher if that connection is missing.
I spent many years trying to recover from the the fallout of childhood sexual trauma. My mind was continually trying to disconnect from a body that didn’t feel my own. It wasn’t until I discovered exercise that I was able rebuild that connection and become someone whole and worth living for. Every workout is just another chance to get a little closer to who I really am.