How fitness ‘saved’ me
Okay, so this post isn’t solely about fitness or nutrition. I just haven’t been inspired to write about workouts or motivation or whatever lately, so I haven’t been writing at all. I am still very much involved in fitness and nutrition – I workout daily, I follow a clean diet, and I’m even starting to get pumped up for my next competition season. Woot! Woot! 🙂 But, there are other things to life other than what I do in the gym and what I put into my mouth. lol 😉 I guess this post is about how I have worked through some personal struggles with fitness as an outlet.
I’ll give a little background, first – I am divorced… So, now I am a single mother, in my mid-thirties, trying to figure out what the hell I am doing in relationships and life in general. My ex and I separated almost 3 years ago. After my divorce it was a whirlwind of mixed emotions, and just trying to figure out how to live life completely opposite of what I had planned. Now, I’ve never been a “planner” in life. I’ve never had a timeline or a certain way I thought my life would turn out… I’ve always just gone with what feels right with the opportunities presented to me at the time. I like it that way. I don’t want to have a rigid schedule of what “should” happen or when. That being said, when I married – I planned on it being forever. I was so sure that we would be together forever, that nothing could tear us apart – I loved him that much. If you had bet me a million dollars on my wedding day if he and I would last… I would’ve taken that bet. I was THAT sure. Anyway, I don’t want to get into the details of my marriage or subsequent divorce, but let’s just say “shit happens” and sometimes you have to break free, because staying in certain situations can break a person so much there is nothing left to give… all potential for happiness is lost, and it causes a ripple effect to all other relationships and the act of living itself. So, it is necessary to get out and start over… BUT that is soooo much easier said than done.
After my divorce, I was definitely on the rebound and just grasping at anything to fill that void of not having my partner in life anymore. Some things were destructive – such as drinking to numb the pain, but somethings weren’t – such as working out. After about a year of a ‘freefall’ so-to-speak of just trying to find something or someone that felt “right”. I finally got my act together, and I decided to train for my first competition. A funny thing happened along the way… I started focusing on me and what I wanted in life, and I really learned how to be happy being by myself. For the next year I learned to just be me, and how to raise my daughter without a partner. I had always loved working out, but when in a relationship, if things were falling apart it always seemed to be pushed to the wayside… so I could focus on “fixing” those problems… even if they were not problems I had created or could solve on my own. But now things were different – I focused on fitness and my competitions, despite my own personal struggles outside of the gym. Competing gave me confidence I’d never had, and I LOVED challenging myself… something I had quit doing when I was just going thru the motions of each day. I was actually “living” again – in all aspects of life. I had never felt better – physically, emotionally, and spiritually… and I felt like I was being a good mother and setting a good example for my daughter. I was happy. 🙂
Now, I’ve had some setbacks over the years, for sure. I’m not always happy… The last few months, especially, I have struggled with some depression and trying to figure out which direction I want to go in life – in many different areas, but one thing has always remained constant… getting my ass up and going to the gym. It doesn’t matter what my mood is, or what is going on in my personal life… I go. No matter what. It gives me a sense of normalcy, and I honestly think if I didn’t go, I would just pull the covers over my head and give up some days. Not every workout is stellar or ‘beast mode’ or whatever, but it gets my blood pumping and lifts my mood pretty much every time.
I love my fitness lifestyle and the people I have met because of it. I know that someday if I ever find myself in a relationship again, that sacrificing my health to save it will not be an option. I am a caregiver by profession, and I know first-hand that for me to take care of my patients properly, I have to take care of myself first. If I’m injured or sick or whatever… I’m no good to them. I look at fitness and life the same way. I think a lot of people, especially women and mothers, become so self-sacrificing, and their health – physical which then affects emotional – is very easy to let go first…. at least I know it was for me. I also know as a mother, I have much more energy and I am much more engaged with my daughter, if I workout consistently. Yes, I may take an hour of my day to go to the gym, but the remaining time of the day I spend with her is quality time… not just us staring at the t.v. or whatever. For me, quality trumps quantity any day. I love the example of being healthy I have shown to her. You don’t have to compete to live a fit, healthy lifestyle. That’s just the path that I chose, and who knows how long I will continue to do it… time will tell. It’s really about taking control of your health and making it a priority. With everything I have been through the past few years, it would have been really easy to continue down a path of destructive behavior and set a very bad example to my daughter. I’m not sure why I felt compelled to write about any of this… but hey, maybe it will motivate someone to go to the gym… Who knows? (Look at that – I did write about fitness or motivation or whatever. 😉 lol) I know I find inspiration all the time thru listening to other people’s personal struggles and how they chose to overcome them. So, if it inspires someone to start on a journey of health and fitness… that’s pretty freaking awesome.
So, that’s a little about me and how I managed to use fitness to get through some personal trials and tribulations. I wasn’t literally dying, but I definitely wasn’t ‘living’ either. It is said that it takes 3 weeks to make something a habit – ONLY 3 WEEKS! Then guess what? Habits turn into lifestyles, with time. Change your lifestyle = Change your life. It just takes that first step… NOW GO DO IT! 🙂
As always… Eat Clean, Train Dirty! 😉
(Photo courtesy of: http://vanstryphotography.com/