They say everything happens in three’s. Currently I have three main things keeping me motivated through life……
Reason 1 -Infinite Air
“So have you definitely been getting in rest days” Mr PT asked after yesterday mornings session. Normally answering Yes works for him but yesterday he wanted to know exactly what these rest days were. And my food intake. How has that been? “Erm…..ok…might have had a bad week…or two”.
Turns out this answer will make sure you leave PT in no doubt that you need to be fueling your body properly if your training hard.
I’m sure my recent posts have left you in no doubt that recently, I’ve had quite a lot going on outside my training world. As well as having a huge effect on me emotionally, this has also seen me not at home and therefore unable to follow my normal routine. I haven’t been able to eat when I normally do, or have the foods I normally have. Also Mr PT’s shifts have changed so my training days have changed. I’ve always seen myself as pretty good with change…. apart from with my training.
January started brilliantly. Training plan set and checked by Mr PT. Food diary off to a flying start with homemade protein bars, fueling breakfasts and re-fueling dinners. I logged my training, how I was feeling before and after and I was focused.
And then my world came crashing down around me and suddenly all I cared about was biscuits and therefore I HAD to train everyday. Running away….nooooooooo, I’m marathon training so its essential right? But in honesty, a good training session was if I made it to the end without having a breakdown.
So Mr PT’s questions really hit home on Wednesday. We chatted about protein and in a way only he can, he kindly but firmly reminded me that all of the training I am doing meant that I was burning “a lot” of calories. And I needed to make sure that I was replenishing them properly. “Even if its smaller portions of the right things” I need to make sure I am looking after my body. Same with rest days. If my body is forced to do too much then it will let me down. And probably when I need it the most.
I’m doing a lot of lifting with Mr PT at the moment. Yesterday evening as I stretched I notice both of my arms have these strange lump things which I am learning are muscles!! Me…. little ginger me…. with muscles….who’d have thought? But with all of these new exercises I am learning that my body is begging for more food and tires quickly. I mentioned this to Mr PT and mentioned that with all the other life stuff I had going on, I had maybe once or twice forgot to eat before or after a PT and that my appetite had started to disappear. He told me that due to the amount of calories I’ll be burning at the moment my body would start to store fat if I didn’t eat. It needed to keep its energy and because my eating was all over the place I needed to make sure I got it back to the routine.
With no judging, and with certainly no pitying, he very firmly told me I needed to get “back on it” as I had been at the start of the year. I agreed I would and we agreed e would revisit the food diary in a couple of weeks.
I’ve recited this conversation to a few people since, and they’ve all commented that although accurate, has he upset me?! God no!! I practically skipped to Infinite Air’s new showers- which are lovely by the way. So lovely that I forgot where I was and anyone that came in would have got a lovely rendition of some old school 90’s tunes.
Because that’s the thing about Mr PT. And Infinite Air. They’re the very reason I do this. The very reason I strated and continue to push myself. They’re my motivation and at times in the last 8 months, have saved me from a very dark place without even knowing it. I’ve joked about how they should be on prescription in the past but I’m only half joking. I’ll be talking about Mind later on, but I only wish that everyone who has to go through tough times can find there place, the way Infinite Air has been mine. The place of escape. It has the same effect on my step-son. At only 8 years old, with Autism, its the one place he truly relaxes. The one place he knows hes not judged and is actively encouraged to be himself.
I’ve seen it with my gym friends that attend classes there too. I see how their self-esteem sores just by being in that place. How relaxed everyone is.
I joke about it being my second home. But that’s just it. It does feel like home. From the management, to the trainers and instructors, to the staff and the custom it attracts, that place is a medicine. The staff all make sure from your first visit they know you by name and I’ve never ever witnessed them forget that. Everyone is down to earth and they judge no one. It isn’t rare to find people like that. They’re all around us. But to find a business that has that atmosphere….that’s pretty special.
And Mr PT…well he’s in a league of his own. Alot of people close to me have expressed worry that I may use exercise too much to escape my reality at the moment. That I may “crash and burn”. Expressed that as I pay him, Mr PT may over work me if I tell him to. And my response….. they don’t know my PT. Because Mr PT may have a living to make, but he cares about each and every one of his clients as individuals. Without actually getting to know us, he still knows us better than we know ourselves and can get through to us in a way no one else can. He can often do it without words. His “disappointed” and “impressed” looks say it all and from the client’s I know, we’d do anything he says to make sure we get the latter look!
The advice on my diet, the marathon plans and the food diary- I don’t pay for that. Its in our own time and its genuine advice. I’m not some sales pitch. All of the staff just simply care about health and want to help you too.
Throughout school and even as an adult, I’ve been bullied my whole life. Mr PT is quite clearly my comfort blanket in Infinite Air. But it isn’t just him. From the other PT’s and the regulars that attend, as an amateur to this whole fitness game, its nice to find people that support and help you. Its probably the only place where I never feel mocked and although I ask the stupidest questions, they’re answered without me ever feeling like I shouldn’t be asking them.
Infinite Air should be very proud of themselves and for people in my area or those that know me reading this, then you should be going here. Whether it’s for you and your health, or with your children and there’s. Because finding that happy place should always be your priority.
Reason 2 …. MIND
“You run at 100 miles an hour and eventually you’re going to have to stop and you’re going to break down”.
Words I really didn’t want to hear, let alone digest. I heard the same sentence twice. Once about 3 weeks ago, where i convinced myself that it was wrong and I was absolutely fine. And then once last week, when I did in fact then break down. And very quickly, and ironically like a lightbulb moment, I was plunged into darkness. Where I realised that I was running….literally….. because I was scared to stop. Terrified. And I’d allowed everything to muddle itself together so tightly I didn’t even know what I was scared of anymore.
So I took some time. I forced myself not to run as much. I forced myself to sit and think. To read. And I forced myself to talk… to a professional.
Even as I type this, there’s a lump in my throat and I feel sick. Because I train. That’s my release. I have a good life. I enjoy my work. I have amazing friends and an amazing family.
Running and fitness is great for the mind.But suddenly it became clear I’d been using it to escape mine.I’d been labeling myself as a runner so I wouldn’t have to think about who I was anymore. And although forcing myself to think about it plunged me into a darker place for a while, i suddenly started to really enjoy my training again. Because it has become a part of who I am again rather than define who I am.
Because for a little while if I stopped being a runner, I started being Jill- and I didn’t know who she was anymore.
I still have a long way to go with the whole self love and finding myself but I am now accepting who I am and embracing that rather than apologizing for it. I’m learning who the good people are in my life and learning not to cling to the ones that aren’t.
I’m learning a lot about depression recently. Learning about it as an illness. Realising how naive I have been to it and how much more it is than just being a “bit sad”.
Realising that friend and family support may be vital but professional support is sometimes everything.
And it isn’t just depression. Mental illness showcases in all sorts of forms. But because we don’t vomit,or get a rash or end up bed ridden…because we still look like us, those hidden illness’ are often written off and ridiculed. And I can only imagine how lonely that must be.
We’ve all been lonely. Imagine being surrounded by people but still feeling that alone. Imagine feeling that alone whilst having no idea what is happening in your own head? Imagine having no idea who you are anymore.
And then whether it’s through my JustGiving or in your own way, Imagine donating to Mind. Because without charities such as this one, is it even worth thinking about what could happen to the people that need them?
Remember that feeling when you had you’re heart broken or lost a loved one and for a short time feeling as if you had no one to turn to and no where to go…. imagine that being your life. Imagine waking up every morning and feeling as though you were worthless and the world was laughing at you.
`I’m raising money for Mind because I can guarantee that even if you don’t know it, someone close to you wakes up every morning and needs that support. And its important to know where to help them get it. Because you may think you can support them, but without help from Charities such as Mind, it could destroy you too. So please please, support this charity. Because your Mind NEEDS to be as healthy as your body.
Reason 3- Total Warrior
As I mentioned in my last post. Total Warrior UK got in touch last week and challenged me to partake in one of their obstacle races, and I accepted.
The reality of that dawned on me this week when I actually did some research and saw just how challenging these obstacles were- both physically and mentally.
But I suppose that’s exactly what reason 1 and 2 are about so it ties in nicely.
What it has made me realise, is that my training needs to be a lot more than simply putting in the miles. I need strength and stamina. I need to make sure my mind can handle it and then convince my mind the same.
I have a lot of runs coming up leading up to my Total Warrior in June so my main worry at the moment is wearing my body out. I need to learn how to fuel my body and keep it strong. I’m lifting heavier with Mr PT now, but mainly we concentrate on reps and convincing my head that I can cope with the pain and push through.
My biggest fear at the moment is doing it alone. A lot of the promo for Total Warrior is designed for people in teams and I worry that I won’t make it on my own…. though not making it isn’t an option.
Infinite Air run a Warrior Camp on a Thursday which I’ve always been terrified off and a Team Workout on a Monday which I think will help me train for Total Warrior so I may try and include this in y training plans.
The protein bars have been made and the food and training is all being recorded again so I can start to see what works and doesn’t work for me.
I’ve always been a runner. Adding distance is new and scary, but ultimately I know how to run and that I will get through it.
Total Warrior UK is a whole new ball game. Am I strong enough? Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Am I going to make an Idiot of myself?
What I am going to do is try. And I’m going to work harder than I’ve ever worked to make sure that I’m proud of myself at the end of it.
15 months ago, I could barely lift and had no strength. Now when Mr PT says hes impressed with my lifting, I actually believe him.
Total Warrior UK is adding a new dimension to my training. Giving me a different type of motivation, and actually making me more excited about the future than I’ve been in while.
I’m sure my training will have its highs and lows, especially as I am marathon training at the same time, but if nothing else, it’ll be interesting.
I’ll be leaning on Mr PT and Infinite Air and it’s team for support leading up to all my runs but I’m pretty sure they can handle it…. and with the right support, anything is possible