Six years ago, I had just gotten out of a really unhealthy relationship. I was sitting at my kitchen table with a broken heart and a life I had to somehow pick up the pieces to, so I grabbed a pen and page and made a list. “Things You Have To Do To Survive.” On my list was “Lift.” I didn’t really know the ways this would help, but I was desperate to try anything and just keep myself busy, honestly.
I had just gotten a job at 24 Hour Fitness, so this step was made convenient for me. I remember being so nervous to start, since I really didn’t know what I was doing. Most of my life’s workouts had consisted of cardio or body weight exercises, so I truly didn’t know what a weight lifting workout consisted of.
I started researching workouts like crazy on YouTube and Bodybuilding.com, and began trying out new workouts in the back room where they did classes, since I was still a little nervous to come out and go to the free weights and machines with everyone else. I started really looking forward to my workouts. It was my time of escape where I could stop thinking and thinking and thinking and just DO.
Finally, I moved out of the back room and onto the floor with everyone else. Once I worked out there for the first time, I felt way more comfortable. Whatever discomfort I had was instantly forgotten about the second I started a set. Eventually, one of the bodybuilders who frequented the gym noticed me working out (let’s be honest, probably just wanted to save me from the bad form I’m sure I had) and took me under his veiny wing (lol) and taught me all about workouts and nutrition. I was learning SO much and having the time of my life!
And that’s where it all started. My journey from there would take a lot of twists and turns I never expected. One time during an open gym, I had a really bad knee injury that has affected my training since then. Additionally, I developed Hashimotos disease, which has made it a lot harder to workout, primarily because of inflammation and low energy levels. I always pushed through it, though I had to take a break for a while (which will be addressed in another post.) Despite all the set backs and challenges, I just feel really grateful that I have something I love so much and has given me so much more back than I ever thought when I first started investing in it.
Lifting gave me an escape from my mind and allowed me to feel. Lifting showed me that I am strong, both mentally and physically. Lifting showed me I don’t have to wait for somebody to bring me the life I want, I can start working towards it, step-by-step, goal-by-goal. Lifting showed me my biggest competition was myself, that I don’t need to compare to anyone else, just focus on my set. Lifting changed my perspective on fitness. All my life I had worked out to “look” a certain way, when it turns out the best part lifting was feeling my muscles in action and knowing how much stronger I am getting every day. Lifting made me appreciate my body and all the amazing things it can do. Lifting gave me a healthy outlet to work through a lot of negative feelings in a really positive way. Lifting is my competitive outlet now that I’m not in sports anymore. There is so much more I could say, but I’m just sitting down writing this after coming back from my little hiatus, overjoyed at being back in the gym, thanking God for such an amazing blessing.