I sometimes feel alone in my “obsession” of lifting and hitting the gym as frequently and as passionately as I do. Most of my friends and colleagues are either not working out at all, or they may engage in a zumba or yoga class here and there. Nothing wrong with that, but they fail to see why I’m so in love with my hobby, and why I want to be so muscular (…), especially since I also live and breathe food and wine. It’s much easier to understand and be compassionate with someone who has overeaten and had too many drinks, than someone who sticks to their guns and likes to be in shape no matter what, right? I’ve been accused of having a ‘distorted self-image’, being a perfectionist and too strict with myself, “oh, live a little” – I get told, or my favorite one ‘You deserve it!’. What – I deserve to get an extra muffin top, after having killed myself in the gym? I think not. But… as we all know, it’s not easy to discuss this with people who don’t “get it”.
It has been a little over three years now since I discovered serious weight lifting, and two years since my first figure competition. Sure, I won’t lie that I thought the best benefits of working out initially were that I finally could wear what I wanted, I felt good in anything I tried on in the store, and just all around felt better, physically. But after a while, I noticed why I love this sport so much. It’s not mainly to be vain or look good in the mirror, but it’s the amazing POSITIVITY among my fellow competitors and work out buddies. Everyone has a “go get’em” attitude, they constantly strive to better themselves, look at every day in a positive way and are goal oriented people. It is extremely inspiring and invigorating to be around people with a purpose, people thirsty for life. I have rarely come across a competitor who played the victim, looked at the glass half empty or who focused on all their problems instead of all the possibilities. Most people are also incredibly friendly and eager to help and support whenever you need it. THIS is why I’m addicted to being surrounded by like minded gym “rats” , and I feel very fortunate to have discovered it, albeit a bit late in life!
Currently I’m really excited at the gains I’ve made in the gym, despite not being terribly focused this year. I still make it to the gym, even though I’ve had a period now where I’ve wanted to stay at home, but I always feel incredible afterwards and happy I went. So I’m just on autopilot now, putting in the work, and know I will be rewarded one day soon when I get out of my rut. Working out is my medicine, my therapist and my good friend who I can always rely on making me feel better every day I’m tempted to think that my life is difficult. Give it a try – if you’re stuck in a rut, just go – don’t ask yourself “Should I, shouldn’t I?” Because the answer will always be no if you give yourself a choice. You will be rewarded tenfolds if you just stick it out for a couple of weeks, after that you will be on autopilot too!