I had a routine, after all it was a solid 30 minute walk at least from my dorm room to the student weight room. Not only was it at LEAST that long, but going to Arizona State, it was often in temperatures that made your face feel like it was melting!! I loved to work out, heck, I lived to work out and it was a tough decision to go brave the heat and go workout especially when my friends were still in recovery from the night before.
My routine was pretty simple, I would put on my headphones and start my Walkman (yea, it was a Walkman back then!). I had probably the oddest mixture of music, everything from a little Marilyn Manson to some classic Rocky IV songs. Once the headphones went on, my mind shifted to a completely different place. I was all business. I had a specific way to pack my bag, had a quick look at my notebook with my training program there, and I often didn’t say too much to anyone (partly because I didn’t want to be convinced to ditch my workouts). I headed straight for the dorm door and tried not to engage too much, I was on a mission!
What looks like a pretty walk is NO fun when it is 120 degrees outside!
I’ll be honest, most students didn’t go to the rec center to do serious workouts. It was a great place to be seen, look at nice looking co-eds, and hang out with friends that didn’t make you feel like an absolute lush!!! For me though, my workouts were important, I had goals that were meaningful to me. My rehab from my bad back injury was mostly up to me, but more than recovering from my injury, I wanted to do the impossible. I wanted to be more than capable of functioning day to day, I wanted to be the best version of myself possible.
While I really didn’t know what that meant, somewhere deep down inside it was simple. Being able to do anything I wanted. Whether go on a road trip and not be crippled to eventually being a competitive adult athlete. It was important to me, it was more than physical therapy, but mental therapy to me. I was lucky though, many people WANT similar things but they think they are impossible. I knew differently.
It would have been easy for me to sulk about the negative things I had experienced, but focusing on the amazing things I had achieved made me knew that anything was possible. There was only one catch, it was up to me, no one else to do them!
I know there are a lot of catchy sayings in fitness today, I know that they have mostly good intentions of getting people going. However, sometimes the thing blocking us is not knowing if what we are chasing is really possible. Not everyone has been as fortunate to have experiences in their lives to let them know that great things really are possible.
In reality, it is the smallest victories in our lives that inspire us to do more. When people say fitness changes lives it just isn’t the idea that you become healthier, rather, the victories we achieve in relatively simple things can inspire us to aim for greater in all aspects of our life.
When DVRT Master, Chad Skredstru, sent me this video of his first female client to press an 80 pound Burly Ultimate Sandbag, I was inspired. Jessica took one look at it and said, “I want to do that, TODAY!” She was inspired by an action that probably she would never guess be an inspiration to others to think bigger or to feel held back by their fears. An Ultimate Sandbag Clean and Press personal best doesn’t sound like a big deal in the big picture of your life. However, if that simple act, if achieving that goal made her feel empowered to try just one more thing that she may thought impossible. Not only did it make HER feel incredibly positive, but probably unbeknown to her, inspired everyone in that class and even those she will never see.
My point? Inspiration is important, but it can come in so many different forms. You have to sometimes put your headphones on and drown out all the noise around you. You may not even think your achievement is significant at first until you really look at what it means. Being a leader, being something more means getting people and yourself to do things you never thought possible. Don’t overlook how simple accomplishments in your workouts can spawn much bigger things! Now THAT is real empowerment!
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