Why do YOU do challenge workouts?
Have you thought about it?
I was thinking about the reason why I push myself physically nearly every day until I feel like barfing.
Well, I guess it requires my opening up a little and letting you into my history in order to find out the reason for this.
If you’re not interested in my story, maybe you just want to think about your own reason for pushing yourself to your limits. It’s actually quite revealing and you’ll gain insight into yourself.
This is my story…
I come from a broken home where substance abuse was an issue. I mean my parents no disrespect by saying this. I love them and I know they did the best they could to raise three kids on a limited income. Times were tough, and it was tumultuous to say the least. There were lots of ups and downs, violence and instability.
For me, I knew I needed to find some security and stability. My siblings found it in parties and all that goes along with that; I knew that wasn’t for me.
I became a ‘pleaser’ and discovered talents that would help me gain approval and acceptance. Turned out I was pretty smart in school so I worked hard at my studies. In addition, I had an aptitude for athletics. Thus, my overachiever attitude was born.
As a kid, getting to my workout was a great escape from situations at home that I didn’t want to deal with. I could regularly mentally check out everyday for a few hours while I was in the pool or on the volleyball court or where ever I found myself training. From an early age I knew I didn’t want any part of the unhealthy habits that I’d witnessed in my family. I could see those habits as a dead end street. I could see that sport and training were the healthiest option I could find. For me, this was the best escape because I also gained the acceptance I needed as I succeeded.
Everyone has a desire to feel like they have some control over their destiny. Kids don’t’ really have much control over things especially when home life is unstable and insecure. I always felt I had some kind of control through sport. I knew when my workouts were; I had specific goals to achieve through my training and competition.
I started swimming at the age of six and swam competitively and successfully for twelve years. While doing that I also played every school sport there was. After one year of varsity swimming, I turned in my bathing suit for a pair of skis and competed in freestyle skiing for a few years. Then I hit the weight room more seriously. I’d trained with weights for sport training events in the past, but when I hit the weights this time it was to compete in bodybuilding; I did that for a few years too (although truth be told, I think it’s the dumbest ‘sport’ around – I credit this experience with learning a TON about nutrition).
As I matured, I discovered I didn’t need a ‘reason’ to train, that is, I didn’t have to have a competition in sight to continue grueling workouts. It was in my blood. Training over the years had just become who I was and what I did.
I learned to love the solitude of being alone in my thoughts as I pushed my body physically. This probably came from my competitive swimming days. (After all spending twelve years of 2-3 hours in a pool daily, even with teammates in your swim lane, is pretty much a solo endeavor.)
I’m very much an introvert and over time I discovered that training is my way to re-energize mentally. If I have a problem I need figuring out, I find that training is one of the best ways to get things solved or straightened out in my head.
Mental toughness comes with physical toughness; I’ve found an ‘I can do anything’ attitude through challenging my body physically. I can bring the same attitude I feel when I get under a squat bar or do a challenging workout to any situation I find myself in life.
I can do anything I put my mind to. And so can you.
Henry Ford had it right:
Being physically strong empowers me to be stronger in all areas of life.
And that’s my story.
I don’t see an end to my love for challenging workouts any time soon. There will always be those stronger, faster, tougher than me. I don’t care. It’s not a competition with anybody else. I compete with me to challenge myself to push past previous barriers, both physically and mentally.
To me, this is what life is all about.
What’s your story? Why do you do what you do?
Do you need a challenge?
I’d love to hear about YOUR story, just use the comment section below 🙂