Giving Up The Gym
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
At the beginning of the year I had embarked on this new journey to becoming a healthier, stronger version of myself. I found a coach who was willing to help me. Together we created a two year plan split into four phases.
Phase one was all about conditioning my mind to accept the challenges that lay in wait. It was all about strengthening my convictions and opening up myself to new possibilities. That was what the first three months was all about. Along with that, I trained off and on with no real physical plan but to get started moving again.
Phase two and I am now starting to put things in place for phase three. A lot of things my coach has been asking me to do have not made sense and in fact seem completely ludicrous in some instances. But I am really starting to understand what he's doing and why.
For instance, I have asked for a regular training program so I know what to do and when to do them. He will simply say: "Do what you feel like doing for now and we'll get to that later. Just go workout." Everyday I ask him and he will suggest small things like including yoga, pilates and deep breathing exercises but no real solid program.
Mostly we talk about the nervous system, myofibric this and sarcoplasmic that. Posture, thoracic extension, extra respiratory system and things of a biological nature. He also goes into lots of emotional de-stressing and how certain things affect our bio-chemical makeup and so forth. And lots about creating balance and stability.
The only real program he has asked me to stick to are four exercises. Deadlifts and Dips on one day and front squats and pull-ups on another. Once a week. He tells me any variation will do. And walk for an hour everyday and perform tummy vacuums to strengthen my abs everyday. I ask him if I can do any other exercises and says, sure throw some bag throws, sprints, fireman carries or whatever, just remember to do the core exercises and make sure to take a couple days rest. Ok, done.
This just seemed a little too easy and not enough for me so like a typical alpha male I have been trying to do everything all once once thinking that it will get me closer to where I wanna get. I tell him what I did extra and he's like: "That's cool, so how's your family? Are you sleeping good?" I'm like I just busted butt and you don't even wanna talk about it?! LoL.
We were talking and what happened next took me completely by surprise. He gave me a weird look and asked me: "So, are you ready to give up your gym membership?" I was like whaaaa?! Then it hit me. He's been setting me up for phase three, four and finally phase five or, life.
He has never really acknowledged my efforts on the treadmill nor the extra exercises I have been doing. And I think I am beginning to understand why. All of the training ahead can be done at home with simple, non flashy, equipment. He understands that I do find it an effort to leave my home and go to the gym. He says I don't need it.
Little by little he has encouraged me to include simple things here and there while I do other things as well. But in doing some of the training that I want to do I have fallen flat on my face or tired myself out. He has been allowing me to make mistakes all over again and in doing so making me realise that I am doing things that were and are still not effective for me. He has been allowing me to train out the bad habits in my head.
I realise that I have the rest of my life to live. I cannot live at this pace forever. I simply need to take care of myself slowly and simply. Going hammer and tong just isn't sustainable. And that is how my life was at one point during my time as a professional athlete. That got me to where I am now, overweight, unfit and enormously unhealthy. My relationship with my wife and children were suffering and there certainly wasn't time for spiritual nourishment. The road of hard and fast training for many years only caused other parts of my life to fail. Now the question begs, why would I want to go down that path again?
I am putting the pieces of the puzzle together starting to gain an appreciation for my body like never before. Seeing how my body functions and the ability to monitor subtle changes more effectively. Knowing how my body works so I don't waste time doing unnecessary things.
So, I learn yet again. And I am starting to become a heck of a lot more grateful for this lengthy process that my coach has helped me with. To be told to slow down would not have had as bigger impact on me than me realising it myself. Ahhh, patience my dear padawan.
So, I have to build my own simple power rack at home. He has shown me that plans and should cost next to nothing to make. The only thing I need to get is a proper barbell and some extra weights. This should be interesting. So I might throw some photos up of our progress.
A new goal. To slow down and learn to open up and accept change. Accept life. Accept all things. Buy a new barbell and 600lbs of weights.
Strength comes in so many forms. I am glad to have your support as it adds so much strength to me you may not believe. Be strong everyone, and forgive me my shortcomings.
Much love, Kia Kaha!