Why hello there! Happy Friday. I hope you’re having a fabulous week and well let’s be honest, tgif. I know I’m pretty excited to be almost over this week because while I’m loving school… this is the first full week we’ve had due to all the snow. I had three exams, one quiz, one paper, and a lab due this week. Woah. It’s quite exhausting 😉 In all seriousness though it’s nice to not have classes cancelled and actually have some solid lecture and lab time. Goes to show how much I really do love school and promoting neurogenesis (the birth of neurons) by constantly learning. #neurosciencemajorproblems. Be on your toes here guys, I’m going to be adding vocab into my blog posts on the regular because I think it’s fun.
Today I wanted to jump into what I’ve been doing gym wise lately. A while back I typed up a lifting cycle for anyone reading to see. To be honest I haven’t changed a whole lot…well, kind of. I’m still doing a lot of deadlifts and benching, along with bodyweight stuff, jump rope, and yoga. One major change I’ve made is the mindset I have going into the gym each time.
Back a few months ago, while I was definitely light years away from where my headspace had been it still wasn’t anything spectacular. I’ve been working on that a lot recently. I wanted to get to a place where I was going to the gym solely because I love it rather than any other factor such as feeling like I needed it for anxiety modulating reasons, or just out of habitual practice. I’ve changed up the outline of my workouts so they aren’t as strictly set. While I have a general idea of what I am going to do when I go to lift, it isn’t written down and actually I haven’t even been tracking my workouts in terms of sets/reps/weight lifted. It’s mentally noted, but nothing more. In the past I would be able to look up a Tuesday five weeks ago and tell you exactly to a key what I did that day. Right now, I don’t care.
I’m not saying that tracking doesn’t have it’s benefits, because it definitely does and it can be an extremely motivating tool as well. However for me, as someone who tracked every possible thing in her life for so many years, it gets old. I’m at a place in my life currently where I want the gym to be purely a playground, a place to get back to my roots, and to just have fun. I love feeling capable, strong, and like I can take on the world. I’m noticing that when my focus is that and nothing more, I feel better. I also subsequently perform better. Who would have thought that. Not I, that’s for sure.
Another change I’ve made is that I’m doing slightly more conditioning. Now before you all up in arms (because trust me you wouldn’t be the first), I’ve literally been doing two days of kickboxing in addition to some double under medleys post lifting. It’s all about balance, and at this time I’m digging kickboxing because well, it’s FUN. I’ve also noticed that my gut health seems to be improving since implementing some changes and also not over-thinking every last detail, this is something I’ve been aware of for a while – the link between physical activity and digestive function. While exercise/physical fitness is proven to be beneficial for digestive function, it can be a U-curve. As in, not enough provides no real change. The right amount, aka the “sweet spot”, helps us feel good and function better overall (this is different for everyone). On the other end, too much can be linked with negative physical symptoms both gut wise and non-gut specific complaints (irritability, susceptibility to injury, injury, ect.).
I think we tend to get so caught up in the past and the future that we forget we are actually living currently, in the now. It’s a constant challenge to keep the mind focused on the present moment and you might find yourself present one moment, and then thinking about next Tuesday three minutes later. It’s natural for the mind to shift, to oscillate between past, present, and future. Our brains have so much going on, so many functions, things to process, and information to relay to us. I think what’s essential however is to be content and happy with the now so that the reason our mind is wandering isn’t to escape the present moment. Oddly I’m going to tie my above lifting update into this. When I was constantly tracking everything I was constantly obsessing over things. I needed to know to a key what I’d be doing for the entire week. I’d usually even plan out what weight I was going to do each set. Do you know what that accomplished? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was holding me back, keeping me stressed, keeping me out of the present.
I’m tired of holding myself back out of fear, and out of habit. I’m in the process of learning that when we truly let go and follow our dreams, what makes our soul happy, that we feel better and things go better. This is becoming clearer to me every day in many facets of my life. By the simple act of letting go and following what feels good, I’m being surprised with new opportunities and experiences that I never thought would happen. I’ve found that the more I just let go, and let things be, the happier I am. In the end though, it’s all about perspective.
“Sometimes life will test you but remember this: When you walk up a mountain, your legs get stronger.” – unknown