Originally published on RxGirl on Thursday, 04 July 2013
If there’s one thing I have learned during my life, it is that there will always be challenges to face and overcome. Such trials can be immense and carry the power to derail us from our daily routine. However, maintaining consistency in a daily routine, especially during the most difficult times, provides balance while also keeping an individual on track with contest prep or other fitness related goals. In some sense, such a structured routine can almost serve as a welcome haven when everything else is chaotic, provided it does not make excessive demands on one’s time or energy resources.
This year has been an extremely rough one for me, characterized by both my parents being hospitalized, the dissolution of a two year relationship with a man I was very much in love with, job loss, etc. I think most people would have buckled from the pressure, but I was so incredibly stubborn about staying on track that I pushed through the emotional and physical pain and became more creative about how to fit my ever increasing workout loads into the chaos that defined my life. If anything, the trials I went through made me all the more determined to get the job done with my contest prep. I put the horse blinders on and headed down the track at a full gallop. Ironically, though I have been working less in the past month, I am busier than ever and often go through my days in a bit of a fog. It is commonplace for me to forget whether I am at the gym for my third or fourth workout, or which office I was at yesterday. My attitude lately has been, “hold on tight!” which is indeed what I have been doing as I have ridden the crazy crests and troughs of each day.
I know that those of you who compete are Type A personalities, driven, committed, strong and stubborn. I also know that some of you will abandon your plans to compete in upcoming contests when life throws you a curve ball. I honestly think this is a mistake. Why forgo the pursuit of a goal (i.e., prepping for a contest and competing in it) when things get nuts? We are in a unique position to inspire and lead by example, so when we give up on achieving a competition or general fitness goal, we are sending a message that it is acceptable to adopt an off and on approach to the “can do” attitude which is common in the fitness world. I am not saying that we should be burdened by the responsibility to carry the hopes of others, but that we best serve ourselves and others when we adopt a tenacious determination to reach our goals. If you can remember why you are driven to compete and to reach your personal best, and make a decision to hold yourself to your regimen in the midst of adversity, your victories will be sweeter than ever.