What are you training for?

Proper English…”For what are you training?”

Proper Yoda…”Training for what, you are?”

Are you going for the gold emotionally, spiritually, AND physically? Or have you found that you’ve become complacent or stuck in a rut?

Do you ever wonder what you are supposed to be doing? Do you ever think you could/should be doing more? Do you ever think your life is a bit like the movie Groundhog Day? The same thing day in and day out? Wash, rinse, repeat. Wash, rinse, repeat…
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This can pertain to your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical life. Watching the Olympics lately has got me thinking about training. Not only physical, but any kind of life training. As far as the Olympics, the amazing athletes have put a tremendous amount of hard work, time, and specific training in to get to the biggest sporting stage in the World. Some athletes have been going nonstop since they were just toddlers! The amount of work that goes into competing at that level is truly inspiring!
Then there’s me…I tend to be a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of gal unless I have a goal. The voices in my head say, “You’re healthy enough, you’re at a healthy weight, your heart is healthy, so you don’t need to be doing anything else physically. Just go sit and watch Netflix and chill…” I don’t want to work too hard if I don’t have to! HA!
And then there is this…more voices telling me, “You’re already a good enough person, you are nice to others, you don’t lie, cheat, or steal. So you don’t need to challenge yourself mentally or spiritually. God knows you love Him. Your friends and family know you care”, etc., etc…
That kind of thinking doesn’t get me too far. I get really lazy. I start eating way too much “junk food” that I know will only make me feel crappy or increase inflammation (which isn’t good with MS). I start ruminating on the negative things in life. Or make up stuff to worry about in the future. Do you see where I’m going with this? It isn’t where any of us are supposed to be. I believe we are supposed to challenge ourselves to be better, stronger, more mature people. Without any challenges, we would never know just how strong, emotionally or physically, we can really be. I know life can throw us some huge challenges without seeking them out, but sometimes we still might find ourselves stuck and stagnant, and in need of some good training.
20 years ago, I was exercising “just enough”, eating just “healthy enough”, and doing just enough to get by and look a certain way. It dawned on me that with my personality, I needed to set a goal, and tell people about the commitment, or I would never push myself beyond “good enough”. For some crazy reason doing a bodybuilding competition seemed like the best goal for me. It forced me to look at my diet and exercise in a completely different way. My life revolved around my little family, my home, and getting my personal training business up and running. My bodybuilding goal required 16 weeks of focus, specific training, and huge changes in my eating habits. No more cookies for breakfast or stealing all of the french fries from my daughter’s Happy Meal (Yeah, I was a bad mom, and bad trainer, for ever letting my kiddo eat that stuff!)
Several years after that, I realized something was lacking in my spiritual life. My relationship with the Lord wasn’t as close as I felt like it needed to be. I just wasn’t one of those people who would sit in prayer every morning or read my Bible every night. My mom was sick with a terminal illness and life was stressful. I needed some training. So I committed to joining a Bible study group and had my friend hold me accountable to show up and do my homework every week. Sometimes we all need a challenge to get us to not only develop new habits, but to push us to be a little bit better at something.
After my MS diagnosis, I went into a bit of a funk. I’m not sure if I would call it full on depression, but I definitely had a hard time feeling like my happy, optimistic self, and not focusing on how bleak my future “could” be. My future might mean huge declines in my physical or mental health. It’s very easy to get caught up in our own heads and our own disappointments. Once again I needed something to “train for”. I decided to volunteer at our local hospice unit at the hospital. We are all terminal if you think about it. It wouldn’t be such a scary place. I knew this be a great way for me to stop focusing on myself. My self pity and self absorption flew out those hospice windows whenever I was there!
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Now I’m in a mode of training again. I challenge myself just by writing this blog. I’m not a private person by any means, but it is scary putting “me” out into the World! Fear of rejection and not being good enough is definitely a part of this journey. But it is good training for me to be a stronger me. To grow more as the creative person I know still hides inside of me and screams to get out. Training for that book I’ve wanted to write for over 20 years.
My husband also recently challenged me to train for something physical. Maybe y’all can help me out? I don’t love running long distances, so a marathon is NOT my calling. I know I can climb 14-ers without much training. So I’m looking for an event to train for that I’ve never done before. Maybe an MS event? If you know of some fun, challenging events coming up in Colorado, I’d love for you to share! Please comment with your ideas.
What training is out there waiting for you? Remember, we only change, mature, and get stronger by going through the challenges, no matter what they are. Go for the gold! You deserve it!
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