One of the most common questions I have received over the last few months is “why are you doing this?” My answer is not always the easiest, but so flippant; I want to do this, I want to compete. When I was let go from the bank I suddenly found myself floundering personally. Unsure of my path, unsure of what came next, unsure of who I am, was, and to be. Then I had an “a-ha” moment where I was inspired by my trainer, I was inspired to take on a brutal mental, physical and emotional challenge. The challenge became my inspiration, I had a goal, light at the end of my seemingly dark tunnel.
So about 88 days ago I took the deep plunge. I was already doing heavy lifting, working with a trainer, watching what I was eating, but 88 days ago I made the commitment out loud. Saying out loud meant I was ready to transform my life, my body and my mindset.
What I was not ready for in my journey was the challenging mindset, the unbelievable mental challenge was, is grueling. Of course the question arises again, “why are you doing this?” My answer is still the same, I knew about the physical challenges, I knew my body would be challenged, pushed to the edge, made weaker and then made stronger. The mental challenge and emotional turmoil led me to the brink of throwing in the towel. However, skirting the threshold changes how you see yourself, your capabilities, your limitations.
Each time I visited the gym I worked my body to total exhaustion. Muscles twitching to the feeling of failure, weak, but somehow stronger. Topping off my workout was a close-out of cardio. Thirty to sixty, pain staking minutes of heart pounding cardio on top of the strength exhausting weightlifting session. On the verge of tears I contemplated hitting the stop button and going home, I didn’t need to work that hard, I didn’t need to push myself until I thought I would fall over. Yet, I never fell over, I never stopped, and I worked that much harder.
I asked for this, I asked to push myself, I want to be better, I want to be stronger. My goal was being realized slowly but surely with each passing day, with each workout. I could be proud and delight in how well I was learning to juggle four jobs – weightlifter, writer, mom, and wife. I could be proud with my physical strength. I could embrace a higher echelon of mental strength and acuity by battling my inner demon to tell me I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t make it, I couldn’t reach my goal.
So why are you doing this you ask? To show my inner naysayer there is no stopping me now. To show my children that anything is possible. To show my children that I overcame my fears, my inner voice telling me I should pack it in, I should just stop. I am doing this for myself. I am doing this to be a better version of myself. I am doing this because I’m telling myself I cannot reach the end. I am doing this to feel strong, empowered, in control of my own destiny and that I do not need a man, my children or a career to define who I am as a person. My husband helps define who I am as a wife, a spouse, a partner, he encourages me to be better, my passion burns hotter. My children define who I am as a mother, a nurturer, a caretaker, they inspire me to love stronger, harder, and to be better. My career defined my mental strength, to know when and when not to admit defeat. This journey is redefining who I am as a person, woman, and who I am in all of these roles and how much stronger and better I can be for myself and those I love.