A week ago, I started working out again. Ever since then, I’ve faced a great deal of support. I’ve also faced a lot of obstacles.
The first day, my biggest obstacle was my fear of being unprepared.
“But Jossie, you don’t even have a plan. What types of exercises are you going to do? How many reps and sets, and how many times a week? Are you going to have any rest days?”
The questions went on and on.
But I was staring into a ghost. I knew I wanted to get away from my current position. I was at the bottom of a rut, so any direction worked.
I promptly came up with two workout plans that worked for me in the past, merged them, even added a new exercise, and finished my first workout.
That’s how I defeated my biggest obstacle.
I found a lot of support: the feeling I obtain after a workout, Eminem, and the people that were also in the gym with me eliminating their boundaries.
The second day, I started to want to achieve more. I was excited about the activities I could focus on: building a stellar social life, volunteering for organizations, and becoming a better soccer player.
As I thought of more activities I quickly became anxious about missing out on everything else I could be doing.
But I knew deep down and by experience I couldn’t live without lifting or working out.
Also, writing in my journal to record my progress and thoughts could be shared with others for their benefit. That’s why I dedicated my time to lifting and writing.
So I took a deep breath and the issue resolved itself.
I began to eat more and feel less bloated. What previously sustained me for satisfaction was replaced with nutrients that my body needs for my shot at this long-term mission. My muscles began receiving the correct fuel instead of the other junk that I did not miss eating.
And, just like yesterday, the people at the gym were pushing it, trying to get better.
The third day, I woke up with a lot of guilt and pity. I was making drastic improvements so suddenly that my body, mentally and physically, wasn’t used to it.
It wanted to remain in its vegetative state of “sleep, eat, lay in food coma, sleep, repeat”. I was faced with a train of thoughts and a feeling of fatigue.
Despite this I headed to the gym. When I got there I moved between the weight racks as slow as a slug.
But the more I progressed through the workout, the more it reinvigorated me. It felt thousands of times better than self-pity. I was feeling like Superman; I could do it.
I committed my entire attention to it. At the end, my eyes were bloodshot from the sweat sneaking in. I questioned if I had ever sweated this much before, even outdoors. The indoor gym’s A/C and fans were working.
That’s when I realized that my preexisting doubts were an illusion.
Now I realize thoughts follow activity – only if you can be convinced to perform the activity first.
That’s why writing one word on a paper can lead to a couple of paragraphs, which can lead to a wildfire of an essay. Or talking to a member of the opposite sex can lead to a conversation about your favorite topic, which can lead to a party invite. You’ll realize, “This isn’t so bad!”
I could keep going on and on about my fourth, fifth, and other days. I worked out on all of them.
The resulting trend is the doubt keeps getting smaller, yet stronger. Mining the big blocks of “No, just don’t go” or some variation of it is easy. I know what I want and all I have to do is get my foot inside that gym just one time. After that thoughts reinforce the action.
But during the middle of the workout, when the burn is intense, your body is heavy, and you feel like you just can’t go on, it becomes a fence match. Parrying, evading, and countering the doubt’s attacks against your will is what working out is about. Once that goal is reached, the bar is past the sticking point, or that final rep is executed, you’ve secured the win.
You can gladly say you shoved it in doubt’s face.