Today was one of those days where I questioned if I could do it all… I somehow managed to let ridiculous amounts of work pile on towards the end of the day. As I sat on my bed, eating my steak and broccoli, I stared at the readings that still needed to be started on, watched the amount of email pile into my inbox, gazed at the meetings that kept getting added to my calendar, and thought about the to-do list slowly but surely expanding in my mind (yes all within the span of consuming a 1.2 lb ribeye), and realized that I failed to meal prep for the week.
After I quickly washed and threw some sweet potatoes into my still-preheating oven (shhhhh), I prepared a mixture of Hydracharge and Kaged BCAAs for my cardio session. For the first couple of minutes on the elliptical, I felt distracted from all the things I couldn’t stop thinking about. The stress was distracting me from something that was mindless. What became worse was when I realized my heart rate, for whatever reason, was being especially difficult and not increasing above 70% of my max heart rate, as prescribed by Kris in the 4weeks2shred program. In that moment, it seemed like everything was against me.
As I continued to step, one of my “motivation” songs came up: Untouchable by Tritonal and Cash Cash
We been wondering in the dark… A million miles apart… Going nowhere… Believe that even if were lost… You know it won’t be long ‘til we get there
Spinning around no control… Burning down… I’m letting go… We been wondering in the dark… When no matter where are… Just remember
We rise and we fall We’ll stay We’ll stay untouchable
For whatever reason, I had one of those “crystalizing revelations” where I suddenly realized that I wasn’t being who I was. Everything that I do in my entire life has been based on the fact that I am not one who half-asses anything. I don’t ever give my 70, 80, or even my 90 percent. It’s always my 100 or 110.
I thought about Kris, and how he taught me face fear. I thought about how he always says “knowledge without mileage is bullshit.” I thought about how he said that if the things that we do in the gym were easy, everyone would have the body that they wanted.
Then I thought about transferable skillsets. I thought about the amazing profession that I work in, and how I tell my students to think about how they can apply the work that they do in their organizations to their professional lives. And I realized this was no different for me.
I realized that I HAD to give my 100% and to be focused on the task at hand. I realized that the dedication I put in the gym had to be realized in my life outside. I realized that where I want to be in life isn’t easy and that if I wanted to be where I want to be, it would be difficult. I realized in that moment that that would be ok.
I successfully pushed out a full cardio session. I gave it my all and allowed myself to focus on what I was doing. I gave myself permission to forget about the other nuances in my life, and just give myself those remaining 30 minutes to focus on myself. I told myself that once I left, I would face fear, and to continue pushing through the hard times. And as for my heart rate? Well…
145 is 72.5% of my max heart rate — I did it!
In thinking about all of these things, I became grateful. I thought about the friend that I could text when the elliptical got boring. The friend who would leave my sticky notes at work, just because they could tell I was having a bad day through a text. The friend who introduced something new into my life, and let me be spontaneous. The friend who goes to target with me, sometimes just because of how much of a smile it puts on my face to walk through each aisle.
I became grateful for the amazing people I’ve had in my life: the mentors that have challenged me every step of the way and the friends who’ve always been there to support me.
I do what I do in the gym for no one but myself. But when the rest of my life gets difficult, it’s pretty damn nice to have those people there for me. And when I need to escape, I’ll always have that time on the elliptical to just be me.