Ever feel like you’ve missed the boat on some things? Do you tell yourself that you’re too old or too busy to try something new? I have, plenty of times.
The thing is, when I actually push myself past the anxiety of trying something new, I find that the task was not as difficult as I thought. In fact, I’ve often found that in trying new things, I discover a passion or benefit I didn’t initially expect.
You’re Going Whether You Like It Or Not
The chain of events that led me to write this particular post started two and a half years ago. Before the birth of my twins, I worked out regularly between 4:30 and 7:30 am. Once the twins were born, I simply did not have the energy or the time to make it to the gym consistently. Or so I thought.
Two years later, with baby V being only a month old and the twins just turning two, I got an email at work. It was a welcome email from 24 Hour Fitness congratulating me on my new membership. I was puzzled until I got a text from wifey saying something along the lines of “You’re a hot mess when you’re not working out, so I signed you up for a membership. We’ll find the time. You start tomorrow.”
My wife and I had spoken about resuming workouts for a while now. It was an integral part of my self-care, she said. But having three kids under three at home seemed hardly the time to get back into working out. The fact that I hadn’t consistently exercised for two years only added to the anxiety of coming back.
But with a little faith and flexibility, I have managed to attend the gym regularly for the last eight months. Even with taking things slow, I’m 85 percent of the way to reaching the strength I had before. I also found that not only am I gaining strength, but I am losing inches faster than I could count. Down four holes on my belt, and there’s still time to go in the year!
Push It to The Limit
About two months ago, whilst working out, I saw someone working on their Olympic/Power lifts (clean and jerk, snatch, and deadlifts), and I thought man I wish I could do those. I never got into weightlifting when I was younger, and post car accident I avoided any exercises that I could not do in a slow and controlled manner. With two of those exercises requiring the lifter to throw the weight up while quickly jumping under the weight, it just seemed like something I should avoid.
But two weeks ago, I decided that I was going to try those lifts even if I had to start with just the bar. I watched some videos on technique and form, wrote down my plan, and hit the gym. The first week was pretty uneventful. I went through the motions, and although I did not feel like I got a serious workout, I definitely broke a sweat.
Last week I decided to add some weights but still kept it below 100 pounds. Let me just say that the results were astonishing! I played basketball after I finished my lifts, and I killed it. Granted there aren’t too many people who can stop a 6’5” – 330 lbs player, but I also felt different. I was quicker on my feet, jumped higher, and generally felt like I gained an extra 20 percent physical bonus. I had expected to be sluggish during the games, but au contraire, I played some of the best basketball in my life. Even my friends asked me what was different.
My Final Thoughts
Exercise is part of my essential self-care, but the lessons I’ve learned can be applied anywhere. It’s important to find what works for you and to have the courage to try new things. You are never too old, tired, or busy to start an adventure.
Even the big 300+ lbs guys at your gym have fears and apprehensions. Sometimes it’s important to listen to these concerns and be cautious, and sometimes it’s important to continue past them. Courage, after all, is not the absence of fear but the conscious decision to push through it. From returning to the gym, to trying out new lifts, I’ve taken things step by step, and it has all worked out just fine.
What have you been waiting to start? Could now be the perfect time to begin?