Reflecting & Comfort zones

12 months, 365 days, 8,765 hours, 525,948 minutes, and 31,556,926 seconds; A year can be broken down into many phases. Phases that seem like an eternity in the moment, but looking back on them, they feel like they lasted a millisecond. My life, my mindset, and my body was in a very different place one year ago today. A year ago today, I was standing on a carpeted platform with a fully loaded barbell resting on my traps, being watched by a crowd of people and three judges. The butterflies in my stomach felt as if they were throwing a fiesta, yet, I set forth anyways and competed in my first ever powerlifting meet. I put aside my doubts, worries, and what-ifs, and stepped outside my comfort zone. 

Speaking of that, ahhh, comfort zones. We all have one, and struggle to allow ourselves to step beyond that line. It sounds contradicting, leaving a place of security. It is so easy to ignore everything beyond that comfort zone when you're so wrapped up in staying where you are. Why would you want to visit an uncomfortable place? Quite honestly, I am a terrible example of it. The only time I push myself beyond the point of comfortability is in the gym. I am a creature of habit. I  do the same thing, every single day. I eat the same foods, go to the gym at the exact same time, eat at the same times, and plan out everything I'm doing down to the exact minute. I'm a very schedule-orientated person, and when something throws off that schedule, chaos breaks loose in my mind. OCD is often joked about in today's society, but it is a very serious disorder. I recognize that everyone has some type of OCD tendencies, but when they get in the way of other important areas of someone's life, that is when they are not to be joked about. 

I had every intention of going to the gym today. My meals were planned out down to the exact gram, my workout was written out, headphones fully charged, and duffle bag all packed, ready to go. However, not even my OCD/germaphobe tendencies could keep the cold monster away, and I've gotten hit with the bus known as a winter cold. I very much so struggle with the idea of resting, of being sedentary. I constantly need to be on the go, which I know stems from my eating disorder. This is where that chaos in my mind I spoke of earlier breaks the chain. 

"Two rest days in a row?! That's unheard of. You cannot eat your normal caloric amount. You're not even going to the gym. Hell, you're probably not even getting 50 steps in today. Go ahead, take another rest day, fine. But you cannot eat your normal calories. Or, you can push through the little sniffles, congestion, and fatigue you're experiencing and go to the gym. Imagine when you come home and get to eat your normal food, knowing you earned it. You'll be so thankful you listened to me." says Ed. 

A couple of things need to be addressed there. First off, why do I think I can't eat my normal calories? Just because I'm not working out? I know my body needs food, so why should I deny it of it just because I'm not lifting anything today? If anything, my body needs more food to try and fight off this cold. Secondly, what is REALLY going to change in two days? Did I build my body to what it is today in two days? No, so what makes me irrationally think what I built will crumble in two days? Thirdly, what kind of workout would I really have if I pushed through this cold? I'd end up feeling worse about having a crappy workout than if I had just stayed home and rested. Every single time I set foot in the gym, my goal is to give 110% of myself to my lifts. I realize that I can't go balls to the wall hard every workout. I understand that not every workout is going to be a great one. There is a fine line between pushing yourself when you don't want to go and knowing when to say "not today". I absolutely believe that the days you don't want to go to the gym are the ones that count the most, but when I say you, I mean you, really YOUR MIND. The days where you prove your mind wrong are the days you teach yourself the most. However, today, my BODY AND MY MIND are telling me, "No, not today Lauryn". I've ignored my body for years, so I think I can take one damn day and listen to it. I will NOT treat myself any differently than a day I'd be working out. I struggle immensely with the idea of earning my food by working out, but today, I'm challenging that comfort zone.

A year ago today, I made a decision. I decided to take on a new perspective on working out. I became a powerlifter. I qualified for the Wisconsin Powerlifting State Championship 365 days ago today. Every day since then, I have trained not only my body, but my mind in ways that go so much further than the reps I complete, the lifts I fail, or the workouts I do. Even though I've suffered injuries that kiboshed my competitive powerlifting days, I will always be a powerlifter. I always tell people I'm a powerlifter, but really just letting that term sink in hits home. Power goes so much deeper than how much depth you can get on a squat. It derives from your soul, passion, and goals. My body may be sick today, but my mind will be stronger tomorrow.

Lots of love, tissues, and spoonfuls of peanut butter,