To be completely honest I can’t say I enjoy getting punched in the face. Not to the point of choosing that over a lay in at least.
Push kicks to the stomach (in that really squishy bit where there’s no bone) make me want to gag and those weighted sledges that you push leave me looking like Bambi on ice.
So why is it I enjoy training the way I do?
When I first moved to Perth almost 4 years ago now I was on the lookout for a different way to train. Something that challenged me not only physically but mentally. I was homesick and bored.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I suffer from anxiety and in any one given day I can go from being convinced I’m about to lose my job to stressing over a friend who hasn’t replied to a text. She’s probably just like, living her life or something but oh no. My brain reckons she hates me because I said something offensive about that one thing that one time and she’s probably burn booking me Mean Girls style as we speak.
Nice one crazy.
Muay Thai, boxing and fast paced strength workouts push me beyond my comfort zone. It’s about being ever so slightly intimidated by the fighters and more experienced people around you and showing up anyway. It’s about taking a punch or finishing those last 5 burpees because pushing through the pain enables you realise what you’re made of.
Sometimes I feel sick with nerves when I walk into the gym. Sometimes the whole world is rushing by me so super fast because i’ve had a bad day at work and my brain thinks it might be a good idea to pump a shit load of cortisol into my body.
But I slap a smile on and train anyway because exercise makes me feel on top of the bloody world. We all have an internal battle that we fight and exercise gives me back some of the control I lose over my mind to anxious thoughts on occasion.
Training to be not only physically but mentally strong teaches me about balance, about knowing when to up my game or realising it’s time to take a step back and re-group. With increased intense workouts I have added more timeouts into my life and don’t feel guilty about taking a walk outside or a swim down the beach.
Every fitness related choice I make focuses more on the mental aspect of growth because I know the physical part will follow suit.
Being anxious doesn’t have to be a curse.
Give it the middle finger and let it be the stepping stone to your best self.