May 17th marks the one year anniversary of my first day at EpiqX Fitness and Performance.
My first day. I felt SO strong holding the barbell like that If you know me in real life, you know that although I love fitness, I don’t like trying new things. I’ve done some stuff in the past (TRX, boot camp, spinning) but I never had any interest in going to a boutique gym and sampling other ways of staying fit. Also, I really just love running. One year ago, Amy somehow convinced me to walk in the door with her, to try something new. I’m not sure why I agreed to go but I have some ideas:
- FOMO. She told me about this awesome workout she had done and that it pushed her in a way that running never had. I remember what it was too: bike sprints and handstands. And I had this feeling that I was missing out…..
- I was burnt out from running. I had just spent months training for a big race and my singular focus was on running and only running. And that left me feeling tired and worn out and my motivation to continue training was waning.
- I was injured. At first I told Amy I couldn’t go to this new gym because I was injured (thought I had a hamstring strain. Turned out it was herniated discs again) but then I realized that I coundn’t run comfortably because of said injury and well, I became a little more open to the idea of lifting after that.
- Secretly I’d wanted to try Crossfit for years. I became familiar with Crossfit in about 2011 when I accidentally was sucked in to watching the Crossfit Games on TV. I saw women like Kristan Clever and Annie Thorisdottir doing this intense variation on standard weightlifting and I was intrigued. I continued to keep up with the sport somewhat and watch the games year after year. I learned about some of the benchmark workouts and started researching local gyms. What held me back? Running. I wasn’t ready to give up my running goals-I had some things left to do in the running world and Crossfit didn’t fit at the time. So I continued to run while watching the games and sometimes lifted weights on my own at the gym.
Some of my favorite memories of the year
I’ve talked frequently about what I’ve learned since starting this whole fitness thing. I’ve truly challenged some previously held assumptions. Gone are the days where I would freely tell you that I had zero upper body strength and then expound on how far I could run. That’s been replaced with me saying “I’m strong now!” Because I am.
By the numbers:
Power Clean: day 1: 33 lbs. Today: 98 lbs
Back Squat: day 1: 103 lbs. Today: 145 lbs
Squat Snatch: day 1: 15 lbs. Today: 60 lbs
Deadlift: day 1: 115 lbs. Today: 175 lbs
Bench Press: day 1: 20 lbs. Today: 85 lbs
And the list could go on and on. But beyond the numbers and visible muscular changes, I have changed on an emotional level. Martin my coach has talked to me a lot about the mental side of things in the gym. That showing up and picking the weight up is only half of it. The rest is the story we tell ourselves about our capabilities. It sounds so trite, but you have to believe you can do it because if you don’t have that, it doesn’t really matter how strong you are. If you show up feeling sorry for yourself, you aren’t going to succeed, no matter what. I have become a stronger person mentally because I have put myself in hard and seemingly unattainable situations time and time again. I have found that “red line”, the proverbial “pain cave” or “hurt locker” on numerous occasions and proven to my brain that I can do it despite my brain telling me that I was going to fail.
And yet, I have failed. A lot. I’ve failed privately and I’ve failed publicly. I’ve set goals and achieved many of them but haven’t (yet) achieved others. In December, I set a goal of doing 1 unassisted pull up by the end of May. With only a handful of days to go, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. But the gym has instilled the drive in me to continue. To not compare myself to my achievements of yesterday and to continue to push forward despite my challenges.
I am forever grateful that this gym and these people came in to my life when they/it did. In a time of incredible uncertainty and challenges (hello parenting a small human and dealing with aging parents….fun times), the gym has given me not only a place to sweat but a place to grow, a place to vent, and a support system. Year one is in the books and I can’t wait to re read this in another year and see the growth….big things are coming!