Not My Best Day

I am tired. Tired, tired, tired, tired. Really, really stinking tired.

I didn’t quite realize how tired I was until I was in the gym this morning. Today was day 3 of this week’s 5-day plan and I was working on back and biceps.

First during my warm-up, I realized I didn’t have the same energy as usual. But I thought, no big deal, it’s still early.

The beginning of my workout was good. I was doing some things that I know just a month ago I never would have been able to do. For example, this exercise called a ball exchange. Check this out. I was pretty happy with myself that I was able to do that with good form. My lower abs are a very weak area for me. I hadn’t ever thought about why, until my Coach asked me if I had ever had a C-section. Why, yes, yes, I have, as a matter of fact, I’ve had two. Oh right, forgot about that whole part when they cut through your entire abdominal muscle wall to get down to those babies underneath. Hmm. So, I did have some positive aspects to my workout today, that I should remind myself of.

Besides my feeling tired, there were a couple of exercises that I had looked up online so I would know how to do them, but once I got in the gym, I couldn’t seem to figure out which machines corresponded. The machine area of the gym has always been a big mystery for me. They all basically look the same to me. So when I had to find the “assisted pull up machine” and the “lat pull down” or whatever it was… I realized I had no clue. Then I got frustrated because I felt like if I skipped those I’d be cheating myself, and then I got even more frustrated because the early time I like to go in the morning, there’s no trainer on duty so I had no one to ask for help.

Ugh.

So I plowed through the rest of my exercises, and tried to keep a positive attitude. My arms are getting stronger and I can see and feel that. My cardio resistance is improving because the 10 incline on the treadmill doesn’t feel like K2 anymore.

All this to say, I came to realize yet another pearl of gym wisdom. Like in life, in the gym, you’re going to have your good days and your bad days. You’re going to have those days where you finish your workout and you feel like a f*?!@ing rockstar and you could conquer the world while leisurely drinking your protein shake and lifting a dumbbell with your free hand. Then, there are days like I had today. Just kind of “there.” Not great, not awful, just nothing special. I didn’t feel very strong today, I didn’t feel energetic, I didn’t feel like I did my best.

Every day, your best is going to change, and that’s ok. When you’re working towards your fitness goals, the important thing to keep in mind is persistence, perseverance, dedication. Not every day will be the same. Keep your accomplishments in mind, rather than focusing on what you feel like you’re not doing well. For example, I’ve been in the gym for a pretty intense 1-hour workout for 8 of the last 9 days. Plus, I have radically changed my diet overnight. I completely eliminated sugar, bread, pasta (I live in Italy, people, think radical)—I don’t eat anything that comes out of a box anymore either. I stopped drinking everything except water. I have to limit my carb intake, even fruit, to breakfast. It’s totally insane compared to the way I used to eat just a couple weeks ago, which was basically: whatever I feel like, I eat.

And yet, I’m doing it.

And despite the fact that I’m tired (I guess I have kind of a right to be, don’t I?), I’m not giving up and I’m not creating unrealistic expectations regarding quick results or perfect output. I’m only human, just like everyone else in the gym, even those who have the “perfect” bodies. No one got that way overnight, and nothing is ever perfect. Perfect isn’t realistic anyways, because there’s never a finish line and the standards keep changing.

Realistic fitness means it’s a lifestyle, which means that there will be off days and “on” days and yet, it’s just a part of your life like everything else, and so, it isn’t going anywhere.

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