Three different people this week have asked me “what I’m training for” since I have started being more open on social media about my fitness journey. That question kind of makes me laugh out loud since my pageant days are behind me, and I’m not even remotely interested in being in a fitness competition. Because so many people asked me, I had to give it at least some thought. What the heck am I doing this for? It seems we are conditioned to think that if we commit to diet and exercise, then surely there must be a finish line. There must be some sort of gold medal or cash prize at the end. Why else would anyone work out daily, food prep, and monitor portions? I came to a conclusion, but first let me take you through my thought process that led me there.
Last week was a tough week. November is a stressful month for sales because every customer is preparing a budget for the next year, but no one is buying. Their minds are on Thanksgiving turkey and using up PTO, and the last thing they want to do is talk to a salesperson. I have all the deals for a successful month at work, but unfortunately none of the actual purchase orders- yet. My side photography business always gets busy during November when my clients remember that they need to send out Christmas cards. What is usually 1-2 shoots a month and is manageable with my full-time job quickly turns into 7-8 shoots and many late nights of editing. I also have two kids and a husband, and I don’t need to explain the demands that come with the awesome responsibility of managing a family. I typically can juggle all of this pretty well with the help of my very supportive husband. But, last week life threw me an unexpected curveball. My 53 year old cousin had a sudden heart attack and passed away. I knew immediately that I wanted to be at his funeral and help comfort his siblings whom I love dearly. The funeral was 7 hours away in Florida, and I offered to sing and film the service. The service was absolutely beautiful, and I know I made the right decision by going. But, all of “that” took its toll on me. Big time.
On Thursday when I arrived in Florida, I was still able to fit my workout in and stay on a relatively clean diet. (My hostess put out some delectable cookies and I caved and had one. Ok, I had two.) The next day I tried to workout in the morning but my body was feel very fatigued. It was also a bit awkward working out in a house that was not mine with many people milling about. I made it about 10 minutes or so into the workout before I turned it off. My diet that day was so-so, but I let some junk fly into my mouth. It was another day spent in the car after the funeral ended so no time later that day to fit in a workout. On Saturday, I had a big photo shoot scheduled and my client set out donuts, quiche and mimosa. I ate it all, and then had another helping. Told the workout to kiss my arse. By Sunday, I had another photo shoot and a day planned with my kids. I was straight up stress eating and feeling sick to my stomach and exhausted. I did manage to squeeze a 25 minute workout in, but it didn’t stop me from eating chocolate before I went to bed. I laid in bed wondering what in the world happened to me! I lost my senses and willpower.
Then it hit me.
This. This is why I train. I’m training for life.
My life isn’t always like this. I typically balance well and get the rest I need. Live everyone, I sometimes get sucker-punched and everything hits me all at once. It’s in those times that all the training pays off. I can take a break from working out and eating right, and not ruin all my progress. My body is prepared to drive 16 hours round trip and then be on my feet for the following two days. Even though I wondered how I could possibly keep moving forward, I have stamina and energy in reserve to pull me through.
There is no finish line when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. And, your reward is having a body that is equipped to handle a daily life that is uncertain. Next time you are looking for a reason to workout, or to start working out, imagine yourself in the midst of turmoil and think about how you’d handle it. Likewise, imagine if someone asked you to hike a waterfall on what could possibly the best day of your life. Would you be ready to go? Is your body ready?