Knowing fully well it’ll add to my sleeping problems, I finish my last sip of pre-workout and begin to feel the “tingles” in my hands and ears. It’s a small price to pay for the energy boost that masks the exhaustion and lack of sleep I’ve dealt with throughout the day. Staying up all night contemplating the mistakes I’ve made or wondering if I could’ve done better in certain situations leads down a rabbit hole that forces me to play catch up the next day. With every second comes a new battle to stay awake and keep my focus. Eventually, I succumb to my body’s wishes and allow myself to sleep for small intervals, with the hope of not falling too far behind the progress I aim to make in the day. However, as I step into my brother’s makeshift home gym in his basement those feelings fall off of me and I feel at home.
At this point, I’ve let go of any issues I’ve been dealing with and start warming up. I go through the same mundane exercises to get my body ready for the intense workout I’m about to complete. While they might be my least favorite part of the entire workout, they’ve proven to be the most important. Without this, routine injuries would pile up until I couldn’t train anymore, slowing my progress in the long term. And I can’t help but reflect on my daily life and how I am sorely missing those healthy “warm-up” routines that set me up for success throughout the day. I wake up every day with the burden of yesterday still weighing heavily on my shoulders and that’s only going to lead towards a path of self-destruction. I come to realize that my past has been inhibiting my future and I make a mental note to look into meditation and mindfulness.
When the real workout begins, I attack each exercise with the utmost effort and intensity, almost as if my life depends on it. While some of that may be attributed to the 250mg of caffeine coursing through my veins, it also had a lot to do with my strategic deload week I took prior. I cut down the volume and intensity of my workouts in order to allow my body to recover.
Another mental note begins in my head: I’ll begin mirroring my deload weeks into my daily life, giving myself periods of time to lower the intensity before dialing back in to chasing by goals.
As I progress through my workout, fatigue begins to set in and I begin to lack the same fervor I had at the start. However, I continue to grind away at my sets until they’re complete. Despite the soreness that has already begun to set in, a wave of euphoria flows over me. I accomplished my goal of working out and couldn’t be happier.
I realized I need to adopt the same mentality I use in the gym in my everyday life. That workout was a product of proper recovery, warmups, and most importantly, letting go of the mistakes and issues I’ve had in the past. Those are key points that I’ve begun to integrate into my life, giving myself time to relax and to stop pushing so hard, as well as implementing lifestyle changes that prepare my mind to tackle any of life’s obstacles. Over this past year, I’ve had a lot of time to contemplate my past actions and learned that taking lessons away from mistakes is an invaluable skill, but letting them linger only breaks you down more.