Sunday, April 28, 2013
This week has been a tough week of realisations for me. This process that my mentors have been helping me create is agonisingly slow and, now i'm starting to realise, very deliberate.
Throughout my sports career learning strategies for fitness and health, the concept of strength training is something I never really paid much heed. It's an area I know very little about and, at the same time, had some really bad misconceptions toward. As I continue on my journey to create the strongest version of myself I am learning so much more than I had anticipated. Things that go way beyond my personal perception of what strength truly is.
I have always been a really big guy. I haven't seen the scales less than 120kg (265lbs) since I was about 12 years old. This has been a part of life and a part of who I am as a person. I enjoy being large. As a man I like the feeling of being the protector my children look up to.
That's why I chose to look into strength training. It saw it as a way to remain very big yet decrease my body fat percentage and increase my fitness and health well in into my 50's, 60's and 70's.
I also wanted to find a way I could do it without all the drugs and apparatus I was accustomed to as a professional athlete. I am not against performance enhancing substances, I simply could not afford them in my retirement. And I would feel bad about using our family money for it. I ask you not to judge me unless you yourself have never taken aspirin, pain killers or even added a substance to change the colour of your hair. We all, in someway, enhance or alter our natural physical appearance daily. Brush your hair recently?
That aside, my journey has taken me on a path I so wasn't expecting. I have learned about the many layers of strength.
Phase 1 - SPIRITUAL
During the first three months of my journey my mentors asked me to practise and visit my spirituality. To get in tune with who I was and what my purpose was here on earth. Thought this was a bit aerie fairy but I began to visit my christian values and I found I started to really open up to everything and everyone. It kind of happened without me really knowing it.
Activating knowledge and lessons taught by Christ inspired me to start creating better relationships with my wife and children. I began to become stronger in my convictions. I began to believe in what I was doing. I also found the true reason why I should become a stronger healthier me. For the love and well being of others.
Phase 2 - PSYCHOLOGICAL
After the first three months of beginning to strengthen my spiritual convictions I was asked to open myself up to new concepts of physical training. Quite a few tough lessons have been learnt here. Increasing my brain power and allowing new teachings to take effect and permeate the fabric of my perceptions about working out.
So many times during this phase I have landed flat on my face. I have not listened properly and things haven't gone quite to plan. I go back, do things properly and EUREKA! It worked! My goodness, those pennies are dropping like rain in a monsoon.
This week, I have learned to accept a valuable lesson, AGAIN. In this week I have failed to maintain my spiritual and personal strength. A streamline focus on my physical strength has given rise to a number of family and personal issues. I have not paid due attention to these and as such has weakened my spirituality. The result is that my psychological and physical strength are suffering. And in turn so will my physiological strength.
The lesson here? The foundation, spiritual, must be maintained. And, one will not work properly without the other. If I am to have the energy to workout physically, my spiritual convictions must be strong. My psychology must be steadfast to see to path ahead. Without these my reasons for doing what I am doing cease to exist and therefore my body is unwilling to move because there is no clear direction.
Because of my lack of attention to my personal and spiritual life my physical well being is suffering. This week has been plagued by lethargy. My mind is less focused and small bad habits have been creeping back in. My mind often drifts between the now and then and I find myself eating and doing things off plan I have done for years without a conscious thought.
This got me thinking today about the real reason as to why I have been feeling pretty vacant and unmotivated lately. And I have come to the realisation that there must be other issues to be dealt with if I am to get my mind back on track.
So, I learn once again. I must pay attention to all areas of strength and not get caught up on the physical like so many do. In fact I must pay more attention to my spiritual and psychological strength before I look to build my physical and physiological. I need to take it a lot slower and increase my strengths in synergy and balance. Taking care not to emphasise one above the other or increasing one strength and forgetting the other.
Yes, the road is long and I am slowly learning to accept this. Many changes will occur and paradigm shifts will never cease surprise me. My ideas will change and my thoughts will differ from when I began. All part of this learning process. I thank God, my family, my mentors and friends, like you, for hanging in there with me.