There are levels to this ish…

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the best conference I have ever attended. GRRRL Live 2018, run by the amazing company GRRRL Clothing in Las Vegas, was a weekend of self-discovery and self- reflection. We had talks on sisterhood, food addiction, white priveledge and many other topics. There were also workshops on plant-based living, Arm Wrestling, Deadlifting with the fabulous Meg Squats and so many different opportunities to try new things, as well as my favourite workshop- a MMA workshop with the one, the only, Rose Namajunas and Pat Barry. This was my first trip to the USA and now I am back home in Australia, so many thoughts and feelings are running through my head and heart. It is hard to know where to start, but I knew that this first blog had to be about one of the biggest things I have been facing. These thoughts finally came up, hit me in the face (for once not literally but metaphorically) and have sunk in. That lesson? There are levels to this shit.

Golden Nugget, views from the top level.

What do I mean by this? Well let me tell you a story from GRRRL Live 2018. One of the guest speakers was an incredbile woman by the name of Melodee Meyer, aka Master Mel. Her talk was on Breaking through limiting beliefs and barriers. Master Mel uses lessons that she has learnt through her own tumutluous life, her masters degree in Spiritual Psychology and her journey through Martial Arts (she is a 5th Dan Black Belt in Karate) to teach people how to break through those limiting beliefs that stop people from achieving their goals. I have been working on these things also with my own Human Potential Coach Briana Bowley, so all of these thoughts were at the forefront of my mind. At first, I was not super engaged with Mel’s lessons. While her life story really intrigued me, I actually did not even relate to her life- despite the martial arts connection. It was not until she introduced an activity for the group to do, that I suddenly had to face my own ego. I was going to get a wake up call.

Now, the activity she gave the group was board breaking. I internally rolled my eyes. Board breaking? Weak boards that actually break super easy. How flashy. What she asked us to do was write one of our limiting beliefs on one side of the board, then our goal on the other side. Then in front of the group, we were to hammerfist through the board. I took a deep breath, and asked myself why was I so quick to brush off this fun activity? Where did this resistant come from? Well I knew what my goal was, it’s the whole point of my social media presence and this blog; to get in and fight in the cage. What was the thing stopping me? Well I still had this weight to lose. Easy. I know myself…or did I?

I suddenly started to panic. What if I didn’t break this board in front of everybody? Everybody looked at me like “Oh this is going to be easy for you, you are a martial artist.” I’ve broken the skin off my hands. I’ve bruised people…but I have never broken a board. My coach tells me I have knock out power….but I’ve never broken a board. What if I don’t break this board in front of all these people? I will be exposed. That’s when it hit me. This imposter syndrome. I still do not believe that I will be able to get into that cage. There is a part of me that is so terrififed that I am not who I want to be. That I am playing a part. That I’m a pretender. What if I get in that cage and I freeze? What if….

One side of my board

Boom! Then it hit me. There was the reason for my resistance. There is the reason that no matter how hard I try, these scales won’t budge. I’m on the brink. I am so close to getting to my goal…but by not losing the last of this weight, I am protecting myself from achieving this goal. Self-sabotage. This board breaking activity? Not quite getting in the cage BUT it’s the same thing- on a smaller level. THERE IS LEVELS TO THIS SHIT. I just needed to get up and break this damn board in front of these people. I just needed to do it. So I did. I smashed through that board and the emotions came flooding over me. I did it. I knew I could do it. Just like I know that when it comes time for me to fight, I will be able to do it. Whether I win or lose, it doesn’t matter. I know that when it comes time, that I will do the best I can for that moment. I don’t need to keep using this weight to hide behind, to protect me from success.

My limiting belief (along with my typos)

There are levels to fear, there are levels to success. Sometimes we need to see things on a smaller scale in order to understand how it relates to a bigger part of our lives. Foreshadowing is not just a literay motif, it’s a part of our own lives. Every day, we are faced with decisions and situations that can prepare us for the bigger battles and challenges that we may face. Take every oportunity you can for growth, because you never know, that feeling of resistance that develops inside you, is a sign that you are about to level up in life.

Breaking through those beliefs

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Stop Apologising.

Stop it.

I’ve spent the last ten minutes thinking how to word a status about my upcoming steps I’m taking to achieve my goal of getting into the cage. One of the biggest part of that goal is too lose weight.

This is going to require a lot of saying no to things. No to dinners out, no to events because I’m going to need my energy for training. Saying no to gifts of food. Just saying no.

I wanted to tell people, too warn people that I’m going to be a bit missing in action. That I may be short tempered and crabby. That I’m going to picking training and sleep over social outings. I wanted to apologise.

Why do I need to though? Why do I feel the need to say sorry? I’m not going out of my way to be an asshole. I’m just living my life the way I want to live it.

Does that need an apology?

No it doesn’t.

What I’m going to say instead is…

Thank you for being my friend.

And if somebody is going to hate on me for it? Well then they aren’t my friend.

When the shoe is on the other foot, I don’t expect apologies or explanations. Do what you have to do. Just do it.

Don’t apologise for following your dreams.

Just do what you have to do.

What they don’t tell you about losing weight…

Losing weight. Losing body fat. That number on the damn scales.
It has a hold over most of us, a hold that is more than we could even realise.
There are so many quick fixes and so called “easy solutions”.
We are being marketed so much crap, told so many lies in order to scare us in to buying things that are total bullshit.

Well everybody, I’m going to be honest with you. I’m going to be raw with you.
There is nothing fucking easy about losing weight.
Everything around changes, but ultimately, you are still the same person regardless if you weigh 65kg or 122kg.

Yes. Your confidence will improve.
Shopping in non-plus size stores does boost you up…for a little bit.
Those compliments from family members and friends?
They feel great…for a little bit.
Unless you fix your mentality though, unless you learn to love yourself as you are though….
those feelings will be temporary.

The scales going down? Feels brilliant right?
But what about when the number doesn’t change?
I can move my scales around my bathroom and it can be a discrepancy of about 500g-3kg’s. How about that head fuck?
Also how about when it’s been weeks and the scales haven’t budged.
You feel like a failure…all the while ignoring the fact your body is telling you otherwise.
The jean sizes dropping, you are less fatigued walking up a flight of stairs….you are feeling energised. You are fitter, faster and stronger….yet that number still digs at you.
Until you learn to tell it to go shove up, you won’t be satisfied.

Nutrition. That’s where it all lies.
No food is bad. Food is not evil, but that guilt of over indulging lingers like a bad smell.
Food is nourishing but the world is full of it.
Dinner dates, lunch breaks, social events.
It’s so hard to stick to those nutrition plans.
People will tell you how good you are doing with a mouth full of burger.
People will tell you that you need to treat yourself when in reality, you don’t need food as a treat.
Food, like money, is just a tool. It can be awesome to indulge, but it’s not necessary.
Until you fix your relationship with food, you won’t be able to sustain good health.

I’m sore 24/7.
I’m tired 24/7.
Sore from working out.
Tired from that mental game of pushing myself every single day.
I’m fighting cravings, urges, negative emotions, perceptions of my failure and fears of my own success. I’m constantly learning how to accept compliments, how to handle the mix of happiness and anger when I’m not getting dirty looks in “normal” clothing stores. Being how told how good I look on a regular basis and fighting those negative ideas of people only liking me because I’m thinner. I’m constantly learning how to navigate the new limitations, the new feelings and the new way my body moves.
Until you realise that you may not always want to work out or that losing weight isn’t the secret to life, you will never be happy.

Losing weight has not brought me happiness. Being smaller has not made my life better.
Do you know what has though?
Finding my passion.
Pushing through new challenges that I face every single day.
Doing physical things like push ups on my toes, somersaults and moving in ways I never thought I could.
Making new friends because I’m no longer afraid to step out into the world.
Learning how to fight my demons instead of hide from them.
Creating and fostering healthy relationships with my body, my mind, my soul and my surroundings.

Losing weight was just a by product.
The real victory is that I learnt how to love myself and that I deserve better for myself.
and that could of come at size 22 or size 12.

The Person I’ve Always Wanted to Be

Last night I had a night off. I made my dinner, had my music on and curled up on my couch with my laptop, planning to work on my book. My body was (and still is to be honest) bruised, sore and tired- but satisfied. Then it hit me. As I was eating my amazing vegan dinner, singing along to Rage Against the Machine, sore from MMA training and working on my craft- I had become the person that young me always wanted to be. It may not be the exact same version as I had envisioned, but the overall idea for what I had in mind for myself is now coming to fruition.

I have always been a passionate, emotional and creative person. There are two things I’ve always wanted to be; a writer and a teacher. I also wanted to be an activist and a vegetarian. Two hobbies I always wanted too do were kickboxing and breaking (breakdancing). I always wanted to remain conscious of my surroundings and not lose my love for people.

I now look at my life. I may not be a kickboxer or a breakdancer; but I’m a KRUMPER and a Mixed Martial Artist. I may not be a published writer or working as a high school teacher; but here I am writing this blog and I’ve been teaching in different areas- all fulfilling my want to inspire and empower people. I am working on becoming a better activist, using my growing platform too spread my passionate beliefs and I am one step further than being a vegetarian; I’ve been vegan for over a year now.

It is amazing how we can lose sight of ourselves. We feel like we have lost that connection to or innocence. We feel like that if we had our time again, maybe we would do things differently…but if we take the time to reflect, reconnect and take the time to see how we already have achieved our goals and dreams on a smaller scale.

Don’t stop striving, don’t stop re-evaluating and don’t stop believing in yourself. You may be closer to your goals than you have even realised.

Get Over Yourself

If there is one thing I have learnt on this journey to become the best version of myself it’s that the one way to be successful is that you need to get the fuck over yourself.

Crude? Sure. Blunt? Of course. True? At least in my experience, yes.

What do I mean by this though? Well I mean that you gotta take away the stigma of looking like an idiot. In order to level up in life, you cannot cruise by looking cool. You cannot go out there and be perfect every single time. You got to be prepared to get mud on your face, you got to accept that people may laugh at you and most importantly, you cannot be afraid to get real with people.

These humans are the greatest!

Last weekend I entered a KRUMP event. I took risks, I wore my heart on my sleeve, I pushed myself and I experimented. I stopped caring how I looked, I focused on how I felt. I opened myself up in a real way and it was raw, it was emotional and it was oh so fulfilling. At the end, I started crying. I could have excused myself, I could of gone to the bathroom and sobbed in private. I could have taken a walk and told myself to suck it up, that crying in front of a group of boys would look weak. I didn’t though. I sat down and sobbed with this group of guys I care about so much, I opened up to them, I cried into my friends shoulder. That was my most authentic self in that moment. You know what? I was respected for it. I took a risk, and yes it paid off.

Inspired by these amazing women to be authentically myself!

In the past, breakdowns like that have garnered criticism. In the past, I was around people who would laugh at me or tell me to grow up. Now I’ve built a new circle where I can be unapologetically myself, shows just how far I’ve come as a person. The ability to be vulnerable, to push aside your ego, opens you up to criticism but it also opens you up to growth. It opens you up to respect, to love, to connecting with people. It allows you to listen, to feel and to create.

Not everybody will get your art, not everybody will understand your tears and not everybody will respect you, but at the end of the day…if you stay caring about what other people think, about appearing tough and so together, you will miss out on the opportunity to become a better version of yourself.

Get the fuck over yourself, trust me, it will pay off in the end.

Be The Person You Needed

Me freaking out before jitz today, the truth behind the photo

As much as my life involves stepping out of my comfort zone and pushing past the limits, it takes me a lot of mental energy to even get to a place where I can do that. Even rocking up to a group class at a gym I’ve been going too for the last year and a half still leaves me in next level panic mode.

I used to lowkey have an anxiety attack before each training session because I couldn’t wrap my hands, now it’s part of my calm down before training ritual

When I started doing Brazilian jiujitsu, my anxiety would go through the roof with these classes. My weight, the lack of personal space, trusting beginners with body, my trust with other people’s bodies, my ability to keep up with the fitness….everything! The fact I could not even do a forward roll didn’t help things. It was not a fun time, so once I was told I had to go up to the next class with all the “scary” guys who were on another level, I freaked out and decided that maybe BJJ was not for me.

Fast forward to this year. I decide that I need to go back to BJJ as well as do some more technique classes in boxing and muay thai, to really sharpen my skills. I want to be the best fighter I can be. Nervous as, I go back to the intro to BJJ class at a different time with a different teacher. I LOVE my old teacher, she was an absolute legend and made me feel so comfortable, but her time slot didn’t work for me. After much self talk and deep breathing, I made my way into class and met my great teacher Oliver.

Find a badass support system, and give back by supporting them too.

Now, I’m one of these people who tend to stick to training and partnering with the people I trust. Another reason I quit BJJ originally was my rolling partner injured her shoulder, so I didn’t have that person I felt comfortable with. I didn’t exactly feel comfortable with the person I was partnered with for my first class back, but early days yeah? The following week was interesting. There was a woman doing her first lesson and I ended up partnering with her. We had a great time, learning and applying the techniques. She ended up signing up to the gym, and in her conversation with Rich, our gym receptionist, she told him that she was so thankful she got to partner with me, because I made her feel comfortable. What? Here was me thinking that it was great to partner with her because I trusted her pretty quickly, and she felt the same about me.

That night I also attended the introduction to boxing class. While I’ve been training with a brilliant striker, it doesn’t hurt to learn some boxing technique and get everything really tidy. This was the second week I was doing this class and the woman I had partnered with the week before was also back to do the class. When she saw me, her reaction took me by surprise. She said something along the lines of, “Thank god you are here! I was hoping you would be! It was so good to partner with you last week, you made me feel so comfortable!’

This is when I realised that I had become the person that I wanted when I first started training. After discussing with some other women in my BJJ class today, we all came to the same conclusion that we were thankful to train with people who wanted to help us learn, protected each other and really focused on learning. Supporters and students of the craft where no egos were necessary. We also became women supporting women. The changes I had made in myself made me seek out those women that need a little help to feel comfortable in the class, and support them starting their martial arts journeys. Now these women hopefully will do the same for new students that they come across.

Don’t take it so seriously, we are all on this planet to learn and help each other!

When it comes to being a student; we all have to start somewhere. The old saying in BJJ is “a black belt is a white belt that never gave up.” Whether it’s martial arts, a gym class, a university course or any environment where you feel uncomfortable, remember that most people most likely feel the same. We are all students of life, and the more we let ourselves be empathetic of each other, the more we try to become the people we needed in a difficult time, the easier life will be to get through.

Growing Pains

Do you ever think to yourself through hard times and say “one day this will make a great chapter in my book?” If you don’t, maybe start. I’ve found it’s one thing that gets me through a rough day. I work in a gym where my job is pretty much half lifeguard and half gym bitch. The lifeguard part is pretty self explanatory, I walk around a low capacity 1.2m Pool and make sure people know they can stand up if things get too much. I also make sure people don’t die in the sauna. It’s a pretty cruisey job. The other half, the gym bitch half, means I clean a lot. Changerooms, cardio machines, gym floor, open people’s lockers, refill those lovely spray bottles and make sure you always have enough paper towels to clean your machines/benches after use (which you should do thank you). All in all, it’s a pretty great job. I work with great people, the pay is pretty good, I get annual and sick leave and a free gym membership. I’ve come to terms that this is not my dream job, it’s not my career and even when I’m spending an afternoon cleaning up endless amounts of hair from the changeroom floors….it’s going to make a great chapter in my book when I finally get to my goal destination. Character building? Yeah I think so.

One thing though I can’t come to grips with in my life right now is my body image. It’s weird. I wrote a whole blog about this before, but this isn’t to do with my weight, it’s more to do with all those little things that seem to grind away at your self esteem. I recently shaved my head, which I do not regret in the slightest, but I decided I’m going to grow it out into a more funky style. Which can almost be a metaphor at where I am right now. I’m not happy or satisfied about where I am in life right now, just like I’m not happy or satisfied at what my hair is doing right now. It’s at a rough, growing out phase. Also I found some grey hairs which has me going into my 27th year on this planet almost in complete denial and disarray. Time is not stopping, my body is showing me that. Wrinkles, grey hair and the inability to handle more than a few glasses of wine shows me that I’m not 18 anymore. I may be healthier, fitter and definitely more confident, but I’m still getting older and the dreams that 17 year old me had, have completely changed. I’m not where I thought I would be, nor do I want to be where I thought I would be.

I thought I would have this huge glow up phase. Hit university, lose weight, get a degree, get a high paid job, and spend my nights out with fancy people chatting about books over wine and not worrying about the bill. Well I still chat about books with people, though they are on pool decks and behind the desk at martial arts gyms. I drink wine, but it definitely is not every night and the bills? Well that’s my constant worry.

Right now, I’m at this complete stage of my life where I’ve come so far, yet can only seem to focus on the road to go. I have my sights on my dream career, my dream body, my dream lifestyle and of course, my dream life partner. I’ve put myself out there and told people “this is what I want to do”. I’ve started to open myself up left and right, exposing my fears and vulnerabilities. I have break downs over grey hair and at the same time, I have emotional meltdowns over having feelings for men like I’m sixteen years old again. I am stronger and fitter, yet I am not as strong and as fit as I want to be. I have so much freedom to chase my dreams, but I still got to worry about how my rent is getting paid. So much of my life right now is in this state of growing pains….but it’s okay.

This time is going to make a great chapter in my book yeah? I hope so and I hope you all will buy it when I do get to write it. For now though, take this blog post as a sign that even the people you think have it all together and figured out….really don’t…and that is quite alright. Write your own book, I’ll buy yours if you buy mine yeah?

Forever the Fat Kid

A conversation I was having with my mum recently got me thinking. My mum, who has struggled with her weight most of my life, has not always struggled with it. She was a thinner, lean and athletic kid who only gained weight later in life. This is something she has wrestled with for decades- I mean, we love our food in our family.

I am a little different. I have been overweight for as long as I remember. I first was made aware of my weight when I was 5 years old. A school yard bully used to call me fatso. It didn’t really affect me, but either way, I told my mum and she made his life hell. The taunting stuff and I moved on with my life. The next time I was bullied for my weight was when I was living in Darwin. I hit puberty at a very young age, and looking back at the photos of me at that time, I should not have worried so much. Yes, I carried some extra weight, but I was also strong and athletic. It’s amazing the perceptions you have. In grade 4, we did an activity for maths, where the teachers weighed us and put together a scale. The names were anonymous, but at 9 years old I was 60kg, a full 20kg heavier than the other two kids who were the closest in my weight. This crushed me. It made me feel so bad and this is when my body issues started.

What I didn’t realise was that I was over a head taller than these other kids. I have only grown 2 inches since I was 10, so at 9 years old and quite on my way to puberty, as well as somebody who played loads of sport…I was most likely heavier due to the muscle, bit of extra baby fat and I was overall a lot bigger than the other kids in all ways. Oh the benefit of hindsight. This doesn’t solve the overall issue though….why did being heavy make me feel so bad? Was it because I sucked at running in PE? Well, throw me in the pool and I could beat most of the other kids. Was it because I couldn’t lift myself on the monkey bars? Well, I could throw a shot put a lot further than most of the class too. Was it because when we sat down on a bench, I would take up double the space? Well, taking up space is simply something we are told not to do as women. The smaller the better, and with my loud voice and big body, I was going against what was desirable for women.

As I got older and I dropped out of sport due to mainly my body issues, I turned to something that gave me so much joy- food. While some kids who enter their teens dealing with all these emotions turn to alcohol, drugs, self harm etc., food was my drug of choice. People outside of school in the music scene I was apart of would call me the whale behind my back and on Myspace posts. I couldn’t fit into the clothes that the other girls wore and when you had those gorgeous, slim best friends, of course you were always left to the side. It’s okay though, food was always there for me. I don’t remember a day in my teens where I was under 100kg, but it’s okay. I had good friends, I had good times and I guess my weight created a barrier- it did lead to some people using it get me vulnerable and take advantage of me…but it also led me to having some of the best friends that I am still close with to this day. My weight made me feel like I was hard to love, and in cases people preyed on that but others did not see my weight, they just loved me for me and that was awesome.

Fast forward many years and once I’m the lightest I’ve been in a long time. After hitting my all time high at 122.5kg’s at 25 years old, I’m looking at hitting 27 in the 80-something kg range and it’s a strange feeling. I am the smallest I’ve been since I was about 11 years old- but my personality is more than double that. I am struggling though with how I see myself. I look at spaces, at clothes, at how I move, how I walk- I feel like I’m still 122.5kg’s. I tell myself I can’t fit into or through there, I can’t do that activity because my body is too big. People in stores are nicer to me, instead of turning their nose up when I walk into the non-plus size stores. Shopping with friends still gives me anxiety about fitting into things. When my calories drop in a cut, I flip out mentally because some part of me still thinks if I don’t have that food, what else will give me comfort? The biggest thing though? People don’t like the fat kid. People are judging me when I move, when I eat and when I talk. When I tell people I work in a gym, people must be judging me. When I tell people I’m studying to be a PT, they must roll their eyes. People MUST be seeing me as the fat kid…when you’ve been a at kid your whole life, it is so hard to shake that judgement, no matter how small your body gets.

Are these feelings so bad? Maybe. Are the destructive? They can be. They also remind me of where I’ve come from. They make me realise that being fat is not the enemy, it is the arseholes who judged me for it. Society made me feel like being fat was the worst thing I can possibly be. People aren’t going to like me better now I’m losing weight though, I am still the same person. Just because I’m not taking up the physical space….I have a personality big enough to make up for my smaller size. It’s made me more empathetic. It makes me realise just how disordered people’s relationships with weight and food is. It’s made me realise that this society can be a piece of shit when it comes to teaching us how to navigate the world. If it wasn’t for my fight goals, I probably wouldn’t even step on the damn scales!

Yes, I am forever going to be the fat kid. Being the fat kid taught me valuable lessons. It taught me how to be big, because at the end of the day, being big- whether it be physically, in personality, in ambition or in spirit….is never a bad thing.

Input vs Output: What I learned from the Commando

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Not going to lie, took this picture to make my Mum jealous

 

Now, like many households in Australia, had “The Biggest Loser” make it’s way into the night time television viewing. While the show has it’s many problems, you cannot deny that the trainers on this show have become somewhat celebrities amongst the Australian media landscape.

I, along with many, many other people (particularly straight women and gay men- but let’s not leave anybody out) have found themselves a bit hot and bothered over trainer “The Commando” Steve Willis. His chiseled body, gruff voice, tattoos, alpha male demeanour and no-nonsense attitude grabbed our attention, and often stole the show (I mean who can forget the iconic scenes of him swimming back onto the beach pretty much dragging a boat and the time the ladies of black team did a favour for us all and got him to work out shirtless).

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Sorry, not sorry. Picture credit: http://bit.ly/2h59XLR

So when I saw he was doing a Q&A session at the Aus Fitness Show at the “Healthy Living stage”- a stage mainly reserved for nutrition and wellness talks, I was honestly a little surprised. Nethertheless, my good friend Michelle (no, not Michelle Bridges), urged me to go and listen. We sat in the front of a crowd that (not surprisingly) was mainly full of women around the ages of late 20’s-early 50’s, and I could not help feel intrigued about what he was going to say. I honestly can say that I didn’t really know much about him, other than what we’ve seen on The Biggest Loser.

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Dropping that knowledge

Right from the top he was honest. He said that nutrition was not his field of expertise but he would try his best to answer any questions. When nobody raised their hands, I knew it was my duty to break the awkward moment. I asked him a simple question about getting adequate nutrition for training and some advice on how to ensure this- well I was surprised by how he answered. The depth of insight this man has into leading a healthy lifestyle, not just physically but emotionally, mentally and spiritually was evident in the way he responded. He was well read on philosophy, experienced in human interaction and relationships, and gave a message of living in balance and harmony.

There were a few major lessons that struck me. The first one was the concept of living to your purpose and how we sit so much in our comfort zones, and the detriment of focusing on the material, rather than taking the risk and immersing ourselves in the hard work of reaching our goals and dreams. He talked about how we are not willing to put our best foot forward and to just grind it out. As well talking about how we often will not take the risk because we want something automatically in return. What if we do all this hard work and there is no reward? Well, we as humans need to realise that rewards aren’t as clear cut as we expect and sometimes we need to do something because it needs to be done, not because we are going to benefit from it. I saw this as, why should I do the heavy lifting now? Why should I make a noise, stand up for whats right and try to create change? What if I don’t benefit from this now? Well, the louder I shout now, the more I do now, means that the future don’t have to do it. Another way to explain it; why should I put my weights away at the gym? I don’t get anything from it…well if you do it, then it saves somebody else having to do it and that’s just being a good person.

He also talked about input vs output; how life is constantly moving and that we are always focusing on our output. How hard can I train? How much can I complete? How much work do I have to do? As much as this is important, a lot of us can’t focus on the input. Physical things like sleep, food, recovery, rest days- these are as important to our progression as all the things we do in the gym- if not more. Our mental and emotional input; days off, taking time too do the things you love, taking a break from the world- these things will make your mental and emotional output so much stronger. We cannot receive if our hands are full, but in the same aspect, if we swing too far the other way, we become overloaded and if we are constantly taking, taking, taking…you won’t be able to lighten your load to move forward.

Another interesting point he talked about was the rate of progression, about building foundations. He equated it a squat- if somebody does not have the functional movement pattern to squat, then they are going to struggle to run, as the primal movement patterns are similiar. If we do not build a foundation, or take time to learn the basics, we cannot expect to move forward adequately. This same concept can be applied to so many things. I see this in martial arts, I teach this in swimming- if you don’t have a grasp on the basics, then you are going to struggle to take on the complex. If you don’t know how to read a nutritional label- then how can you expect to make more healthy choices? If you don’t learn how to look after yourself, then how can you expect to take that time to do it?

As a humans, we spend so much time caught up in our lives that we forget some of the basic lessons. Yes, this man made his fame on a reality TV Show, but in his life, he has constructed a path for himself that has allowed him to keep rising, to keep moving forward and living a life that is fulfilling. He has put in the work as well as taken the gifts that the universe has given him. I can honestly say that his depth impressed me, and that his talk was the most fulfilling part of the Aus Fitness Show. I hope this can inspire you on your day too.

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