After a period of anxiety ridden burn out, I woke up on Tuesday morning, excited to train with my coach, Lukaz “The Lycan” Catubig. 7:15am training sessions, as cringe worthy as most people find them, I really enjoy training in the morning. The best part though? After almost a month of being an anxious, sick and unmotivated wreck, I woke up on Tuesday morning feeling alive. It was the third day in a row I was going to work out and it was the third day in a row I was happy to work out.
This burn out period got me good. My normal 5am/6am wake ups, turned into 10-11am. My normal 4-6 days in the gym, turned into maybe 2 or 3 sessions of me dragging myself in to work out. It was a period that may not seem long on the calendar, but to me, it felt like an eternity. Two days before this burn out hit, I had just achieved one of my biggest goals and I was on top of the world- but hey, as life goes, sometimes you got to take the setbacks. Once my flu/cold symptoms disappeared, I was still left with this overwhelming feeling of panic and anxiety, that I just couldn’t kick.
This is isn’t the first time this has happened, it has happened many times before, but this time, things were different. Normally this set back period would take me back to square one, I would give up my goals and just go back to the binge eating wreck. What was different this time? Mixed Martial Arts aka MMA.
Through MMA, I was able to subconsciously implement safety nets- like my nutrition. Since I had adapted and made sure I had set all these contingency plans in place, it meant that instead of eating crap and binge eating through this down period, all the food I had in my house was easy to prep and extremely nutritious. Through MMA, I was able to learn to breathe, to focus and to meditate, I was able to at least try to bring my mindset to a more positive place- even if it was just for a brief moment in the day. Also the biggest way MMA contributed was my support network- seeing those who I had met through MMA, also the people I looked up to, keep crushing it, made me more motivated to get through this difficult period. Not only this, I witnessed one thing that really flipped my anxiety on its head- I saw my coach get knocked out.
Before his fight, I was anxious, I couldn’t help it. I’m naturally maternal so when I see somebody I care about put themselves in harms way (even if it is their job!) it gives me a physical reaction. Well, he got knocked out- definitely not the result he had wanted, seeing somebody go down and not knowing how hurt they are really ramps up that adrenaline! He got up, he recovered and by Monday morning, he was back in the gym. He accepted the loss, realised his mistakes and took it in his stride. This was not going to stop him and it was realising this, it inspired me to keep fighting for what I want.
What are my goals? To get into that cage. What do I have to do to get there? Get in the best shape I can and build my skills up so I can get to that point. What are the biggest obstacles? It’s not going to be the woman I step into the cage with, it’s going to be myself. It’s up to me to put in the work, it’s up to me to battle my demons and it is up to me find the best ways to overcome obstacles. Does that mean I’m going to have to work hard? Yes. Does that mean I may have to make some sacrifices? Definitely. Is it going to be scary? Damn right it is going to be, hell it already is terrifying.
At the end of the day though, it’s not about winning every battle, it’s about keeping going because you never really lose, if you take those lessons and use them to learn.