I am back. Where have I been you ask? I wish I could say I was lazy, spending my summer and fall hiking through crunchy leaves and sipping lattes. Life has been crazy with a major surgery (Parotidectomy), major complications (fluid filled face/medical hijab), major race (Ultra Ragnar), and major life change (nursing school). I’ve been busy. Just a little. As I have trudged through the last four months barely keeping myself a float, I have had moments where I realized workout life and real-life are not very different. I decided to share my enlightenment.
Workout Rules that Rule Life
- Workouts are really hard for the first few weeks but they do get easier.
We have all been there. Starting a new workout routine. The PAIN. The two-days-later soreness. The, “Oh my God… I can’t even walk down stairs let alone go back to the gym!?” That happened to me this year with nursing school. The first few weeks (month) was brutal! The new schedule, the studying, the family adjustment…PAINFUL. I had weeks of mental and emotional soreness, but you know what? I kept going and it got easier. I was less sore. Amazing… just like a sticking with a workout.
- Bad workouts are good.
Sometimes you need a bad workout. They are humbling. Not every day can be a PR day. Many days in a row you go through life without gains, but when you FINALLY do… hot damn, does it feel good. That last nursing test of the semester when I went from a 70% to a 95%. It felt just as good as barely being able to back squat 165# for one rep to cranking out 5 reps at 185#. Feeling: AMAZE-BALLS. Whether it be in the weight room, wearing a medical hijab or moving across country, when you switch from a “bad” [FILL IN THE BLANK] to “good”, there is nothing better. Life is your workout, and some days will suck but you always do the best you can. Not what you did yesterday or tomorrow, but TODAY!
- Exercise really does do a body good.
As I have been cranking through nursing school, one repetitive thing comes up for every disease or ailment; the single factor that can improve overall wellness from mental to physical is exercise. I was the only student the entire semester to not have a cold. People kept asking me how I was handling it (2 courses, kids, etc.) and how I can be perpetually happy. One, genetics. Two, self care. I was able to get 95% of my workouts in and did my best to eat healthfully. (Thanks, Kathie!) When I didn’t, my test scores didn’t always turn out as planned. My mood was horrible. If it wasn’t for the gym, my kids would not be alive, let alone fed. That was just the mental part. My face was disconnected from blood supply for a good portion of 5 weeks and my skin is AMAZING! All attributed to exercise. No “Sloth” Halloween costume for me. Were all my workouts as long as hard as I like or used to do? No, of course not. But they were just the mind-body release I needed to separate from my reality so I could stay in the game.
- Gym Etiquette (Be a spotter. Rack weights. Form.)
These are pretty much the rules of the gym, but easily apply to everyday life. BE KIND. Seriously… if you see someone with horrible kettlebell form or about to squish their head during a bench press, help them out. If you see an old man having a hard time carrying his groceries, help the guy out. What are all those farmer carries really for if not for groceries!? BE RESPECTFUL. Don’t be a total douche bag and leave the gym a mess. That’s just lame. This is another pretty self explanatory one in life. Note: World doesn’t like douche-bags. FORM: Why would you do anything half-assed? It’s like doing a quarter crunch or half a bicep curl. Or not going all the way to AT LEAST parallel in a back squat. What good does it do you? If you are going to do something, do it right! Do it 100%, all in. If you can’t, then why are you doing it in the first place!? If you fail, so what! At least you tried and there is always someone (or something) to bail you out.
- Gym friends are REAL friends.
I have lots of friends and I adore them all. If I ever leave one of them without saying I love you, it is a rare day. There is something about gym (workout/soccer) friends that go above and beyond everyone else. They see you in your worst of days and best days. They are there for your triumphs and failures. They HUG you big, SWEATY hugs even though you smell like pee (Scott won’t even get close to me after I workout). They take days off of work to help you get your face sucked out. They make you smoothies, soup and bags full of hard-boiled eggs understanding your body’s need for good healthful food. They order you your kid’s Halloween costume accessories because you didn’t have your shit together to actually buy them yourself. They lend you their babysitter so you can actually go “all in”. They make you accountable and remind you of your true self. Lastly, they truly understand the importance of chalk, a sparkly hat, and a good cup of coffee.
I think of these often. I am always amazed how gym rules translate to life. With these rules to guide you, life can be pretty damn simple. And that is very refreshing.