My personal training session today was up there with horrific in so many ways.
I had to run as fast as I could for 5 minutes without stopping, outside, in the heat, on tired legs, past a building site (up and down past them several times), with my trainer beside me who is elite and barely broke a sweat.
The warm up over to the designated ‘track’ was reasonable, gentle jog, couple of sharpeners; 15 – 20 seconds at pace to wake the legs up and then back to a jog. And then, it began. From the first minute it was tough, ‘one minute down’ she said, my head is like ‘what the actual F***?!??!’, I am already dying. First interval complete, legs feel like lead, can’t talk, heart wants to come out of my chest. 3 minutes rest. How is it possible to blink and 3 minutes disappear?! Second attempt, she told me ‘it will feel slightly easier, you are warm now’…. LIAR. I definitely almost died, I mean I was making involuntary sounds, heaving, and my legs weren’t warmer, they were on fire and seemed to have gained about 50% extra weight. And I am so glad that the lovely builders felt it was appropriate to cheer us on!!
By the third one I was furious. Cross at how hard it was, how much I was struggling, I felt weak, angry, tears picked my cheeks. I thought ‘you suck’ and a million thoughts flashed through my head, I started to think about all my other ‘failings’ and I was angry. I couldn’t talk after the third sprint and I didn’t want to. Repeat a few more times, it got harder, I was sticky with sweat, my hair was soaking, I had salty eyebrows and I wanted to throw in the towel.
And then I looked at my stats, not only had I maintained a consistent pace, I had actually beaten it as the intervals went on, it wasn’t getting harder, I was working harder! It wasn’t that I was failing, it was that I was pushing myself, way outside my confront zone and it felt like hell. I had won the battle, I had got out of my head and into my body.
I ask one thing of my clients ‘you give it everything you’ve got’, I motivate, inspire, coach and encourage but the bottom line is; it’s up to you. In the end when you turn up to a session you are either trying to get away with it, or you are going all in. I don’t expect you to go to the depths I do, training for a half marathon is a very personal goal and I chose to do it outside of my comfort zone. Many of my clients are actually kind enough to say they enjoy their sessions with me, maybe they are liars…. but here’s the bottom line; you’re going to have to get uncomfortable. You’re going to have to accept that you won’t be in control of your expression, the noises you make and sometimes your body will not cooperate but if you want a result, effort goes a long way.
Developing this mindset during my workouts has given me the platform to deal with other challenges in my life. Building a business from scratch requires some serious resilience. Losing a parent is an epic blow. Life is full of challenges and adventures, but in my opinion it is always richer as a result of taking them on, you can’t fail, you can only learn. So my advice? Give it everything you’ve got, and when it’s tough, that’s not you failing, that’s you growing, you’re headed in the right direction, keep going that way.
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