It’s happened again. It seems to be a perennial problem with me. I get so engrossed in the back room stuff here at Kirby’s Personal Training and Fitness as well as still figuring out everything that is not right with my ongoing knee issue, and before I know it I’m heavier than I have been in the last three years, my training (if I’m honest) is sporadic at best and my mind set is off somewhere that isn’t here.
For some people, drawing everything back in, regaining focus and being single minded comes very easily. For me the opposite is true. I am a perpetual over thinker, and I scrutinise everything I say and do to the point of causing major panic attacks and anxiety. I’ve just learned very quickly to deal with them away from prying eyes and to hide most of my fears and anxiety by feigning confidence. I often feel claustrophobic in crowds. I’m even worrying about writing this blog and how it will be perceived.
So I’m laying down a few pointers from the off:
- I’m not asking for sympathy or reassurance. I’m writing this to show even we coaches fell like this. It’s a lot more common than you probably realise.
- I am exceptionally proud of what I’ve achieved so far. So no one say ‘you should be proud’, because I am and what makes you think I’m not? Im fiercely proud of everything I’ve done to get me to this point. It’s been hard, soul destroying on times, seriously uplifting to the point of dizziness and I’m very blessed. But see previous comment of being a perpetual over thinker.
- I don’t require pointers from the well meaning. Harsh? probably but necessary to say on times. I truly appreciate your support, I do, but I wouldn’t have the success I have, in my job, if I didn’t know what I should, need and will be doing.
- I don’t write blogs about my own struggles for the attention. If I want attention I’ll get my mic and get on stage or I’ll run butt-naked around Port Talbot. Guess which I opt for? (that’s a rhetorical question, no need to answer haha!). I write them so my clients and those who want my help can see they’re not alone, that they’re not the only ones who go through this.
So, now we have that out of the way…
I noticed recently that I am super efficient at procrastinating. To the outside world I appear super busy, and I am if I stop and look, but I’m also super brilliant at wasting time. I have spurts of productivity and then………*cue wind and some tumbleweed*….. I spend time scheduling every minute of my week and Wednesday morning, I’m so far behind it’s untrue.
My problem then becomes – am I spending too much time on ‘me’ and not enough time with the other half, family or on my clients and business? It’s a perpetual shuffle of time that we are all feeling the pressure of. And therein lies the problem….pressure!
In the modern Western world, we are under increasing pressure from all angles. Pressure to be absolutely perfect in every possible way; to be the most intelligent; beautiful; have a six pack; be feminine; be a man’s man. As a personal trainer the pressure is to be the best PT ever, the strongest, have a squatters butt, have a six pack, a thigh gap, be the fastest….it never ends. On top of this, I personally have the pressure of being a performer (yes, this is real at any level and people who don’t feel it, good for you because it sucks). In the age of celebrity, even being in a very small band, people scrutinise and comment on everything, from how you sang to whether your hair is right or not. The horror that surrounded my cutting of my hair two years ago was quite something, even to the point of being asked, in all seriousness, if it would affect my voice?? We do live in an odd world on times. But I digress.
It’s too much. To try and even aspire to half of the pressure and social acceptable ‘norm’ is way too much for anyone. This last year I’ve slowly realised that I am putting too much pressure on myself and it’s counter productive. I’m miserable more often than not. I’m unhappy in how I feel about myself. I’m unhappy in how I feel and for the first time in my life I feel old. I’m not old. I’m only 40. That’s nothing, I’ve barely begun. Plus age is just a number but it’s how I’m feeling.
So I’m taking the pressure off. How? Simple. I’m taking a leaf out of the Disney book and letting it go.
It doesn’t matter if I’m not the absolutely most knowledgeable, that will come with time because we never stop learning and my thinking on many things will change over time – because I’m only human and I grow. I know I’m good at what I do and that’s enough.
It doesn’t matter if I’m not Hollywood attractive. Even Hollywood stars aren’t Hollywood attractive 90% of the time. I have a good set of pegs, am in fairly good nick and I don’t look my age (thanks Mum). I’m also told I have a wonderful smile, but I’ll leave that to others to decide as beauty is very subjective anyway.
It doesn’t matter that I’m not the strongest. It’s not a competition. I’m not going up against Eddie Hall. It’s only important that I can be as strong as I can be…for me. Who gives a rat’s arse what percentage of bodyweight my one rep max deadlift is? No one, only me. So I’ll use it for programming and nothing else. If I’m lifting heavier than four weeks ago, then groovy. The only person who cares about that….me. Anyone else who cares, unless they are my coaches, I have to ask, why do you care? More often than not it’s because they see lifting as a competition and that’s silly. We’re all different in many ways, it will impact how we lift etc so give over.
It doesn’t matter that I’m not the fastest. All that matters is that I’m injury free to enjoy my running, because I like what running does to my fitness, mental state and physique.
The variety of pressures, vanity/work etc, none of it matters. Seriously, it’s all utter bullshit. It’s a very vain society that makes it matter, so we need to change it.
For me that means no more scheduling every inch of my week. I’m choosing to not worry about absolutely everything that I ‘have’ to be according to society. Instead I’m focusing on four important things that must be done on that day and everything else is filler. So each day I’m picking the four things that have to be done, and that’s that. For example,
- Ring prospects who’ve gotten in touch today.
- Clean the windows and doors
- Finish the latest chapter on my nutrition course
- spend an hour tidying the garden.
That’s it – pressure off. We’re only human, we can’t do it all, and as much as I wish I was Wonder Woman, I’m not. By taking the pressure off, I’m guessing I’ll find more time to get my strength practice and running in, that I’ll be more on top of my business, that’ll I’ll sleep better and I’ll probably eat better because of it. I’ll let you know how it goes and what happens to my weight/fitness/sleep by letting it go but I won’t be doing an accountability blog, because….less pressure 😉 But you’re not alone, if you’re having those moments of ‘argh this is all too much’, we all feel it. Just let it all go….
As always, be kind to yourself, you rock.