Friday, June 22, 2012

No Limits

I have a post every Monday called "Monday Morning Motivation". I know many enjoy it and many really don’t read it; however, it may interest you to know that it really is for me, it keeps me going and I just happen to enjoy sharing it. 
You can tell what’s going on with me by the theme that week, I always think about where my head is at the moment and if it’s not a good place, I identify why and write about what I need to do to change my thoughts. If it is a good place, then I just find quotes that reinforce my positive mood.
Although I am a really upbeat and positive thinker, I do have my moments of self doubt, and "down" periods.
Recently I have been struggling and have not been quite able to identify the reason. I am typically very good at it. If something is bothering me I sit and think until I figure it out, then I decide what I shall do to change it. It is a rare occurrence where I feel a situation is not within my control to change.
What puzzles me is this: Everything seems to be progressing exactly as planned, so why am I struggling? My training has felt particularly difficult in the last few weeks. I love to train, it is the highlight of my day, yet a few times recently I have felt like it was too much to even consider doing.
I do not have a competition planned in the near future so I am not stressed about that. I am not on a competition diet.  I am enjoying meals out and eating pretty much what I want, but still mindful of a balanced and clean diet.
Roy and I have been working hard to add muscle to my frame, I want to transition into Women’s Physique. My weight is up, way up, yet bodyfat is low. I have packed on muscle, a lot; I look like a little bull or a beefy weight lifter (I mean a real competitive one, not a weekend warrior).  My quads have gotten so big that I cannot wear some of my biggest pants, and the ones I can are pulled tight across my thighs, they bunch up in the fold of my leg/hip. Roy even said they are really showing increased size. My glutes are big and round, almost laughable actually. My calves are getting big; I have been training them diligently three times a week now for six months. A couple days ago David said “Your calves are looking curvy!”
No one has ever used the words “curvy” and “Kristy” in the same sentence before.

Three days a week I train with Roy, and we lift heavy, really heavy. I repeat those same workouts on my own so I train each body part twice a week.  I know I am lifting quite a bit, I don’t know any woman who deadlifts 205 for reps and I rarely see any men even do that. It takes a lot out of me. On the days that I train with Roy I train twice a day, and I am in the “off season”.
Wednesday is usually one of my most difficult days: quads.  When I saw Roy on Wednesday after work, I told him that I had a really good nap at lunch, short but I fell right asleep. It could be because I am working out of an apartment and I have a bed in my office.  Roy remarked that it was a really good thing “With the way you are training right now, you need as much sleep as possible.” Even he is recognizing that I am training harder than usual.
On the days that I train on my own it is tempting to shortchange myself, to tell myself that I am too sore or too tired to go as heavy as I should. And there have been times lately when I am so, so sore that I feel I cannot physically do it.
Then on Thursday morning my brother sent me this message on Facebook.  I woke at my usual 4:00 am and sat at my Mac drinking my shake, taking supplements, waking up. I was feeling fatigued, it was hamstring day and my glutes and hamstrings were still painfully sore from Monday. I was supposed to do multiple sets of back extensions with a weighted bar and then Glute Ham Raise with weight, I was dreading it.
This made me realize that I love what I am doing, and I have a valid reason for feeling a bit fatigued, I am pushing myself, but I have set my own limits and that is why I am struggling. I had convinced myself it was too difficult.

I no longer have limits. 

I will keep lifting heavier and heavier and adding the lean mass I have been working so hard for and I will continue to succeed. 

I am looking forward to my training on Friday with Roy, I bet the bench press will be easy.

I have a massage with Rachael immediately afterward, I will have her work on my hamstrings and glutes, her hands will eliminate the pain so I can squat on Saturday with even more weight than before.

Thanks little brother, for pushing me.

This is the story my brother sent, it is about Bruce Lee, the martial artist.
“Bruce had me up to three miles a day, really at a good pace. We’d run the three miles in twenty-one or twenty-two minutes. Just under eight minutes a mile [Note: when running on his own in 1968, Lee would get his time down to six-and-a half minutes per mile]. So this morning he said to me “We’re going to go five.” I said, “Bruce, I can’t go five. I’m a helluva lot older than you are, and I can’t do five.” He said, “When we get to three, we’ll shift gears and it’s only two more and you’ll do it.” I said “Okay, hell, I’ll go for it.” So we get to three, we go into the fourth mile and I’m okay for three or four minutes, and then I really begin to give out. I’m tired, my heart’s pounding, I can’t go any more and so I say to him, “Bruce if I run any more,” –and we’re still running-”if I run any more I’m liable to have a heart attack and die.” He said, “Then die.” It made me so mad that I went the full five miles. Afterward I went to the shower and then I wanted to talk to him about it. I said, you know, “Why did you say that?” He said, “Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”