How My Self Esteem and Motivation are Growing With My Lunges
I’m never one to make New Year’s resolutions. Sure, I set little goals for myself, but goal-setting is something I try to remain consistent about throughout the year. This year, however, was different. I’ve been feeling stuck lately in terms of my writing. I haven’t felt inspired and have been severely lacking motivation. This lack of motivation was bleeding into all aspects of my life. I was unhappy, dissatisfied and felt a little lost. I knew I had to make a change. But I discovered that the best way for me to change my sense of self and writing abilities, wasn’t by putting pen to paper, it was through working out.
I’ve always been athletic and enjoyed exercising to some extent. I did gymnastics as a kid and was a cross country runner throughout high school and continue to run today, though not as consistently. Just like my writing, however, I’ve felt stuck in a rut with my workouts, unmotivated and bored. So when my gym was offering a promotion for a personal trainer, I decided to take a risk and go for it. Getting a personal trainer was always something I’ve wanted to do. I just never had the courage, or reason to do it. The promotional deal was just the push I needed to finally try it.
My first workout was a total wakeup call. I did sprints, burpees, squats with weights, a ton of core work in which I threw a giant medicine ball back and forth and a bunch of other things that I never thought I was capable of doing. I was sweaty, smelled awful and was exhausted, but above all else, I felt motivated again. I felt confident in myself and my abilities. I felt like I could push myself further than I had before. I could work harder and I could truly achieve any and every goal I set for myself.
Although I know my workout sessions have just begun, I continue to see and feel this major shift within myself. And, surprisingly, the biggest change hasn’t been in my physical strength, or appearance, though I’m pretty sure yesterday I could make out an outline of a single abdominal muscle in the mirror, it is my mentality, spirit and drive. The fear of writers block has been holding me back, which is something I’m slightly ashamed to admit. It’s been a daily struggle for me to get any form of writing out. Before i began to challenge myself physically, I worried about writing an article, essay or even a journal entry and writing something that I wasn’t proud of, or worse being rejected by others. But when I start my day by bench pressing (80 pounds!) I have faith that I can push myself to write at least 500 words, regardless of the outcome. I’ve learned that it’s more about the journey and less about the end goal.
I’m not advocating for everyone to get a personal trainer. Some people just don’t like exercising and that is totally fine. But I do believe that challenging yourself in some way is so important to your mental and spiritual health. Perhaps challenge yourself by delving into cooking, take a foray into a class or hobby you’ve always wanted to explore. It is only then that are able to stretch, learn, and grow. I know I’ve learned a lot about myself in my workout process. I didn’t know I sweat so much, smelled so bad, or was capable of doing a single pull-up. But, perhaps most importantly, I didn’t know how low my confidence had been until I started taking the necessary steps (and lunges) to build it.