Q: Doubters? A: In the name.
A postman will deliver your post. A handyperson will put up a shelf, put together some (unnecessarily confusing) flat pack or carry out some other handyperson duty with those handy hands of theirs. A chef will cook like a chef cooks. An alcoholic will drink, you guessed it… like an alcoholic. As such what do you think a doubter will do? Of course, a doubter will doubt. It’s in the name. That’s their aim!
Motivation at the gym
Now, bear with me on this one as I do have a point. I’ll get there but it starts with my morning at the gymnasium so……I was at the gym earlier. I thought I’d go for a quick half hour to run a bit, stretch a lot and do a few light sets on arms and legs. I was there at 9.00am because I like to go early mainly for avoidance of a busy, hectic and visually sweaty gym. If I see sweaty people it puts me off using the equipment. I’m sure I’m not the only one haha! Truth be told, I wasn’t feeling at all pumped or energetic. Although, mentally I wanted to go and needed to. Needless to say, I turned up without the most energised oomph in my mind but actually, I left with an oomph in my ambition and positivity. Mission accomplished for the morning. However, that is only half the story! When I walked into the fitness suite with the dreaded treadmills (which I quite like in truth) and the visually ugly iron pumping machines ( I actually think they’re a work of mechanical and aesthetic art), I was forced into the stretching room because all the cardio machines were in use. Technically, it’s probably best to stretch before using any machine. I myself usually follow this (not recommended) routine:
- Light machine cardio (spinning/cycling/treadmill)
- Weight machines and dumbbell exercises
- Skipping or sparring
- Light cardio on treadmill or stationary bike
I mean, it’s not that dramatic but it put me off. I like a bit of chaos generally but not at the gym. I have my routine and I’d prefer to use it. Anyway, just as I wondered over to the stretching room (it’s just a room so it could be used for anything really) I glanced over and saw an old teacher. It was too awkward to say anything. I think she recognised me and well, I definitely recognised her. She was more of a substitute teacher so like I say, it was one of those where you don’t feel too bad if you don’t say hello. Not paying much notice (or so I thought) I trotted off to do my stretches as now my routine was out of its usual whack. After a great long stretch I decided I’d spar in the mirror. I do get a bit self conscious about that because I know I always look like a wannabe auditionee for a Rocky movie when I do. I don’t really care all that much though. After that, I plodded back into the fitness suite and in all honesty, I was hoping that my old substitute teacher had left. Of course she hadn’t. She was doing a circular circuit of the machines and when I usually use the machines, that’s normally how I do my sets, clockwise. It just so happened that every tine I would use a machine that she would be the last user and it became clear that she was a strong woman emphasising she was a strong woman at the gym. At MY gym. This annoyed me. How can someone I know and much older be stronger?! My ego was bruised. It’s completely irrational. I know! At EVERY machine, she had the setting one level above me and I was watching the amount of reps/sets she was doing. She was doing smaller sets but it drove me crazy!!! I knew right then that I had to utilise this irrational behaviour to my advantage and get the most out of this gym session. Suddenly, I had this new mountainous motivation and damn desire to pump through this session even if only to mentally convince myself that I am the top dog in this gym!! Or at the very least, beat the amount of effort being put in by her.
Funny thing is, I don’t have any issues with her (at all) but she was my source of motivation today. There’s a phrase I once heard about birds and how they set off every day not knowing where they’ll find their food or how much they’ll find but they go anyway. Today, I knew that I wanted to work out but I didn’t know where my energy or motivation would surface from. As luck would have it, it was an old substitute teacher outdoing me on the machines that set me off! Funny old world. After the leg and arm machines, I went on a 8 min (fairly intense) jog on the treadmill and then I jumped off and left for the locker room. I’m not going to win a marathon or become a world champion in any sport with today’s session. I’m not even going to get a two pack! I am simply pleased that believing and exuding effort yielded a reward today. It motivated me to write this post and to eat healthier today. There’s a confidence in my swagger and a spring in my step. A barrier has been set for all the haters and doubters too.
Maximise work ethic
I guess a big part of my work ethic has always been somewhat of a paranoia. It sounds unhealthy but of course, it’s how you utilise that energy. I always feel that people from my past (and in some cases present) underestimate me. They have doubted me and probably still do. I have outdone their narrow minded opinions on countless occasions and still, it’s still a great source of motivation for or me. Personally, this old substitute teacher of mine, I don’t think she thought all too much of me positively or be it negatively. You could say she was indifferent about me. That perceived lack of expectation pushes me to exceed my own goals whether in the gym or with my professional life, or in any other capacity. Doubters doubt. It’s in the name. The one thing I cannot doubt is that those same doubters provide me with so much more in ambition, desire and magnitude of willingness to be the greatest version of myself possible.
I missed breakfast
Now, skipping breakfast probably isn’t a good idea however, I know I’ve eaten a lot over the last three or four days and I genuinely wasn’t hungry in the morning until after I’d been to the gym. I think I have an overactive and very paranoid mind on an empty stomach too so take from that what you may…. I’m not saying that you should miss breakfast. I get a buzz on the knowledge that I’m burning off food that I have already consumed. It makes me feel less fat. I’m not suggesting that this is the right or wrong way to approach exercise or think. It’s just what works for me.
FYI: I’m going to go off on a tangent about water here so…. I’ve made sure that I’ve been guzzling water down even on non gym days. Always keep hydrated whether you have a gym day or not because water is the gift that just keeps on giving. I’m not going to go into detail over how because the internet will drown you with that kinda info but h2o should be your best friend EVERY day! What I will say is that water is good for you physically for your hydration levels, mentally because you feel healthier when you are hydrated and emotionally because you’re going to need that water for those happy tears!
They doubt me?!
They can doubt. That’s their prerogative. I can win in life. That’s my objective.
I’m not going to lie and tell you that I feel invincible or indestructible. Honestly, I felt relieved and happy that I pushed myself on the weights and that I opted for a more intense workout on the treadmill than the light jog I had intended. I had a good intense spar and the stretches felt good. I even managed to get some lunges in!
Going back to the bird analogy, it’s so true! Literally, a bird sets off on its day not really knowing where it’s going to find food and also not knowing how much! However, day in and day out, they go and they survive.
Moral of this whole long winded story is that I didn’t know where I was going to find my motivation to actually make my gym session worthwhile today, both physically and mentally. Of course, without saying it would always be of some physical value however, the question over my mental objective was blurred. In the end, making the effort and believing in going through the motion yielded great results.
Keep trying and keep pushing. Put your work ethic out there into sometimes what feels like the unknown and just like the unknown, you’ll get rewards from sources you didn’t even know would be there!