Friday, August 5, 2011

Have I won Lean and Strong?

Back in pre-season, when I decided to join Lean and Strong, part of that motivation was that it was at least possible for me to 'win' a placing.  The 12wbt is, afterall, a competition based program.  Back then I was petrified that I might actually win!  I had already decided to attend the finale party and I think that if I had of been told back then that I would have to get up and accept a prize from Mish on stage, I probably would have ate myself into losing out of fear!

But here I am now, Mish has just announced that the winner of Lean and strong will win some awesome home gym equipment (Technogym), and I am thinking, "Do I deserve to win?".

Part of me says, "No way!".  Everyone is so fit and strong, they can do chin-ups and bench press huge amounts and I can't!  But you know what?  This is my journey.

Whether or not I deserve to win is not the question, the fact is, I already have! 
I set out with a goal in mind, lose 6kg and get strong.  I have lost 4kg, but I also chose that path as I increased my protein intake to allow for muscle building, and there is still a week to go!  And I have certainly gotten stronger!  I couldn't do squats, but now do squats with perfect form with a 20kg barbell.  I couldn't do lunges, in fact, they had me in tears for the first two weeks of this program.  I can now do lunges with perfect form, and can even do them with 5kg hand weights!  I can do push-ups on my toes, not too many, but more then the couple I managed at the start of the round.  I even did 200 push-ups (mixed between toes and knees) in a 1hr kickboxing class!  I've learnt to do burpees, pushing out 60 of them first go!  My 1km time trial speed is improving, and best of all.. I can now do a sit-up (ab stage 1 finally!).

Have I followed the program exactly.. no.  I've eaten poorly at times but have always come back to the program - I know how to jump straight back in and recover when I stray from my chosen path.  I didn't follow the gym machine program for a couple of weeks as I was too busy trying out fitness classes at the gym.. five new classes in one week, two the next!  But I certainly have maintained and improved my fitness throughout the program, relishing in the opportunity for daily exercise! 

I feel strong, and not just physically, but my mind as well.  I have always lived in fear, an anxiety disorder, agorophobia.. it ripped my confidence in myself apart.  It is easy enough to be brave when you don't know fear.  When you haven't felt your body fail you in the face of fear, the panic, the nausea, the hot and cold sweats, the pressure crushing your chest and heart.  I know fear, and I know what it is like when your mind and body succumbs to it. I don't want to go there again but I realise now that it is a risk that is worth taking.  I might just feel that fear, I might want to run and hide, I might even fail, but it is worth it to walk in the sun.  I will never go back to that dark place again, but not because I walk cautiously in the shadows.  I will fight for my place in the sunshine, for my mind to free of the burden that fear has place upon it.

I am so proud of myself.  I have already won.  I have won strength, self-belief, and freedom. 

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