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David

Even When Nothing Seems To Be Going Right . . .

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. . . there is still progress. You just have notice it

I wanted to post some positive observations that came to me today in between some physical soreness and emotional frustration over a really really trying time in my workouts. I wanted to post them publicly to kind of honor or affirm them. All too often in my life I let myself drown out positive thoughts and let myself be engulfed by the other crap. Don't want to do that today.

After returning from the gym I was really thinking a lot about giving up. "Why am I doing this? It does not come naturally, I am too old, I am hopelessly stuck, I am too busy to be pursuing this kind of workout, no one else takes this long to learn one or two lifts, I have gained too much weight, etc etc etc . . ." During a lull in this stream of thoughts i looked at myself in the mirror and saw muscle. I really am building muscle. It may be that I have never been this muscular before. There is some fat too. But there is definitely muscle underneath. I can see and feel it.

Then I remembered walking into the gym BEFORE this morning's difficult session and seeing myself in the mirror. I now weigh more than I have in nearly ten years, but honestly I don't look it. I saw in that mirror that I have a shape. I am beginning to look like a lifter. Even in a sweatshirt.

I also feel pretty good physically. Despite some normal soreness from today's workout, I am NOT sore in other places where I have been in the past. My back feels good, my shoulders are doing well, and when I walk I feel more strength in my glutes than I ever have in my life. My butt actually has SIDES, it's becoming 3 dimensional. That's new and that's a good thing.

In general, despite the weight I have gained, I feel more mobility and strength than I have in years. My limbs work more smoothly, I have better consciousness and understanding of moving and lifting things. And most soreness, if it comes, goes away in a day or so. I am sure it is because of the training I have been doing.

So these are some positive things I am holding on to. I have found when I am trying to learn something, especially something that does not come easily, I have to play this game with my mind. I have to distract it, get it to stop looking at certain things, give it permission to wander away or something while I continue to do my work. If I don't do that and continue to listen to it, it ends up sabotaging me. I am not going to let it do that. I've learned this is part of the game for me.

I don't know if anyone else can relate to that or not.

Anyway, I am grateful for the opportunity in this group to be able to walk away from my log and distract my mind a little by keeping it focused on the positive.

Peace

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I totally relate...it's when you think that things have gone to shit, certain lifts, thoughts of giving up etc - that you step back and realise how far you have come.

Whe I realised my knee had problems - I was telling someone I was dropping back to light squats, about 70-80 kgs, and they laughed. "light!" they said - and they're right. They may be light to me, but that's still 11-12 stone I am moving, which to the average man is quite heavy.

A customer of mine - who I hadn't seen for 4 months - is 110% convinced I am on the juice, because I have out so much size on over the past year he doesn't believe it possible without it - quite flattering really.

It's an amazing journey this lifting - it sucks you in and becomes addictive - but what a great addiction to have.

That desire to make a 180 deadlift, or a heavy dip - or beat the reps from last time but with a heavier weight. Just an immense buzz to nail it...and I have also come to love the failures because they mean I am doing something right - Pushing my limits -

Well written David.

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Guest ExperimentB76z

Some people take to lifting like they were born to do it, and some people don’t. Everyone, however, is equal under the bar. A max attempt is a max attempt, a fail is a fail, and a new personal record is a new personal record no matter the numbers adorning the plates on the bar. You are not fighting the iron or struggling against gravity, and your fellow lifters are always your allies. Your battle is merely a personal one against your own weaknesses and demons; as long as your resolve is strong and you do not give into them, you will find a way to keep moving forward and you will emerge from the mêlée a better person.

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I too totally relate to this post. One of the important things you have done is to keep an online log. Not only for the support, but also so you can look back after a period and see how far you have come. The things you are experiencing are the same for most all lifters. I know that I too from time to time go throught the same emotional issues as you. I have learned over time that when I get to feeling down that I am need of a small break from lifting. You can go after it hard for a good period and then one day you find that you have not recovered and everything can seem to be depressing. Hit that wall this week myself. Thats when it is time to relax for a few days and look back on your progress and realize how far you have come.

Some of the positive things I am holding onto from the last 16 months of lifting are;

I became able to walk normally again.

I have learned to live with and work around chronic sciatic pain. In some ways I have come to embrace the pain as it keeps me on my ego in check.

I have regained my mobility and flexibility.

With squatting, and soon deadlifting, I will have outgrown my 400 lbs of olympic weights.

I was talking with a male co-worker ther other day about power lifting and how I am training for a meet next summer, when a female office-worker made the statement that it is obvious because of the growth and changes in my body over the last year. And then she asked if I was on steroids because some of the other ladies were beginning to wonder.

In conversations about lifting it always gets asked how much do you lift. It is nice to tell someone your stats and not have them look at you like you are full of shit, or the opposite which would be not impressive at all.

Most importantly, I embrace my sense of physical as well as emotional well being. I went from being a confident, somewhat arrogant military man to a debilitated individual with a life changing spinal injury who became addicted to narcotics and barely functioning individual for one year. I had a few times during that year where I tried to get back after physical fitness, but could not over come my pain. I detoxed from opiates twice before I got my life back. I am thankful everyday for where I am now and that I have had such a terrific support network first on Stronglifts, now here. Positive feed back has kept me going.

Sorry for hijacking your post like this, but yes, I too can relate to where you are my friend.

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Some people take to lifting like they were born to do it, and some people don’t. Everyone, however, is equal under the bar. A max attempt is a max attempt, a fail is a fail, and a new personal record is a new personal record no matter the numbers adoring the plates on the bar. You are not fighting the iron or struggling against gravity, and your fellow lifters are always your allies. Your battle is merely a personal one against your own weaknesses and demons; as long as your resolve is strong and you do not give into them, you will find a way to keep moving forward and you will emerge from the mêlée a better person.

Very nice post thoughtful post Rob!

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I too, can completely relate to your post David. I go through those frustrated, annoying thoughts about every 5-6 months. Over time, I've learned to ignore them. Figured out that I feel worse when I don't train than when I do. Learned that lifting is not only healthy for the body but also the mind and soul. It inspires confidence in one's own abilities and carries over to confidence in almost everything else.

Kudos to you for recalling all the positives! Keep at it, even when you don't feel like because you will not always feel like training.

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