When you really love what you do, it’s difficult to say no. You can never get too much of a good thing, or can you? We are incredibly lucky to be able to say that we truly look forward to each and every day. Finding a passion that keeps us active and also keeps us happy is a blessing indeed. The only problem when you fall in love with something is that you don’t always think straight. When that something is a fitness regime that challenges the body’s limits to the point of risking injury, you need to sit down and give yourself a good talking to. I had that chat around 3 weeks ago.
I live to train. I train to make my body to be invincible, to be ready not only to enjoy my fitness in various challenges but also to be at my best in work and play. My invincibility had led me to become a firm believer in working until my eyes shut and playing until I could play no more. Maybe my play was not your average burger eating, vodka shotting of others of my age but it still took its toll on my body. I said yes to every class request, I jumped at each chance to challenge myself and I never turned down an invitation to sweat. I became down a health and fitness ‘yes woman’.
My life is a commitment to good living. I am in a job that I love more because it is focused on feeding people to be the best version of themselves. It is only right that the customers, my work mates and friends have come to expect the same of me. I have also built a brand to be proud of, one that encourages others to challenge and change their bodies through the right exercise and nutrition. I would be a phoney if I did not live by the mantra I actively promote. I have a group of friends who share my exact focus, to reach optimal health and to get there as if we’re never going to age or lose energy or motivation. It is the way I like things but at some stage along my journey reality was sure to kick in. A few months ago it did. It kicked hard.
I suffered a series of injuries, each a direct consequence of the other and of my total lack of regard for my body’s inevitable limitations. I knew my volume of training was high, but I refused to believe this could be what was causing my niggles. As each problem occurred, I just got more frustrated and determined to stubbornly find new forms of exercise that I could still do. My body got angry with me. It forced me into lower intensity exercise so I punished myself with lower calorie intake. I was trying to make deals with my body. It was neither healthy or maintainable. I sort of knew.
Thankfully this slightly dramatic midlife crisis was picked up on by two of the best in the business, #TeamLBP. They were brave enough to take on TTH with an eye to changing our minds about healthy living. It is safe to say they won. (E has always been a little better at this resting malarkey, but the boys even had a few stern words to say to her too).
We approached LBP for advice of how to cope with a series of challenge plans and two upcoming shoots. The list of challenges was terrifyingly long and the shoots were rather imminent but the boys did not show a moment of stress and just set about readying us for the future. We were given a detailed training and nutrition plan, each element fully explained including a series of videos and a comprehensive booklet. Talk about professionals! As for the challenges, that overdue dose of reality was introduced into our thinking. Our bodies were, and still remain, subject to injury and if we were serious about completing next year’s programme we simply needed to cut back, we needed to take more care. We listened to every word and together we devised a plan for fewer challenges with greater performance. At long last our ambitions were in incredibly good hands.
However, the cut back has not been easy. Training is actually more intense now that our bodies actually have the energy to give their all. For the time being, our calories are relatively low but this is just a short term measure as we prepare for a shoot. The most important thing is that our fixed mindset has been questioned and revised. Cutting down on exercise is not something I’ve ever considered in order to progress and I often use it as an excuse for my incredibly large appetite. Again, not maintainable.
Under the guidance of Alex and Adam we are finally beginning to understand the importance of rest and recovery, the importance of getting to know our bodies and give more thought to the care they require to remain in peak condition. Handing ourselves over to the experts is right for us right now. Yes, we may have our own qualifications but often we are the worst judges of where to draw the line. Sometimes we push our limitations too far, sometimes we don’t push them at all. This comes from simply not ‘knowing’. And do you know what? That’s ok.
Next week we’ll be sharing a little of the wisdom we have already collected from the brains that are set to guide us through the next 6-8 months in preparation for our biggest challenge yet. We feel incredibly lucky to have both Adam and Alex’s support and we could not be more excited about sharing what we learn from them with you! Keep your eyes peeled next week for a snapchat Q and A as we offer you opportunity to quiz #TeamLBP for yourselves.