This year, but especially during the autumn, fitness and training has become a more important part of my life than it’s ever been.
I’ve been doing strength training with a brilliant personal trainer since late February (or possibly early March?) this year. I’ve been interested in strength training as my preferred form of exercise for many years, but was never really able to fit it into my life until now. During my years as a nurse, I never slept enough and never felt I had enough free time. To get good results you also need to let yourself recover (= get decent sleep), eat well with enough proteins and carbs etc… I simply couldn’t do that kind of planning, and with my job, sometimes I couldn’t even take time for lunch (yep, the sad reality of working in a hospital ward). And it didn’t help that the free time you have can be snatched away from you at any time… this is one of the reasons why I left my profession.
The first time I could go to a gym somewhat consistently, was in late 2018 just before we moved to Ireland. Even in a short time I saw some results, but nothing like this year.
My husband found this trainer (who is also a neuromuscular massage therapist) when he looked for help with tendonitis in his arm, received treatment and started training there, and quite soon he recommended I’d go there too.
Working with a personal trainer has so many benefits. There’s the accountability factor with having an appointment, I don’t skip training. And he challenges me to do things I probably wouldn’t have done on my own – lift heavier, do other exercises that perhaps I didn’t think I could do. He challenges my mind as much as my body and has made me aware of how much of an overthinker I am and how much it affects what I do (or want to do) negatively. Now I’m not only working on building muscle but also a healthy thinking and mindset. All very good things!
During the late summer I started seeing results, even after only once-weekly training sessions. Clothes fit better, I was getting leaner with changed body proportions. I’ve never been overweight but always felt awkward about my body shape, with my upper body always very thin compared to the belly/hip area. I was never able to buy what should have been the correct size for me because it would always be too small or too large. Now that’s changing, and when I see myself in the mirror, I like what I see. I can even wear leggings and feel beautiful in them, which was unthinkable earlier. This is NOT about society beauty standards or trends, it’s 100% about what I want to look like and what makes me feel beautiful. People can rant all they want about how much looks don’t matter, feeling beautiful and comfortable in your own skin does make a difference for your wellbeing. At least it does for me.
My overall physical condition is also better, this is something I didn’t expect from “only” strength training, I always thought you had to do cardio training for that.
My husband started running in the spring, and in the beginning of the autumn he suggested I’d give it a try too, so I did. I’ve never been able to run before! I’d get stomach pain, sore throat, and lose my breath after a ridiculously short distance. Now I could run long enough to realise it had potential – and I absolutely loved it. Running was a fantastic stress-reliever and it made me feel refreshed, energised and good about myself. My husband and I planned to create new habits around running, and to go on running holidays together. Lovely and inspiring!
However, I wasn’t fit enough, or perhaps I started out too ambitiously, because in early October I was stopped by knee tendonitis.
That injury in a way made all the difference. I was miserable for a full weekend, felt that all my good plans were ruined, and felt lost. But on the Sunday night, we saw a documentary series on Netflix, where the first episode showed a lady in her 60’s (at least), with an amputated leg, who ran a marathon in the Moroccan desert.
That triggered something in me. I got my drive back. I thought, if she can do that, 12+ years older than me and with an amputated leg, then I can do it – continue training, do more of it, get more fit, and get back to running. As for those habits and holidays with my husband, in the meantime we can still do all that but with walking.
I got into the jävlaranamma mode, decided to bring my “pissed off” energy to work harder in the gym, ramp up my training after my exams were done, create good habits, and get my ***** together to do what I need to do to be able to do or achieve what I want. This was in the context of training and getting fit, but can be easily translated to all the other things I want to do, other goals I have – in music, career, and more.
Life is a result of my habits and mindset, and I’m the only one in charge of it.
So is this a fitness blog? Yes and no. I’ll share my routine and achievements, probably a lot in the context of fitness and training, but not only. I also have a huge passion for music, and my goals with guitar and concertina playing are as important as my fitness goals.
I’m going to enjoy this, and I hope you will too.