For those of you that follow me on my social media you will know I have been on a fitness journey since January. A decision I made at the beginning of this year about becoming the best version of myself. To work at my physical strength so that I could care for Daniel as long as he needs me.
Let’s just say it hasn’t been the easiest of journeys, blood, sweat and plenty of tears.
It’s not actually been the physical challenges that have been the ones I have struggled to overcome but more the mental ones.
About 15 years ago I suffered an assault which effected me more than I realised. A group of young men under the influence decided that my phone was theirs. I didn’t argue, something which surprised me as I always thought I would but I didn’t. I realised that my phone wasn’t worth it, also have you ever tried to argue with someone drunk? There is no point and often adds fuel to the fire. Anyhow it seems taking my phone wasn’t enough and I was physically assaulted by this group.
To say I was a mess would be a understatement but I was also ashamed. I had left the house when it was dark only around 6pm to walk the dog not because the dog needed walking but in rage after an argument with my husband. So my temper tantrum led to me walking down our canal path into a group of drunken teenagers. Even the sight of them never worried me until it was too late.
I was injured but ashamed but also stressing how this was going to impact my girls. We were only days away from Christmas so I decided to play it cool. Yes the police was called but when asked if I was ok my answer was “I’m fine”. Well until I wasn’t, it seems the kicking I received had caused some internal bleeding, me not getting treatment caused infection which left me seriously ill and pretty much bed bound.
As you can imagine being left with a chronic pain condition isn’t great and for a long time I honestly believed my fitness days were behind me. I accepted that I couldn’t teach dance anymore and was just grateful for the energy I had and the tolerance for pain I build which allowed me to work and enjoy my family.
Yet this January something flipped in my mind. I was hungry not for the old me but the part of me that used to love pushing her limits. I wanted to be healthier for Daniel and myself and I just wanted to see if it would be possible to increase my fitness levels.
So I joined the local gym, if I could only explain the fear I felt when I went for the induction, I had asked my husband to come along with me as I was sick with nerves. Thankfully the instructor was lovely and really encouraging and the gym fell comfortable with a mixture of ages and abilities. It took me another week after that induction to return but I loved it. Then after weeks of finding the courage to ask I had my first personal training session.
This is where the mind battle really began to wage. A personal training for me, it felt insane and I was expecting him to laugh at me on our first session but he was awesome. After a deep medical discussion ( I mean yes that took a while). He started me with a few exercises and introduced me to some weights. I honestly surprised myself by how well I did and I shocked myself by how much I loved it.
I really did.
Yet my battle is far from over, every time my body hurts I have to mentally encourage myself. Changing the words “you aren’t good enough “ to “you will get there”.
But I genuinely love it, I am taking away so much from it. A new found confidence in my strength, a new love for my body and a happier energy.
I know it sounds crazy but I don’t recognise the person I am becoming in a good way. I’ve even become obsessed by gym wear and my husband brought me the most gorgeous pair of trainers because he was so proud of me and I could have cried.
Again who am I?
I guess why am I writing this and if you have followed me this far thank you but I really need you to know this.
Life can get better, you can be stronger and you can find your way even after being lost for a long time.
Maybe your thing won’t be exercise though I highly recommend it for mental health as well as physical, but find your thing. We have a 60 plus year old lady in the gym who has just realised she loves boxing. The smile on her face as she punches the hell out of the punchbag is incredible.
Find your thing, try a sport, take a class, start a new hobby. It’s never to late. Find something that makes you happy, maybe it will push you out of your comfort zone in the best way.
Walking into the gym was the best decision I have made in a long time. I cannot forget what happened on that fateful dog walk but I am challenging myself to move past it. For a long time I allowed those boys to not only rob me of my phone but my identity believing I couldn’t be the same person as I was before the assault.
It’s true I cannot go back to the Sara before the assault, before the illness but who actually wants to? Life is for learning and I’ve certainly learned a lot of lessons in my lifetime. But hey they say Knowledge is power.
I don’t know where my fitness journey will go, I have no destination in mind. All I know is that I’m feeling stronger and healthier than I have in a very long time.
Who need a destination when you can just enjoy the ride?
Go find your journey now, honestly it starts with the first step and you deserve it.