Anyone who has grown up with me, knows that I have changed my lifestyle fairly substantially over the last couple of years. I really had no level of fitness and just ate what and whenever I liked. I was never a fan of exercising. The only form of movement I did was horse riding. My horse obsessed Dad made sure I spent my childhood and into my teens, show jumping ponies. However next came college and with that came alcohol. So the horses fell by the wayside and were unfortunately replaced by night long drinking sessions, day long hangovers and probably a stone in weight! Fast forward some years and I suppose I have matured. Priorities have changed. Alcohol has become less important and thankfully has been replaced with a healthier lifestyle.
Almost two years ago, I took a road trip to Newry with friends, and friends of friends, who were competing in a crossfit competition. I was really only tagging along for the good night out that was promised after the event. That night at dinner the group were going on and on and on about this crossfit thing. The days that followed were filled with the boys trying to do pistols on the side of mountains and handstands on beaches. I honestly thought they were all crazy! A couple of weeks later I decided I better see what all the fuss was about. Reluctantly I forced myself into a strength and conditioning gym. I thought if they can spend a full weekend talking about how great it was, there must be some merit to it.
That first workout literally killed me. I was slow, sluggish, with no mobility and zero strength. So it basically left me feeling fairly inferior to all the others in the class. But what it did do was make me feel amazing afterwards. Therefore I decided to focus on the positive. Forget about how much better everyone else is and instead focus on improving myself. So I just kept going, and magical I started to improve. I became slightly faster, slightly stronger and started to feel better about myself.
Snaps of some fun days out I have had with the gym.
After a year or more of five days a week sweating. I decided I wanted a change. I talked to my trainer about going on a strength programme. Less sweat and more standing around sounded like a good change to me. So I was put on a three month programme with focus on front squat, bench, strict press, bent over row and deadlifts. While working through this three day a week programme. I continued to do one or two cardio sessions a week so as not to compromise my cardio fitness too much. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the programme, but surprisingly I loved it. It just proves ‘a change is as good as a holiday’. So why not change things up, pull yourself out of your comfort zone, and it might just enlighten you.
Few pics of me doing what I do!
Before this world opened up to me I was forever comparing myself to others. I am not as pretty, not as skinny, as fit etc. I always wanted to be skinnier and I used to think all I need to do is starve myself and run a marathon. Sure that’s easy! Once I have accomplished that I’ll be happy. I really did not have a clue. After a couple of years of educating myself, my approach is totally different. I have learned that even if I was a perfect size 10, this will not make me happy. Happiness comes from within. So unfortunately being that perfect size just wont cut it. Instead I focus on being the best version of myself. For me this is going to the gym. Working on improving my strength, working on keeping my heart healthy through my cardio and trying to eat as well as possible.
My success has been that I have found something I love. So if you want to change your body or mind just find something you love to do and keep doing it. If your lucky like me you might even make some new best friends and hold on to an oldie but a goodie!!!
Milo & Me