Personal records are cool and all, but don’t allow them to define your worth. Of course, for professional athletes in weightlifting & powerlifting, we use those PR’s to determine where we are at within our goals and wanting to increase weights, but sometimes we need to take a step back and re-evaluate the situation and look at the bigger picture; which happens to be our consistency and dedication. I love a good ego boost when hitting heavier weights, but sometimes it can be a huge hit to the ego when I don’t hit a new PR each week, its almost like we get rejected after putting in so much work. I’ve known people to rely on their PR’s and when they don’t hit one, they give up or get angry with the process. Not always is a PR a good thing, not when you are pushing your body beyond its means in order to gain it (unhealthy manner), not when you are sacrificing attitude and dedication to achieve it. I figure it like this, if you hit a PR — AWESOME! but if you don’t, and sometimes you won’t, then take it with a grain of salt, because we are human and we aren’t perfect 100 percent of the time.
The point of working out, regardless if you are an athlete or not, is to stay healthy, to discipline yourself & to gain insight on your strengths and weaknesses (while working on the weaknesses to make into strengths) and of course to enjoy the process no matter how hard it gets, because in time, it will pay off. If you forget those steps & focus on hitting new PR’s each week, it will get old fast & it will weigh you down when it comes time you fail. I want PR’s to be a bonus to your workouts, a goal that is achievable & as a means of an ego boost to your confidence; all the while pinpointing your weaknesses before a competition so that you can use it to excel. Your gym worth is based on how you feel when you leave the gym, how you feel about yourself when you see small bouts of progress or obstacles that seemed rather hard but you hurdled; nothing compares to the process. It’s like watching yourself evolve. PR’s shouldn’t hold you down, or make you feel weak, they should give you a reason to keep pushing, prevent you from wanting to give up and make working out a fun journey. Even so, being an athlete, it’s hard not wanting to PR frequently in our sport and as a powerlifter, you learn that PR’s can come from various forms (not just lifting heavier) — and while that is the overall goal, you hope to see yourself transform into a stronger person in other ways as well.
Thanks for reading, hope all of you enjoyed a fun tip to share with your peers, feel free to reblog, share, comment and like!
What are three things you like most about yourself?
Like most people, this was somewhat difficult; and not because I don’t like anything about myself, but because I didn’t know what I liked “most” about myself. It was almost like having to play the elimination game as to what was most important to me. I figured at somewhat this would be a question, I didn’t expect it to be the first question during the challenge. Many times people ask this question when they are trying to make you realize your worth, or have you analyze what traits you have that are good, that are good enough & that one should be proud of. It shouldn’t be a difficult question, assuming you are decent human being who has friends and family that love you. if that’s the case, it should be more of why? why do people flock to you, or like you? but deeper than that, does their reason for liking you match your own reason for liking yourself? If your friends tell you that like you because you are helpful, do you believe you are helpful? do you believe you hold that trait or do you believe it is only based on the fact you allow people to take advantage of you? Sometimes the traits others like about us, aren’t traits we necessarily agree with ourselves — it’s possible that the traits me hold that we enjoy are the ones that many people don’t see or happen to not take interest in, or perhaps are traits you hide in order to protect yourself. Regardless, I think this was a perfect first question, because I know this is an important question if I want to get to know myself on a deeper level.
The first answer I had to this question is:
- The fact I can make anybody laugh without trying. It explains itself, but I have always had this inner self that enjoyed making others laugh. I was the class-clown throughout elementary, middle and high school — it was just who I was; silly, comical, sarcastic and very witty when it came to putting a smile on someone’s face (even if it meant I was embarrassing myself in order to do so) but now when I read this, I think of the many times, I was making people laugh on my own expense & it didn’t feel as good afterwards — It was like I was walking joke; how can someone take anyone seriously if all that do is crack jokes and act childishly? They can’t & I think that’s the con to this trait. Its being able to make someone laugh but not realizing that in the long run, laughing was also my way of hiding behind a mask to cover up my insecurities. If I wanted to feel comfortable in a setting, or wanted to fit in with people, it was my way of auditioning for the cool kid table, my way of proving my own worth to others. Basically sums up why, I still use laughing gigs in order to make me feel comfortable or at ease. My random thoughts, jokes, and bouts of sarcasm are hiding my social anxiety. It’s a wonder that when I tell people I have social anxiety, they always reply with “I wouldn’t have guessed”. While I love making people laugh, I also want people to take me seriously & I don’t want to continue to use it as a shield for my social anxiety, I want to utilize it as a trait that makes other people comfortable around me and not make me stand out as the standing joke.
- That I am a good goal setter, and ambitious. This trait alone is rarity these days because people become complacent when they are comfortable, but I always aim for much more than that for myself, because I see how far others have come to meet their goals & I decide that anything is possible after that, even if it means I have to put in more work. My ambition gives me drive and allows me to set goals, but when my ambition runs low, so does my motivation to set goals and achieve them. I have worked aimlessly to meet deadlines, to achieve great things within my life but the problem is when you are as ambitious as myself, you never see it as an accomplishment, only another step in the right direction. You wear yourself thin to the point where you either shut down, or give up, or become stressed out to the point of rage & it does you know good, but you feel as though you are always behind when really you made progress. I don’t know what progress is when I am embarking on a new goal or taking another leap forward, it never feels like an achievement in my eyes, it’s almost like I am moving in slow motion; light years away from the finish line. I love my ambitious personality and the fact I see better for myself, but it hinders me from seeing the overall scope of things, it brings the worst out of me when I don’t feel like I am being productive in my life, when I feel like I could be so much further but I am not, it hinders my mentality and gives me stress, overwhelms me and brings me down in a slump at the sight of how much more pavement I have left. It’s a curse and blessing.
- My ability to motivate myself. I don’t rely on the support of others to get me through the day, to have me start my daily routine, to give me the energy after work to attend the gym for a workout, to wake up out of bed after a break up. I don’t like relying on other people for motivation because I have seen where people have let people down & the end result never ends well. I don’t need a cheerleader in order to hit a PR or a friend to attend the gym with me in order for me to feel obligated to go, I use my own intrinsic motivation to get me by because at the end of the day, that’s what works best. The problem with relying on yourself is the fact we are human and have bad days & when they happen, it’s hard to talk yourself out of the bad day.. so that’s when a friend/peer/family member would be a good asset. There have been days that I had wished I gotten a text or phone call or note telling me that I am doing awesome & to keep it up but because I don’t get that kind of support from anyone, I have to focus in on myself and use what’s most important to me to help me pick myself back up again if need be. It isn’t easy relying on your own motivation; but it makes you stronger and gives you a sense of independence.
I want all of you to give this challenge a try and make a blog post — asking yourself this same question and answering it. I want you to tag me and or send me the blog post when finished so that I can read it & be apart of your personal self discovery. I think self discovery can be done in many different forms and takes time, & so, if you need a reason to do it, do it because you want to continue to grow and want to learn more about yourself. In fact I am doing both, keeping a private journal handwritten and sharing this journey with all of you on my blog. I hope if anything else, you can share your journey with me and feel open to talk to me about many depths of who you are. Thank you for reading & see you tomorrow for day 2.
I hope all of you have a wonderful Labor Day with friends & Family!
If you have the day off from work, make it worth your while 🙂
Don’t skip a gym session due to the holidays, work around the holiday cheer & get errrr done!
My Motivational quote for you is:
“No amount of obstacles can stand in your way, you are unstoppable”
Some people are ‘lone wolves’ such as myself, but every now and then we want the encouragement of someone else to keep us pumped, grow a bond & be the ‘bro’ we need in order to hit that next PR (yelling in our ear and rooting for our success)!
We should be picking about who we choose to be that “bro” and that friend we call on because it does make all the difference. Down below I highlight some tips to look for when searching for a gym partner who benefits you & vice versa.
- You need to choose someone who has a personality that meshes well with yours
- Choose someone who is close to your fitness level — unless you don’t mind playing teacher/coach (some people find that annoying)
- Find someone who commits to the gym as much as yourself or more so that you can count of them for the long term.
- If they don’t push you to do better, don’t challenge you to excel then they aren’t a person who will benefit you.
- Find a person whose schedule can work along with yours — or find a compromise you are both willing to do
- Choose someone who doesn’t ‘yap’ all day, but knows when to focus on the grind while at the gym — you are there for results not for a social party
- Choose a gym partner that keeps you accountable
- Choose someone that doesn’t have a huge ego, you don’t want someone that’s there to show off their gains, you want someone who compliments your gains but also confident with themselves without having to be flashing
- Choose someone who is open minded- because when choosing a program for yourself or the both of you, you need someone who is willing to give something a go, unless they seek different results, but not someone who talks down about your decisions *but offering advice is fine*
- A know it all, doesn’t always know it ALL. Choose someone who doesn’t treat you like a test subject, they might know their bodies but it doesn’t mean they know yours and unless you hire them for training you, don’t allow someone to make you feel stupid or incompetent. There are coaches with experience and degrees that can offer that type of support. If your gym partner is coming off like a ‘know it ALL’ then they are too involved with being right than being a friend & that will get old real fast.
Thanks for reading, I hope these tips are helpful for when you are in search of a gym partner! please feel free to follow, share, comment and like 😀
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Save some of your motivation from within.
We all need a little bit of a boost to keep going – to know we are headed in the right direction — to keep us accountable — to make us feel good about how far we have come.
Indeed all of this is true, and I believe having a partner in crime that keeps you focused and disciplined and makes it possible for you to keep going is a great opportunity and needed — because social support is important. On the other hand, relying on your partner in crime, in order to succeed might weigh you down long-term and keep you from exploring outside your comfort level — or prohibit you from taking a leap of faith. I think too much of a good thing, is just that, too much of a good thing. We need someone to keep us grounded, but when that someone backs down after awhile, we need to know how to use what we have within to keep up from giving up.
As a personal trainer, i like to think it is my job to be a cheerleader, role model, knowledgeable professional in the field of fitness/health and an accountability partner that creates workouts and talks to you about what specifically will get you from point A to point B. I love my job and I love that I can build people inside & contribute to their physical changes that make them feel good. I just wonder sometimes if people whom rely on their trainers, realize that at some point, it will be time for you to leave the nest and utilize all the teachings so that you become independent at the gym. Now, I am not against having a long term client because everyone meets their goals at different lengths of time & everyone’s goals are different how they go about them BUT at the same time, when I am relied on, I don’t want it to be so that when and if I go on vacation; my client decides to quit working out until I return. I want my clients to be self sufficient enough that if I should be gone for a short period of time, they can manage on their own. It’s profitable to have a client rely on me, but it doesn’t make me look good when I have a client for years who has yet to reach any of their goals or who has yet to be able to gain enough confidence to workout without me being physically there every waking moment. I don’t want to kick my clients to the curb but I want to know that they are growing independently, building self esteem, and maintaining their success in the process of having me train them & I know it will take time.
But not only from a trainer perspective but also from a friend/neighbor/spouse/family, etc perspective…
We shouldn’t allow these people to feel so pressured. Having a friend who comes to the gym with you is fun, motivating and keeps you on your feet but what happens when that person misses a few days? Normally, the first thought is to stop going for a few days as well because you don’t want to workout without them. The motivation you have stems from being able to workout with your friend, so when a friend misses a day or two, that becomes your excuse for missing a day or two. Basically when you realize you aren’t meeting your goals and aren’t seeing results, the blame will fall on your friend because in your mind, because your friend missed a few days– you weren’t able to meet the requirements it takes to meet your goals. Not saying you will legitimately blame them to their face, but when someone ask why haven’t you been attending the gym anymore; it will fall back on your friend — “I normally come when my friend comes, and he hasn’t been able to make it back in so when he feels better or starts back on his normal routine, we will be back”. Nobody should take the blame for your lack of choice to do something, because when it comes down to it, you have the time and the reason for wanting to workout– but you have co-depended on someone for so long in order to workout that when it comes time to come on your own, it’s too intimidating & you make them the excuse.
When you want something bad enough…
It should come from within, it should fuel you enough to start and to finish. Having an extra person to root for you is good, but sometimes people don’t root and don’t support, so you have to be prepared to conquer things on your own. Prepare to endure many things on your own, so that if the time should come where you lose that partner in crime or lose that support — it doesn’t prohibit you from continuing on your journey. Life doesn’t always play fair and in order to make the best of the lemons thrown at us, we need to rely on ourselves for the most strength. I am a firm believer that having social support is a wonderful thing, but I stand by that people can either bring you up or weigh you down; you have to stay in control of yourself and not allow someone else to be your driver.
“Anybody can play backseat driver to our choices, but you are the one driving, so the only person who can control your steering wheel is you” — Shay-lon Moss
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I have learned many things, some of which made a difference in my life. One of which, is learning to “try again”, which for some is easy enough but for others like myself, “trying again” is scary and makes us overwhelmed, makes us anxious and gives us stress. Stress we don’t need nor want. I can tell you of many incidences where I wanted to try again but didn’t due to fear and not knowing, due to low self esteem and negative thinking and due to lack of courage. I grew up on “trying” and giving it my best; my mom always told me and my siblings this growing up — and even then it was easier said than done. Almost like now. Where trying something for a second or third time seems like a waste of time, especially when you don’t know how it will end.
I learned REAL soon, that trying again can be the door that opens opportunity — All it takes is a positive mindset, belief in yourself and capabilities & your “why” (in other words the reason that you NEED to try again, why is this important to you) because without a why, you lose focus and give up. This almost happened to me within this year.
Just recently I got certified in Personal Training by ACSM (one of the hardest personal training exams right next to CSCS) and holds the “Gold standard” for the fitness industry because it was the FIRST certification and very few people pass this exam the first time let alone the second time. I graduated college May 2016 and took the exam for the first time December of 2016 and FAILED. Mind you it cost me 300 dollars to take it, and I didn’t have whole lot of financial stability at the time, so I knew it would take some saving up before I could afford it while also having to afford bills. I was very discouraged this first time (you can take it after 15 days with a discounted price) but at the time I could not afford to retake it, so I went a whole other year before re-taking it again. The first time I cried and got very upset. The second time, I had something new weighing on me, they were changing the cirriculum for this exam after this test date, so if I failed it this time, it meant having to buy new books & taking time to study the new material (expenses and time) so I retook the test Dec. 2017 and FAILED, again. Now I was very pissed off, I had cried at the gym when telling my boss/owner and sharing the news with a couple of gym members, it was like the world was falling on top of me and I couldn’t breath and didn’t know what to do, I started to think that maybe I was too dumb for this test — people gave me other names of personal training certs I could do: ACE, NASM, ISSA, etc but I didn’t want to do those, I wanted ACSM, it appealed to me because of the recognition it receives and how few people have passed. I wanted to pass it.
In the meantime while my self esteem was low, I started looking into other cert options in case I wanted to give up on ACSM (and do know I did want to give up) because I even got ahold of NASM and talked with a rep about being interested in taking their exam and pricing and same with ACE. I even researched ISSA to see what it was about. When it was all said and done, I decided I would give ACSM a try ONCE more, because the material was new, I figured I’d rather study this new stuff then to spend more money with a whole other company/cert. Once again I was praying I could afford the new books/study aids — thankfully Amazon had it for decent price and because of using the trial period of Prime, I was able to have them shipped quickly to my house. I got my books and dug in, I decided to once again make note cards, but beforehand, read both textbooks while taking notes in a notebook then used the notes on the notecards and made over 100+ note cards to study from and used the ACSM pocket prep app. I was focused, UNTIL I wasn’t, I had set the date to February to retake the test but realized I wasn’t ready yet, so changed it to March but because I was too busy having fun on my birthday — I changed the date to April to give me more time to study (which I didn’t use my time to study very well) I got distracted by friends and wanting to hang out that I put my studies in second place & the times I could study I would have rather been able to go to bed early. I work two jobs so sleep is important to me. It wasn’t until a week before that I really dug into my notes and focused. I was overwhelmed but made it a priority to study because I didn’t want to keep rescheduling my exam. Long story short, I studies until midnight the night before and woke up bright and very, very early to eat breakfast, study and calm my nerves so I could come prepared with clarity.
Walking into the testing center made me anxious but I was confident in myself and didn’t allow the nerves to take over my mind or fill me with negative thoughts. The test was 150 questions and I had to score 550 in order to pass. The test was HARD, very difficult but I could confidently say that I knew about 20 of the questions without pondering but the rest depended on memory, being able to answer practical questions and hoping that I can do a good job of guessing if I didn’t know the answer. Unlike the previous test, I went through all the flagged questions I had issues with and made sure I answered them to the best of my ability and even left 20 minutes on the clock before finishing the test because I took my time with this test, I wanted to do my best and give my best answers.
I PASSED. I passed the test with a 557 score. I cried with a smile on my face and walked out that testing center not believing what just happened. I texted the first 5 people I wanted to share the news with and posted on Facebook the news. Everything was starting to make sense to me after this day, I didn’t give up. I could have very well not tried again but because I took the dive and TRIED AGAIN, I found out I could do it. I passed the exam and I am ever so blessed and happy with the results. Moral of the story, TRY AGAIN.
“When you try something for the first time, you might find you aren’t the best at it, but doesn’t mean you can’t get better” – Shay-lon Moss
Check out my Instagram with the posted good news: ACSM cert