So it’s 2015 and you’re revved up and ready to go… who isn’t? It’s 2015 and that means upping the personal fitness and body readiness goals. Bring forth your manifesto of self-care and personal betterment! Go you! No seriously, charge on forward with your bad self! However, do proceed with caution before signing yourself up for a zillion different 5k runs, stacking up your memberships at the yoga studio, CrossFit box, gym, and spa.
In making the leaps and bounds forward to our future selves, it is important to go forward with a very open mindset and the awareness that not only will your goals change in time, but you should be gentle with yourself and realistic in what you write down as law to follow and with the person you see when you look in the mirror.
So what is your goal for the year? Do you simply want to try something new? Are you looking to make some seriously drastic changes and go into a new arena like fitness modeling or Olympic/Powerlifting competing? Just think about it.
As a powerlifter I didn’t step into the arena of considering powerlifting as an option for my life when January 1st hit three years ago. I’m pretty sure I felt tired with myself and knew that I wanted something to change about myself, but I wasn’t sure what. I didn’t start my New Year’s resolution until months later in July 2011. Instead, for months I passed by the box (a CrossFit, Starting Strength, and Olympic lifting/Powerlifting training facility) with the continual mental reminder to myself that I should “check it out” at “some point in time.” I didn’t overly chide myself when I didn’t.
I already belonged to a gym, I ran three times a week on the treadmill and completed a weightlifting circuit that I felt gave me some fulfillment. Yet, when I stepped into the box in July, the first free week of my summer, I didn’t event expect the results that have come almost three years later. I completed a simple initial stretching sequence that was monitored by the box owner, Peter Nathan, and then proceeded to complete a basic WOD (Working Of the Day) designed to address conditioning (strength and cardio). When I completed the WOD I felt winded, flushed, and above all things… invigorated. I certainly hope that you would feel the later no matter what your endeavor.
Gradually, my personal goals changed from wanting to become more “toned and fit” into wanting to know what I was doing when I was under the Rogue barbell. My goals changed from what I consider to be a typical ambiguous goal of both men and women to something more concrete. I decided that I wanted to complete the box’s Starting Strength 6-week course, learn all the finite aspects of the lifts used the strength and conditioning aspects of the box. I wasn’t without my bad days; there were evenings that I left the box both frustrated and upset with myself. However, there were also days that I practically skipped out of the box because I exceeded by first working lifting sets.
It was while I was working with the Starting Strength coaches that I discovered that I had outgrown the “regular” gym. When I would go in on the days I couldn’t conveniently go to the box’s hours, I would go to complete WODs utilizing the materials available. Yet, what I did notice was that not everyone in the gym was happy to help with spotting me during lifting sets, nor were the coaches and staff members at the gym all equip to spot and/or advise with aspects of my growing interest in lifting. No one demanded me to make the change and cancel by gym membership so I could solely attend the box; it simply felt that it was the right time for me to let go of the wonderfully comfortable gentle yoga/Pilates classes, running on the treadmill in the air-conditioned movie theater, consistent strength circuit, and avoidance of the free-weights section of the gym.
Ten months after initially walking into the box, I attended and competed in my very first local powerlifting meet. At no point, up until I passed from one year, into the next and attended sessions and courses outside of my typical comfort zone did I think that any of it was possible. I placed second in my weight class and received an inordinate amount of positive support from the men and women lifters attending, as well as the judges. It was a very positive and supportive experience.
I learned very quickly when I began attending the box, it is advisable to maintain a notebook with your personal goals, notes, workouts, and your personal results. This is not something to share with everyone else or broadcast unless it is YOUR intent to do so. It is a personal record of your personal growth and personal records (PRs) over the course of months and years.
Now, in 2015 I can move forward with a clear expectation of what I want to and WILL succeed at this year. I have running goals, PR lifting goals, and roller derby goals. I consult my notebook, reconstruct my motivation wall, and consult with my team (coaches, family, and friends). I would suggest that you do the same. No matter what the goal, everyone around you should be a positive contributing member of your personal support system and help you in constructing and reaching your goals this year. Go forward with a sense of positive inquiry, child-like wonder, and optimism.
Hey there I’m Bubble T, professor of Psychology and Physical Education here at Vixen Varsity. Based out of NY, I am a CrossFit trainee, competitive powerlifter, and roller derby girl. The crux of my days revolve around developing fitness goals and psychological well-being. I currently run the blog, The Cosplay Body, and am an active advocate of developing tips, tricks around healthy nutritional needs and positive self-image in the cosplay community. Questions regarding psychology and physical education class material can be fielded directly at BlondieandBubbleT@gmail.com; follow the Psychology and PhysEd Professor on Twitter @Blondie_BubbleT