From the age of 4 I was an athlete. I can’t remember a time I wasn’t competing and trying to be the best. I did gymnastics, volleyball, basketball, softball, track in grade school along with playing club and select. Evenings were filled with homework and practices while weekends were spent on the road competing. I was the epitome of an athlete.
While being an athlete I didn’t realize I created poor habits and coping skills for myself. I believed that the harder I worked or the more effort I put in, the more I would succeed, the more people would like me, the better I was. I was focused on perfection and achievement over self-esteem. Being this type of athlete pushed poor eating habits, poor sleeping, poor distress tolerance, and the ability to fake any emotion to place the attention on my athletics instead of what I was struggling with.
Fast forward to the end of college…
For the first time in my life, I was no longer considered an “athlete”. I wasn’t competing and there was no longer a reason to push myself physically. I began working a stressful job and kept the poor eating and sleeping habits I taught myself. This led to obvious weight gain. So, not only was I not a competitive athlete anymore, but I didn’t look like one either.
So how did this change? I knew competition motivated me but I didn’t know where to find it. I discovered functional fitness through Jonathan’s tortuous garage workouts and things began to change. I began to see myself as the athlete again. The definition for me had just changed.
Now, running Dissent with Jonathan, I have been involved in community functional fitness for 2 years. I now have the eating habits, sleeping habits, and distress tolerance to feel comfortable in my own skin. The competition is now against myself. I am motivated through the smaller goals of skills becoming easier and understanding when to rest my body along with the bigger goals of completing 5ks and PRs. There are always going to be bad days. It is what you chose to do during the bad days that helps you have more good days.