Category Archives: Uncategorized

Quarantine Training Log 

By day 4 of quarantine my new reality was setting in. I was feeling bad for myself because I couldn’t train how I wanted to, therefore leaving me with zero motivation to do anything active, and all of the guilt from sitting around and eating.  After talking with my friends and reflecting on the feels, I came to a few realizations. 

 

  • Without being able to train, coupled with the high stress of a pandemic, I was headed towards an anxiety and depression ridden spiral, fueled by constant body guilt/food guilt.

 

  • I felt dumb, awkward, and embarrassed just thinking about working out at home – which then led me to imposter syndrome. How could I teach classes & train 12+ hours a week, but give up so quickly at home? How could I be embarrassed about my partner seeing me workout, when I train in public all the time? Am I even worthy of being a “fitness professional” if I can’t exercise without being at the gym?

 

  • The gym helps me escape from the never ending chatter in my head – a place with no other distractions (except dance breaks). Working out in my living room did not have the same effect. I felt awkward and out of place, like my furniture and my pets and my plants were all judging me. I figured out that it wasn’t just about training, it was about having somewhere *to go* to train. 

 

Project Home Gym

#1 Make a space – A place where I feel mentally and physically ready to exercise.

✔ Clear out corner in spare bedroom

✔ Organize and set up equipment

✔ Arrange plants and roll out yoga mat

 

(Note: Use whatever you have, even if it’s just a yoga mat or towel. The physical space is what counts.)

 

#2 Make a plan – A routine that makes exercising at home feel more natural.

✔ Workout with @toddhamer1 at 12p to warm up

✔ Workout on my own for an additional 30 minutes

✔ Document the workout on my calendar (and by not-so-humble bragging about it to my training partners, that I miss dearly)

 

#3 Make friends – People who can hold you accountable and support you.

✔ Sara, Nicole, Molly, Terry, & Maggie (Sry not sry for the workout texts)

✔ Ham the man #weekdaywarriors

✔ Myself (Minimize negative talk. Give myself grace because it is okay if I gain weight, miss a workout, etc.)

After completing “Project Home Gym” and reflecting on how to write this blog, I realized that I wasn’t the blob, failure, or imposter that I felt like during Week 1 of quarantine. Writing things down helps me feel like I have accomplished something (see #2 – Make a plan), so here is my training log for the first week of quarantine. 

 

Day 1Live Instagram workout with Todd
Day 2Nil
Day 3Quick barbell session at ASCEND (praise!)
Day 4Hike with partner and doggies (Non-life sustaining businesses ordered to close)
Day 5(Set up home gym space) Live IG w/ Todd + on my own workout
Day 6Live IG w/ Todd + on my own workout
Day 7Live IG w/ Todd + on my own workout  (Set up indoor bike trainer)

 

If you are looking for some ideas, here’s what I did on my own:

 

Day 5 

20*-15*-10*-5 

Squat+lunge

Jumping Lunge

Jump Squat

Mtn Climber

Inchworm in place (no push up)

 

*After round 20s

25 Sit-ups

25 Flutter Kicks (4count)

25 Sit-ups

25 Leg Raises

*After round 15s

25 Sit-ups

25 Scissor Kick (4 count)

25 Sit-ups

25 Crunches

*After round 10s 

25 Sit-ups

25 Russian Twist (4 count)

25 Sit-ups

25 Bicycler’s (4 count)

 

Day 6

3X

10 KB RDL 35# per hand

10 KB Floor press 35# per hand

10 KB overhead leg raises 25#

10 KB around the world per side 25# 

* Iso Interlude of

  • :30 plank 
  • :30 boat
  • :30 superpeople hold
  • :30 wall sit

THEN

3X

10 curls 10# per

10 FR squats

10 OHP

10 suitcase lunge (total)

 

Day 7

5-10-15-20-15-10-5

Squat jumps

Mtn climber

KB swing (35#)

Russian Twist

Banded glute bridge

 

Looking for workout ideas? Looking for a friend? Looking for things to pass the time?

Feel free to follow me on Instagram, where I will definitely be posting pet photos, food I’m making, books I’m reading, and endless memes. Shameless self promotion, but also genuinely here to provide support in these weird times. @catlyn_b

 

Keeping your cool in this hard time.

Hello all my super sanitized amigos!

 

I know a lot of you are working from home or just practicing social distance to flatten the curve in these strange times. There is no need to have cabin fever and turn into Jack Torrance from the Shining with these 7 ways to stay sane I’m about to give you.

 

1. Stay active and workout from home or outside (coming from the King of the Bumps). Yes you will have to get creative and use; steps, chairs, gallon milk jugs, logs or heavy bags of dog food but that is what makes exercise fun! You can also check out Union’s Instagram and website for some cool training ideas.

 

2. Take time to phone a family member, friend or training partner. This is an opportunity to shoot the bull and keep everyone’s mental health up. Times like these you learn how powerful a quick phone call check in can be. You can also face-time, text and maybe even send smoke signals if you’re into that sort of thing.

 

3. Read those books that you have been putting on hold.

 

4. Cook real food/ learn how to cook. The internet still works and there are plenty cool meals out there for you to try and make your own. Cooking is a great way to take your mind off the outside world and get creative in the moment. If you want some great ideas reach out to this cool chick you may know as Skylyn. If you don’t know…now you know.

 

5. Take some time to go outside. Find a trail in the woods or walk around your favorite park and take in some exercise and naturally forming vitamin D from the Sun. You’ll still want to keep a safe distance from people so you don’t spread or contract the coronavirus. I know we’ll be taking our pups on a nice hike later today.

 

6. Pick up and old skill you’ve gotten away from because of work or a busy life schedule. I’m tuning up my bass as we read and plan on rocking out later. Horns up fam!

 

7. All your home renovations or clothes that you have been meaning to sort through in your pile…looks like you got some time now to put some work in and get caught up on it all.

 

Bonus Tip

 

8. Make a friendly wager on how big the baby boom will be from the time in quarantine.

 

Stay safe, protect your mentals and remember to wash your hands my friends.

 

Air High Five,

CeJ

Alright guys, so I’ve put together a few days worth of workouts for you. Please program in your own rest day and avoid doing these workouts all 4 days in a row. Also, feel free to cherry pick and do your favorites first if you so please, just have fun with it.

 

If you have questions please feel free to email me at jocelyn@unionfitness.com or even reach out to me via my personal IG @jlemay or the Union Fitness Instagram account as well.

 

Stay healthy my friends,

 

Jocelyn

 

W1:

5 min active warm up: consider a light jog

Into: 3 rounds (easy)

10 toe touches 

10 air squats

10 lunges

Core-Circuit

5 rounds:

10 sit-ups

:20 plank

10 lemon squeezers

:20 plank

10 v-ups (substitute with hollow hold)

*goal is to make everything look pretty and not rush.

Workout 

FOR TIME

400m or 2:00 run

50 air squats

400m or 2:00 run

30 jumping lunges

400m or 2:00 run

20 air squats

*If you’re feeling frisky, 2 rounds for quality not time.

 

W2:

5 min active warm up: consider a light jog

Into: 3 rounds (easy)

10 arm circles

10 air squats

10 jumping jacks

Workout

4 ROUNDS:

60 singles or 10 squat jumps (if you don’t have a jump rope)

15 KB swings (substitute with push ups, from toes or knees based on ability) 

5 – 10 burpees (pick your poison)

Cash Out

Accumulate a 5:00 – 8:00 wall sit, to make it harder – Use a small dog or child works as well.

 

W3:

5 min active warm up: consider a light jog

Into: 3 rounds (easy)

10 butt kicks

10 high knees

10 toe touches

Workout

4 ROUNDS

10 bench dips (get creative use your couch or something sturdy)

:20 – :30 side plank, both sides (get those hips on the floor)

10 split squats each leg (use a gallon of water to make it harder)

Cash-Out

TABATA (:20 on/:10 off) 

5 rounds of:

Mountain climbers

Jumping jacks

Plank shoulder taps

Sit-ups

 

W4:

If you have access to a track or trail, even your own neighborhood works.

Go for a 30 – 45 min run/walk, take your dog or your kids and just get moving outside.

A Message from Union Fitness

All UF Members,

 

As you have probably seen or read Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been creating issues throughout the world. We here at Union Fitness are determined to help keep each of you as healthy as possible. We are addressing this issue in many ways.

 

  1. We have increased our cleaning of the facility. You may notice that staff members are being extra vigilant with disinfecting the equipment. We ask that you help out by also being extra vigilant when it comes to cleaning equipment after usage.
  2. Any staff member who appears to be sick will be asked to stay home, and if you aren’t feeling well we respectfully ask you to take the day off as a precaution.
  3. We have already met with our cleaning crew to make sure that the facility is being cleaned and disinfected.
  4. Finally, we are sad to say that we must postpone our fundraiser scheduled for this Sunday. I know many of you have trained and donated and we appreciate you. We are doing this in order to keep each of you safe and healthy. At this time we do not feel that holding this event would be the best thing to do.

 

We ask that if you have any concerns you bring them up to our staff. We appreciate you and are here to help each of our members become healthier.

 

Thank you,

 

Todd Hamer

General Manager, Union Fitness

Strength Lab: Barbells 101

If you’ve spent some time back in our Strength Lab here at union Fitness, then you’ve probably noticed our large selection of barbells. Each barbell has multiple purposes and benefits. Some of them will make your training more challenging, while some of them may make training easier if you are battling with a nagging injury. The main benefit of having such a large selection of bars is variety. By having variety within your training, you will be less likely to hit a plateau, and it will keep things interesting and fun.

 

One of the first things you’ll notice when looking at the bars is that they have a piece of colored tape on them. This tape designates what the bar could be used for, and which area of the gym it is best suited for. Listed below are the different colors and what each of them mean.

 

Blue: All purpose. These are our 45lb. texas power bars. They can be used for anything from squatting, bench pressing, deadlifting, overhead pressing, rows, cleans, jerks, and snatches. This is by far the most versatile bar you can find.

 

Yellow: Deadlift. These bars are used specifically and ONLY for deadlifting. They are thinner and a bit longer than a power bar, giving them more “flex” for lifting heavier weights from the floor.

 

Red: Bench Press. Here, you’ll find straight bars that are 55lbs for competition bench press use, as well as multi/ neutral grip bars used for building your bench through variations.

 

Orange: Squat. This is our largest variety of bars. Ranging anywhere from 55 and 60lb competition squat bars, to cambered and safety squat bars.

 

Next, we will go a little bit more in depth on the more specialized bars and what they have to offer for your training.

 

The SSB squat bar (65 lbs): This is the best speciality bar to use for building your squat. By having handles located out in front, it relieves stress on the shoulders and elbows. With the bar pad on the back, the bar is forced to sit up high on the traps. This is going to force you to use your core and upper back to keep the bar in place and prevent it from pitching you forward. Although this will make the squat more challenging, it greatly aids in building overall squatting strength.

 

The Cambered squat bar (65 lbs): This is a great bar to use for challenging your core and overall stability/ control during the squat. Due to the large U shape, the bar locates the weight’s center of mass much lower and out in front of the body. This will cause the bar to want to swing back and forth if you are not in the proper position and are not utilizing the proper tension throughout your core and upper body. Give this bar a shot if you want to focus on your overall stability, but be sure to start very light as it will take some time to get used to. 

 

The Buffalo bar (55 lbs): This multi-purpose bar can be used for both squatting and bench pressing. The slight bow of the bar helps it to sit across the shoulders in a very relaxing position during squatting, while also taking pressure off of the shoulders and elbows. During the bench press, this bar can help you work through a greater range of motion which can help to build pressing power. Be sure to go a bit lighter than you would with a standard straight bar, as it can be harder on the pecs and shoulders if they are not used to the increased range of motion.

 

The multi grip Football bar and Swiss bar (55lbs & 35lbs): These bars are great for building the bench press. With the grips being in a neutral position, the triceps will be emphasized more so than the standard straight bar, while also relieving stress on the shoulder joint. This bar is great when used for performing a floor press as well. Although a bit more challenging, both of these bars will greatly help to build overall bench press strength.

 

The Axel bar (55 lbs): Another great tool for building a strong bench press. With this bar being much larger in diameter, you are forced to focus on stability and control. Because of this, you are forced to used your main pressing muscles (triceps and lats) in order to stabilize the bar under a challenging load. Because of the larger grip, this bar can also alleviate stress on the shoulders and elbows.

 

Now that you have a better understanding of what each bar has to offer, be sure to try them out and give us your feedback. As always, don’t hesitate to grab one of us if you have any questions, or simply need a hand. Cheers.

If SHE’S Winning, We’re ALL Winning

Every day I am surrounded by strong, beautiful and confident women. I train/compete with and against some of these women, they inspire me and challenge me in my daily life. Feelings of inferiority and jealousy do not have room within the four walls of my heart. I am not in competition with these women, I stand on the same side and loudly cheer for their accomplishments.

 

Since I can remember society has engrained within me that I should worry about the woman standing next to me, is she prettier than me? Is she stronger? Is she better? And all through elementary, middle and high school, even college I constantly compared myself to any woman, even if the only time I ever saw her was through the screen on my phone. Insecurity deeply rooted itself and fear tip toed through the halls of my life while they quietly hid, waiting for the right time to come out and play.

 

The moment I started treating my body better, feeding it and nourishing it with endorphins I saw a shift. Although I had been involved in sports all my life, no one taught me how to love my body because that was an inside job. You can have people in your life that give you the tools to succeed but you will not find success if you don’t put in the work yourself – I was 22 when I realized this. 

 

The majority of my 20s have looked a lot like this; college, CrossFit, graduation, CrossFit, post-grad jobs, CrossFit. If you’ve met me or if you follow me on Instagram, you know that fitness truthfully is numero uno in my life. My entire day revolves around when I can get into the gym to train and each of those days are structured accordingly, to me its a structure that I invite into my life because this is what makes me happy at the end of the day. The only thing I can control is how much work I put in, day in and day out. This mentality applies to not only my own training but my job, my relationships and more importantly the relationship I have with myself. The outcomes are completely out of my hands but I can never be disappointed in my own performance if I can honestly say, I did everything I could have.

 

When I started investing in myself I stopped feeling like I was in constant competition with other women. I stopped worrying if my best friend was prettier than me or if my training partner was stronger than me. I became less insecure and more secure, I became less introverted and more of a leader and I stopped comparing myself to others within the gym and started asking the hard question of, what can I do to get better?

 

I spend nearly 2-3+ hours a day training competitively with women who are stronger, faster and better than I am at the sport of CrossFit. Again, those feelings of inferiority or jealousy have no room to spread because within the walls of a gym you will find only support and encouragement. Yes they might be better than I am but there are also women who are better than them as well, we are all on the same path and regardless if its in the gym or on the competition floor we are all on the same team. 

 

The tides do change, when its 3-2-1 go and yes I want to beat the girl next to me but competition CAN be healthy. Once the workout is over and we’re both rolling around on the ground in the same amount of pain, it’s all high-fives and “good jobs.” You will find no ego or resentment because we choose every single day to celebrate each other rather than tear each other down.

 

This topic comes up for discussion as many well-known female athletes are speaking out against the beauty standards that live within competition. That there is a focus on what we look like versus what our bodies can do and as that discussion happens, this one that I’m speaking on is thriving at the same time. I didn’t sign-up to be compared to the woman standing next to me and I also didn’t put in the work to live in a world where women don’t support other women. 

 

If you are in my life, you will find me standing on the sidelines cheering for your successes because to me if SHE’S winning, we’re ALL winning.

Being prepared for your first meet.

We are hosting our fundraiser push pull on March 15th and with this we have many first time lifters asking a multitude of good questions. I want to share with you some tips about what to expect, and what to do heading into your first meet.

 

 

  1. Be on time! Many meets have strict weigh in times and if you miss it then you are out of the meet. This is also when you will set your openers.
  2. Pay attention at the rules clinic! I have seen too many lifters miss a lift in which they completed the repetition. This happens when the athlete hasn’t listened to the judge and rules.
  3. Know which flight you are lifting in. This will dictate when you begin your warm ups. 
  4. Have someone update you on how quickly the lifting is moving. This will change how quickly you move your warm ups. 
  5. When you step to the platform be prepared for your lift. This seems simple yet everyone around you is there to help you perform your best. Don’t worry about the weight, that is the loaders job. Worry about the lift and only the lift.
  6. Know what your next attempts will be, and watch your lifts to know if it is time to adjust for your next attempt.
  7. Final point is to make it fun and be prepared. Pack your bag the night before with food, drinks and extra clothes. The day of the meet should be all about the lifts.

 

These 7 points should be enough to get you through the day. There are a few other things about the sport itself that I would be remiss if I did not mention. You get three attempts on each lift and you cannot decrease the weight after any attempt. So if you miss your opener you are stuck with that weight or more weight for your second and third attempts. Also, you get one minute from the time the bar is loaded to when you lift the bar. I have seen lifters lose track of time and miss the lift.

 

 

Remember, that at the end of the day the weight on the bar is irrelevant, the experience is what matters. 

How To Successfully Manage Your Pain

Hey everyone, my name is Jared. You can usually find me opening the gym in the morning or pretending I can lift heavy weights in the Strength Lab. I am a physical therapist and a huge advocate for strength training. With strength training though, we usually find ourselves having some aches and pains that seem to limit our ability to go about our work week, do our normal activities around the home, or perform well in the gym or even a competition.

 

In strength training, often the small things are neglected. For example, how many of you actually focus on mobility and stability through your ankles, knees, hips and trunk as a part of your training for squats? How many of you focus on thoracic spine mobility, rotator cuff strength and stability, or hip strength and mobility as a part of your bench press auxiliary work? And don’t even get me started on the deadlift. In no way should you walk away with legitimate low back pain every time you deadlift. Having pain with training is a part of the process. For everyone. That is okay, it isn’t the end of the world, I promise. But your body is telling you that you have pain for a reason. Generally, when we experience pain it is because a part of the body is experiencing forces or damage that it isn’t used to or should not be experiencing.

 

Now the questions everyone seems to ask themselves or their training partners are:
“Why does my (insert body part here) hurt like hell?”
“How do I get it to stop hurting?”
“What can I do to prevent this in the future?”

 

What I will ask you in return are:
“Have you taken steps to address your mobility or stability issues?”
“What have you done to change your lifestyle to help your pain?”
“Have you changed the way you train to take care of your pain? Or are you just trying to manage it with Ibuprofen and grit?”

 

You absolutely need to figure out a way to care for yourself. I never recommend to people that they stop training. I never recommend that they have to stop moving or start taking a bunch of drugs to take care of their pain. You need to adjust your training to work through pain free movements or movements that only cause minimal pain while still working toward your goals. While doing that you need to figure out the mobility, stability or strength issue that caused your pain and address it. More importantly, you need to make sure that you are getting enough GOOD sleep, staying hydrated, and that your nutrition is on point. Just fixing these things alone can significantly help your problem. There is a ton of research supporting the benefits of sleep, hydration and nutrition in decreasing pain and helping the body heal.

 

If you are able to care for yourself and take the time to do so it will save you time and money. Time you can put toward other things such as your family, your dog, your collection of succulents, etc… As well as more time in the future you can dedicate toward your training and your goals! That being said… If you are having difficulty figuring out the issue, or you are not having success addressing it yourself, seek professional help. Ask your physician, physical therapist, chiropractor, etc. to help you with the issue and get it addressed by someone who knows what’s going on. They can point you in the right direction to help you address the issue on your own.

 

If you have any questions or need some assistance, let me know! Hit me up via email (jaredcaroff@gmail.com) or find me in the gym and I can do a quick movement screen on you and see if it’s something that needs addressed further or something you can easily manage on your own independently!

 

Happy lifting everyone! And remember, don’t let pain be your enemy, but use it to make yourself stronger and more resilient! Get your sleep, hydration and nutrition on point. Continue training through ways that don’t increase your pain but still address your goals… and find a way to address the issue at hand!

Balancing Training and Life

I am currently around 7 weeks out from my next Powerlifting meet, and things are beginning to ramp up. With training becoming more challenging, it is important to make sure that I am doing all of the small things outside of the gym that make the biggest difference. Nutrition needs to be in line, sleep needs to be adequate, and stress needs to be under control. I’m very fortunate to have a family back home who has always been extremely supportive, even now that I live 6 hours away. They understand that I am very passionate about my goals, and know that during these times, I may not be able to make it home as often as I would like. Traveling seems to take a lot out of me. Not so much physically (although that does come into play), but more so mentally. It is a lot to cram into 36 hours. As a matter of fact, the last time I traveled home for a day to visit my family at 8 weeks out from a competition, I ended up injuring myself during a training session the morning after a 6 hour drive to my parents. Fortunately, with the help of my good friends and training partners, I was able to compete at my highest level. I’d be lying if I said that didn’t cross my mind every time I’ve thought about going home to visit.

 

I had my mind made up that I wasn’t going to travel during this meet prep. But when I woke up last Thursday and felt homesick, I had to look myself in the mirror and ask if it was really worth it. Was my goal of a 2000lb total more important than spending time with my family? Some people would say yes. Some would say no. Some people would say it has to be one or the other. But I’ve come to realize that you can in fact accomplish both. Yes, it is extremely important to dedicate yourself to achieving your goals, but at what cost? 99% of us reading this are not professional athletes. We do not get paid to exercise every day, compete in competitions, or run marathons. We do it for fun and recreation. It helps us to be a better person physically and mentally. At some point, things are going to slow down, and training may become less important to us than it is now. If we put so much effort into one thing for so long and we choose to shut out those other people and things in our lives that bring us fulfillment, what will we have when it’s all said and done?

 

Sure, you achieved your goals, but what did that really get you? I can promise you that it’s not the equivalent of those other things in life which make it full. I did in fact travel home to see my family last weekend. And I did in fact get to have a quality 2 hour training session. Afterward, my brother, sister, and both of their families all got together at my parents for a cookout. We laughed, cried, told stories, and hugged each other as if we would never get to do it again. It was the best decision that I have made in a very long time, and I am in a better place mentally than I was before I decided to go.

 

Bruce Lee once said, “Become like water my friend”. He believed in forming to whatever scenario you find yourself in. Flow effortlessly and be completely captured in the moment. If you are training for an hour on a Tuesday night after work, then you are only focused on that one thing, nothing else. If you go home to spend time with your family for a day, then dedicate every minute of that day to being will them, and enjoying the small things. If you choose to do this, you will in fact achieve all of your goals, and live a more fulfilled life in the process.

The Tough Talk

If you listened to last weeks Union Fitness podcast you probably heard me bore you to death with all things CrossFit. During the podcast, I had the opportunity to talk about many things that mean the world to me, one of them being mental health – Which I didn’t entirely get to elaborate too much on (hence the reason for this weeks blog from yours a truly).

 

There was a point in my life where I was pretty closed off and then I realized once you understand that the opinions of others don’t matter, you will find freedom. This was the point at which I stopped being scared to open up about the things I was feeling internally. Now I’m not saying that I’m completely vulnerable 100% of the time, it’s certainly something I’m still working on, however when the moment presents itself I find that there are people in my life that respect me more for putting myself in those situations.

 

When I first started my fitness journey it was during a time where I didn’t like the person I saw in the mirror. I didn’t love my body, I didn’t love the choices I was making in my life and I didn’t like the road I was going down. Sitting on the third floor of my campus library I called the nearest CrossFit gym, little did I know eventually it would become the biggest part of who I am today and help me move through tough times.

 

Mental health encompasses a lot of things involving just you as a person. It’s everything from how you view yourself, how you treat yourself and how you deal with life in general. All of these things can have a drastic impact on your quality of life and it’s important to understand it’s always okay to put yourself first. When you take the time to invest in your wellbeing you allow yourself the opportunity to heal and to essentially give yourself a break from the stressors of life. This can be anything from getting a good workout in, talking to a friend or therapist or even just going for a walk to clear your head.

 

When I started to invest in myself I saw that I was growing into someone I could stand to look at in the mirror. It didn’t happen overnight though but my ability to just look at myself and not immediately think of something negative became my new normal. I stopped worrying about the number on the scale and started desiring a number on the barbell. It was that mentality shift that allowed me to enjoy life more and to celebrate what my body could do vs what it looked like.

 

Now that mentality didn’t come without struggle and I’m not going to sit here and write all this out without acknowledging that. 

 

I’ve had the extreme misfortune of losing one of my best friends to mental illness and that one loss in the way that it happened will stay with me for the rest of my life. Amanda is the reason for most things in my life but more importantly, not giving up. This is truly why I believe that fitness and mental health go hand in hand, without CrossFit or an outlet for me to put my deepest self into, I would have given up a very long time ago.

 

Working out became my church, it allowed me to put my pain into something positive and even if I was having the worst day, the endorphin rush allowed me to feel happy. I’ve had moments in my life for the entirety of the workout I thought about the one thing that was hurting me the most and used it as motivation. So when I said in the podcast that “fitness and mental health go hand in hand” this is exactly what I am emphasizing.

 

Although fitness is my chosen choice of prescription, I have walked down another path.

 

This past year I went through a pretty traumatic experience where I felt as if I need a little something extra to help me through this time. I was previously seeing a therapist and decided at that time I needed medication, consulted my doctor and with the aid of anxiety meds I was able to move through my days a little better with a clearer head. The discussion of replacing medication with exercise is one that is very prominent in today’s society and one that I take no stance on, I’m a firm believer in whatever helps you get through the day is the exact prescription that you need.

 

For me personally there were more negatives to being on medication than positives. The medication essentially numbed most of my feelings, made me foggy depending on the time I took it and negatively impacted my training. It was my own decision to take myself of my anxiety meds as I truly didn’t feel like I needed them. Although at the time it was exactly what I needed, I don’t think it was ever a long term solution for me.

 

So now I ask myself, where do you find yourself?

 

As a professional in the fitness industry, I have seen a lot of people of different shapes and sizes with similar issues they are battling every day. It is not my job to tell you what prescription fits you as an individual but it is my job to give you the tools to help you succeed. After being on both sides of dealing with mental health issues I have a better understanding and appreciation for those also struggling like myself.

 

I have a quote tattooed on my leg and it reads, “strength doesn’t come from what you can do, it comes from overcoming things you once thought you couldn’t.” If there is ever a moment you feel weak, lean into the fact that it will pass and lean onto whatever helps you through the situation. It is essentially all about growing through what you go through and although these experiences will be painful they will teach you to never give up.

 

The topic of mental health will never be an easy one to have and as I write this I feel as if my thoughts are all over the place, it’s a tough one to talk about. However, I hope from my sporadic thoughts that seem to be carefully placed together make sense to you. At the end of the day, your relationship with you in the most important and I hope you take the time to nurture your personal growth, in whatever way that may be.

 

J