A few weeks back I had a sinus infection and that slowed me down in life and at the gym. Then a short time after that I somehow contracted Giardia, a parasite that is usually found in ponds and streams, neither of which I had been for years. In any case, somewhere, somehow, I got this dreaded parasite from contaminated water.
It hit like a ton of bricks and knocked me down for about five days. I was on the toilet (no kidding) about 30 times a day for four days straight. I lost 11 pounds in 9 days and was almost hospitalized for severe dehydration. As you might imagine I could not work out at all. It was almost two weeks since my last work out and I felt it, even now a week-and-a half of recovery and I am not the same.
I’m smaller, I am weaker, and I hate it. I feel fat and insignificant. I know I am not fat nor am I insignificant, but my ego is hitting me over the head with all the bad past programming. Does this happen to you, when you have the knowledge, but your ego keeps hammering at you? Argh!!!
Okay, argh, is not the most professional word, but jeez. To be taken out for nearly three weeks and not being able to work out was beyond frustrating. I am, of course, glad I did not go to the hospital, but I feel like a lost a lot and, frankly, am having a hard time getting back into the swing of things, but I am getting back into it. I must.
The question is, what drives us to do better, to keep on track versus giving up? For me, and I hate to admit this, what drives me to continue is stark-raving fear of backsliding to what I was before, fat and unhealthy with a fast track to sickness and probably death.
I know, harsh words, but the truth hurts sometimes and when I was sick and lost the 11 pounds in 9 days, I could feel my muscles shrinking and it scared me. What got me back on track was the words of a good friend of mine, “Commitment is what’s needed when passion or life hinders your advancement.” Wow. Read that again. It all comes down to: Are you committed to what you love, and will you continue to work at your passion or give up? Giving up is easy and I must admit there were days after the Giardia that I chose not to go to the gym and not to workout. The beginning of giving up.
This happens to all of us – you come back from a knock-out punch from life, love, sickness, whatever, and you have to choose to get back off the mat and get going again. It is hard – and while I guess there is no right or wrong choice, it is a choice. An object in motion tends to stay in motion and an object at rest tends to stay at rest. I rested here and there and then made the choice to get back into my workouts and I am glad I did.
Yes, I am at lower weights for a while as I get tuckered out more easily. The docs say it can take weeks for the body to totally heal from this. Great – and I have had to push my bodybuilding contest back to April – very frustrating, but it is what it is.
I have a saying, “Don’t yell at the giraffe for not being a zebra.” Simply put don’t get mad at others for who they are and not living up to your expectations, but this also is true for situations. I got sick, I am healing and no amount of pushing myself or complaining will change the situation. It is what it is. Deal with it. This is where I think a lot of people get off track. We blame, shame, and justify others and things to make ourselves look good, feel better, or feel more empowered. That’s all a false narrative. It’s basically a lie to yourself that serves no purpose and wastes time.
Life gets in the way of the mission, the dream, and your desires. Life is a test of character. What you do when hit in the face with unexpected things is part of how you find out who you are and what you are made of.
As we go through the holiday season, we will all be tempted to live life to its fullest with friends, family, food, drink, sex, you name it. Keep your goal and your dream centerstage because you have no idea when the next curve ball is coming your way and being as healthy (mind, body, and soul) as you can and will be a major asset.