For my entire life, I’ve been athletic. I had my first pairs of skis on at age four, was racing by five, and spent the next ten years of my life competitively racing and training nearly 20 hours per week, every week. Hot on the heels of that, I jumped onto a competitive soccer team where I remained until I finished with organized sports and transitioned to running/working out.
I’ve honestly never experienced what so many people go through starting their journey to healthy living. I’ve never had to fight to run more than a few minutes, or felt my body crumble underneath me when I tried to squat. I’ve never been a superwoman olympic athlete, but I’ve never felt out of shape, either.
Now, I know that I am not technically out of shape. I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve ran, but I’m lifting weights and definitely fit. Do you want to know something interesting, though? If you never train a certain area, you will never be strong at it! Funny how that works, hey?
Case in point: I’m slooooowly working on my upper body strength, and can now bench 40lbs for 3 x 8 reps. Maybe not spectacular to you but I am PROUD. Yesterday, though, I tried to do dumbbell flyes (use your back muscles), and guess how heavy my dumbbells were?
I felt like this.
It’s safe to say I have negative back muscles. I’m in shape though! But I have never trained my back, ever. I honestly thought it was just pointless. I only wanted to work out my arms and abs, because I thought that all that mattered was what was aesthetically pleasing.
The fact that I now think back muscles are the most gorgeous thing EVER are beside the point.
The actual point is, I’m starting from zero! I have to swallow my pride and realize that I cannot take anything for granted. I have strong legs because I’ve spent my entire life training them. I cannot expect to magically have a strong back just because I did pullups yesterday.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely work hard for everything that I have in life. I spent 90% of grade twelve studying to get into university, regularly woke up at 5am to fit in training runs for my half marathon, and do not expect to be successful without putting in the work.
But…putting in the work kind of sucks when it’s so small compared to others. I know…the comparison trap. I don’t get down on myself for squatting 50lbs when I see bloggers that do triple that. I think that’s because it’s at least something. If you have something to work with, it’s so much easier to build upon and make progress. But starting from zero…it’s HARD.
I will be starting from zero come September: Moving to a brand new city where I know absolutely no one. I guess it’s better to get used to that feeling earlier rather than later. Because even though it may be easier to make progress after you’ve already gotten somewhere, building yourself up from nothing will be so much more gratifying. It’s like the thrill of speeding up from 80kmph to 120kmph, or 0 to 120. You may end up in the same place, but the true exhilaration comes from the unexpected.
When have you had to start from zero? How did you deal with it?