Last week I was in my gym, ready to work on my arms. I always write down my workouts so I can see my progress, change things up and improve something about my previous workout. So I glanced back at my previous week and noticed I had curled a specific weight for 8 reps. My goal these days is to stay in the 8 rep range so I decided to keep that weight for this workout. I began to lift, noticing how heavy the weights felt. After 6 reps my muscles weren't capable of lifting anymore, I had reached my max. Disappointed with myself, I wondered why I fell 2 reps short of my last workout. I glanced back again and realized I had written down the wrong weight! In fact, this day I was lifting heavier than I ever had in my entire life and I still managed 6 reps! I felt proud and at the same time, shook my head at myself because I should know better.
One thing I adore about running fitness classes for women and working with them one-on-one is the evolution I witness daily. In the beginning I hear and see:
"I'm not enough"
"I can't do that"
"I'm not capable"
"I'll never be able.."
"There's no way!"
After working together for a period of time and with some pushing, encouraging, cutting through excuses and nonchalantly counteracting all their rebuttals, I then begin to see and hear:
"I can't believe I did that!"
"I never would have imagined.."
"I've noticed how much stronger I feel"
"I could never do that before"
We work together to cut through all the crap that's been in their psyche from childhood; their deep seated (false) belief that they aren't capable. So much of what I do has to do with holding space, words and tools for allowing these women to heal, find confidence, and grow at their own pace. I believe in them more than they believe in themselves. It is in this space I witness both breakdowns and breakthroughs.
Magic happens when a woman starts to see (and own) her power in this world. In the field of my work, it often begins through the gains she develops physically, but those lessons she learns in the gym undoubtedly carry into other areas of her life.
It is then I begin hearing and seeing:
"I've got this"
"I could do that"
"I have a goal.."
And in those positive affirmations what I also hear is:
"I love myself"
"I appreciate my body"
"I am worthy"
Women transform from not believing to strongly believing.
From afraid to empowered.
From hesitant to ready for action.
And it all has to do with witnessing and understanding that they are capable of more than they had originally believed themselves to be. I am constantly pushing them outside of their comfort zone, and while sometimes they curse me for it, I know the benefits long term that this practice will have. We are always capable of so much more than we believe we are. Sometimes we need a little push or accidental discovery as I had last week to recognize that fact.
So last week when I unknowingly curled my heaviest weight yet and felt shocked by that fact, I realized I still have my own roadblocks to success and freedom that were put there by none other than ....... ME! I still have preconceived notions of what I am capable of, which is not something that should ever carry a ceiling. I had my mind made up that I could lift xx number of pounds when in reality....I can lift more! I wonder when I would have made this discovery had it not been an accidental one. Months? Years? Never? Because lifting this amount would mean something new for me...a new possibility. And if I can curl this weight when I hadn't believed myself capable....well what else in this world can I do?
I finished a workout earlier today and I lifted those super heavy weights and smiled through the grimace.
"Hell yeah I got this."
"I am capable of more than I give myself credit for."
It was a gentle reminder that I need to believe in myself and stop setting those limits that prevent me from evolving.
Let me ask you this: What limits have you set in your own life? And are you willing to test them?