Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Fourth Decade

Today I enter my fourth decade - 40 years old.  It's making me quite reflective of the previous decade. 

Ten years ago, on my 30th birthday, I was pregnant with my second child.  I was so excited to be a mommy for the second time.  My son was three at the time.  My life was full with family, church, and work.  Soon after the birth of my daughter, I began experiencing severe anxiety.  My life and my body felt out of my control.  I sought treatment, thank goodness, and began a journey toward finding who I am and honoring that person. 

By my mid-thirties, I learned that I needed to carve out a piece of my life for me.  Like many women, I gave to everyone and everything except myself.  I was thirty pounds overweight and I looked like a frumpy mommy.

Exhibit A - A photo of me taken in 2004. --------->

This photo opened my eyes.  I started exercising after quite a hiatus.  I started weight training and walking.  I had been an avid weight lifter in college, and I loved it.  I also got involved with the Advocare company.  Advocare is a company that manufactures supplements.  Their products are top-notch and helped me feel better.

Through a woman involved in Advocare - Jody Nelson - I was introduced to kettlebell training.  That was early 2006.   I fell in love with kettlebell training.  It met my need to lift weight while simultaneously get cardio work in.  Being as busy as I was, I appreciated the substantially shorter workouts.  Before kettlebells, I would lift weights for 45 - 60 minutes and then get on a treadmill or elliptical machine for another 30 minutes.

I lost 10 pounds after a few months of my new training and decided I needed to kick up my training.  I knew I needed some accountability and some help with my diet.  Enter Brad Nelson.  He lived in St. Paul, MN.  I live in Iowa.  We started a distance training program where he would email me my training and I would send him my workout and food logs.  I met with him every four months or so to check in, get measurements, etc.

Working with Brad changed my life.  I found success; I found my strength; I found my voice; I found my passions.  I finally believed in my own power.  I became an RKC in 2008 and continued training with Brad until early 2010.

Exhibit B - a photo of me from 2009.

In February 2010, I attended Grip n Rip 2, a workshop put on by Brad Nelson and Adam Glass.  There I was introduced to Gym Movement.  I learned that the best person to train me, was me.  I learned how I could use data from my body to develop a customized training program suited just for me.  Revolutionary.

I cut the cord to Brad and ventured out on my own.  I attended the first ever Gym Movement certification taught by Adam and Frankie Faires.  Talk about challenging, fun, stimulating education. 

I love following Gym Movement protocols.  I've become stronger and more confident than ever.  Every day I learn more about myself.  The biggest change has been in my anxiety levels.  I've never been so calm in my life.  I don't worry about "stuff" any more.  I never thought that could happen.

What Gym Movement taught me was to make decisions based on data, not on feelings.  Also, because I don't rely on someone else to tell me what I'm doing right or wrong, I don't need approval from others in other aspects of my life.  Everything is connected.  I learn from every choice.

Exhibit C - me today.  I am comfortable, calm, and confident.  I know who I am.  I exercise a whole lot less than I ever used to, yet I'm stronger than I ever.  I have more time for the important people and events in my life. 

Overall, my third decade saw me change dramatically.  It turns out that my thirties were the spring board for my forties.  I can take the lessons of my thirties and apply them to make my forties even better.  What a gift!

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