The best decision I made was breaking up with the gym.
I did a ton of reflecting. In general I have no problem working out at home, but I just never knew I’d feel more comfortable working out at home around the clock as much as I do. Training at home has allowed me to take the pressure off mentally as I can’t compare myself against who I used to be.. way back when. Aside from less self-demands I can’t ego lift at home like I can ego-lift at the gym. It does suck I can’t feed off people’s energy in the gym, but the focus is deep having to feed off my own energy. It’s been about 4 months since I’ve been strength-training at home and I must say it’s been beneficial for me mentally, emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually.
Here are a few reasons why I enjoy training at home nowadays aside from the little I just mentioned: I can be myself. I don’t have to smile, be polite, and pretend I’m in a good mood or have small conversation when I don’t want to. I can workout whenever I want without time restraints or gym holidays getting in the way. I can focus 110% on my form, on my breathing and zero in on the way I feel mentally or emotionally. I have to push myself differently and get extra creative making home workout programs so they are super effective and exhausting because that’s what I enjoy.
Also I don’t have to feel uncomfortable or awkward trying to hide my extra fat in huge hoodies and sweat pants. I can rock a spaghetti-strap tank top and spandex and I wouldn’t secretly judge myself in front of others and make the awkwardness awkward and obvious to those who may or may not judge me at the gym. (Judgement-free zone only happens at home and not at Planet Fitness.) I don’t have an aversion at home, but I do have one outside – where I secretly believe people can tell if I previously hurt my ankle or not. (Yes, it’s mental.) Also I don’t have to spend over $112.00 on Metro Card money to travel to the gym and back home.
Then there’s the other obvious like I don’t have to wait for machines during peak time. I compete with myself, build my confidence and track record rather than pressure myself to compete with the person I used to be in the gym while being at the gym. On a really good note, with at-home workouts, I can do laundry at the same time I train. And as an introvert – I do enjoy my time alone.
New inspiration? Now over the past month and a half I’ve been newly inspired by Ballet Beautiful. I owe it to BB for re-motivating me again. I can do any of their workouts at home and spread it out among the day (on top of my weight training) for minutes at a time multiple times a day and night. The exercises, technique and workouts themselves are extremely challenging and work very well! Ballet Beautiful approach comes off more about quality than quantity and the workouts itself are about strength, power, flexibility, balance, technique and grace in a totally different way.
I absolutely swear by Ballet Beautiful and I haven’t been doing it very long at all. In the past I’ve written about how I enjoy the extremes of both bodybuilding and ballet as I find them both to be very similar in terms of disciplinary action, strength, beauty, aestheticism, athleticism and art. I love them both. And I feel like I want to embrace them both and see where they lead me to. For the good month of August I fell in love with Ballet Beautiful for countless reasons aside from what I perceive ballet to be – graceful. One reason why I love Ballet Beautiful is because of the minimalist style. Two is because the exercises and stretches involved are complex, detailed and difficult. Third reason is BB has increased my motivation by 100%!
All this time, I was searching for something. Strangely – and out the blue – I fell in some kind of dear love for Ballet that started around 2009. But, I didn’t know something totally different from weightlifting would give me the “wow” factor and innovative inspiration I needed. In ballet, there’s a quiet and classical tone set, as well as an elegant breathtaking history, same as Bodybuilding for me. There’s art, power, focus and balance in every single ballet movement which I find irresistible.
Of course, a few times a week I will continue to devote time and effort to strength-training, but it was Ballet Beautiful that took me to another place mentally, emotionally and physically. It’s because I can start fresh and it’s because I’m not bound to the past decade and associations of weightlifting. Recently I started to realize how my training has been changing in ways I’m not fully understanding yet. It seems weightlifting doesn’t have the same flavor for me – maybe because I associate the past decade with weightlifting?
I’m a new person now.
And I want my training to reflect this as well.
Here’s what I know now: I have a new vision for my body. I don’t want my old body back because I don’t go backwards. I want a more symmetrical and streamlined look. I want to be more refined. I want to be less soft. I want to be less bulky. I want less of the comfort I’ve had with my body in the past. I want new strengths. I want new exercises. I want new challenges. I want new posture. I want new everything!
I will continue to focus on smaller muscles because all the bigger muscles on my body are well-developed. I will continue to work on the tiny details in every single muscle. I will continue to use my first love – dumbbells and barbells no more than twice a week and no less than one. Weightlifting will always have a home in my heart, but what I want now and what motivates me now is vastly different. I’m going to enjoy shifting.
And who knows what it might bring?
One of my current goals is to go to the gym twice a week for extra cardio purposes. I have an initial 30lbs to lose. I’ve already dropped 7lbs in 2 weeks. It’s game on.