“There’s always room for improvement!” I’ve come to learn is a phrase often said without fully understanding the message we are conveying to others. When it comes to setting out a programme and stating your plan of action to get there, there is no substitute for hard work and commitment but the question should be asked…At what point does your ambition and focus become detrimental to your mental wellbeing?
I’ve always been intrigued with the mind over matter theory from a young age and at this current time I still do believe there is a time and a place where it’s needed, otherwise champions would not be crowned champions and 2nd place would become 1st. I can speak from my own experience that at some point you may become your own worst enemy. During my third year of university I was juggling Olympic weightlifting training which is gruelling in isolation at the best of times, then combining this with daily mixed martial arts classes, work (who else is going to pay for the peanut butter every month) and of course university studies while attempting to also keep up a social life. Although I’m very proud of my work ethic and aspirations deep down knowing I always gave it my all whilst there, I believe there is still a fine line between working hard for what you want and running yourself into the ground in turn forgetting a key aspect of fitness is to give yourself a break and switch off. Fitness is a fascinating and necessary part of my life and I wouldn’t be anywhere today without the help its given me, but at some point you need to realise that the process of what you’re doing to achieve what you want is just as important if not more than the result.
Fitness is about achieving health both physically and mentally, allowing the skills you pick up along the way to then carry over to your daily life regime, helping and seeking to improve. There is a common mistake made with being ‘hellbent’ on achieving an aesthetically pleasing physique whether that be for themselves or for others. However when you’re gruelling yourself to stay under the calorie count for weeks on end there comes a point in time when you need to unwind and understand taking a night off will allow you to stay fresh.
This isn’t to say you get a daily free pass to slack and forget why you started your regime in the beginning but to give you a reminder that a healthy balanced lifestyle and your mental wellbeing is your priority. My ‘take home’ message would be to keep your goals small when climbing the ladder and your aspirations high, whether you like it or not you still have 23 hours left of the day that requires a focused and proactive you.
Best wishes – Rhys