Athlete’s Slump – Where I’m At.

As a developing Personal Trainer and as a seasoned athlete, I’d like to think that my only Kryptonite moments would consist of me, in business attire, walking past a gym or running track, unable to train. I’d like to think that I’m a God-made machine that operates at the flick of a switch (Or smartphone remote in this, the 21st Century!) and keeps going til powered down, provided the correct fuel is administered. But that mess isn’t the truth.

I’ve decided to share this blog at this particular point because it’s real. And, if it is real to me, it’s real to someone else. I’m sure there is someone who can relate.
There isn’t anything wrong with giving post-stress advice but sometimes, those we give advice to just want us on a level. Well, here I am.

I woke up yesterday morning, after 8 hours of sleep, and felt like my brain (And small parts of my soul) were still snoozing within the comfortable confines of my blanket. The cold gusts of wind, coming through my open window, practically dragged me to my feet and led me to the shower like a rebellious puppy. I sprinkled Eucalyptus Epsom salts in the bath in the vain hope that an open sinus would allow me to inhale the remainder of my existence from off my bed. The success could have been measured in fractions – of negative numbers!

On the way to the gym, I could hear the voice of 300 Spartans reminding me that this is Sparta. I tried to get on board and jogged for about 10 strides with forced enthusiasm. As the door of the gym closed behind me, I was suddenly reminded that, actually, this is quiet Lumberton, New Jersey and the only Persians nearby consisted of my own thoughts of “Why am I feeling like this?!”

I recorded a video of myself going through a circuit that lasted just over 6m 30s. Physically, I felt fine. My head, though, focused on the pain, how much I was sweating. Trying to get my head into the zone was like putting a square peg into a round hole and the recording, that I shared on Facebook, showed me what I was reduced to, in the demonstration of poor form and the focus of a child in a fairground! These are some harsh times.

I would love to put some positive spin on this but that, at this time, would be like signing a confession that I didn’t write.
The truth is, I’d love to recline on my sofa, sip a Heineken, eat Oreos and then stare at the ceiling for no set time or reason. The truth is, when writing out my training schedule, towards a half marathon and Iron Man, that I’m working towards, I feel like I’m wasting my time and lying on paper. The truth is, I’m working with clients and wondering if they can sense the dark place I’m in. I wonder if my eyes appear dim or if the corners of my smile quiver as my smiling muscles fatigue because it just isn’t fun right now. I wonder if it is all worth it.

Knowing this dark period is temporary gets me through. Not knowing how long a period will last for is the part that frustrates. I’m reminded of Gladiator and the scene where Maximus is ready to go out and fight. “This is not what Marcus Aurelius intended!” He was simply responded to, in quiet voice, with something along the lines of, “Shadows and dust, Maximus. Shadows and dust.”
*sigh* Pretty much, that’s where I am right now. Shadows and dust. Pray for me…


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