Written by Kelsey Clifton
I was the girl who was called "crazy" because she walked to the gym in negative temps and snow, rain or the sunshine. I was finally DOING something and proud of herself. I lost weight, and then I found powerlifting. My god, when I tell you the confidence and self-worth that came after that. Being strong made me feel powerful and confident in myself.
But, after awhile the PRs didn't make me happy anymore. I absolutely dreaded training. I kept ignoring that feeling and kept pushing and pushing. I fought through months of back pain with no progress on lifts. Add numerous medical issues and being hospitalized, I could not get back in the swing of training. Every time my strength got back to the point it was, something else happened. Noro Virus, kidney infection, daily hassles, personal stressors, school, medication issues.. the list goes on. I was sick. I wasn't eating right at all. My diet was mostly fast food or anything loaded with sodium. I went from 170-175 to 195lbs. I was uncomfortable and depressed. I kept comparing myself to others and their lifts. Telling myself that I was weak-minded and needed to fight that little voice telling me to rest. Meanwhile, my body was breaking down on me. I wasn't taking care of myself on top of medical issues. I pushed through though and tried to keep competing and training, but I just hurt. I was mentally and physically drained. Even when things were going well and I DID hit PRs, it didn't make me happy.
I want to walk into the gym and do what I want, just go by how my body feels that day and push myself in all aspects, not just strength. You can't really do *all of this (or maybe I just can't, ha) and be the type of strength athlete I want to be. Structure and specific training are required. And honestly, I don't want to do that right now. Things are still all over the place and I don't want to turn something that once made me happy, into something I despise.
I know that resting is often times looked at as being weak, but there's a difference between lazy and completely destroying yourself mentally and physically. We all handle things differently and to the people going through worse and pushing even harder kudos. It's admirable and motivating; never stop.
I don't plan on never stepping on a platform again, but I can't tell you when the next time will be. I may do some meets just for fun, or I might get an itch in a month or two and want to seriously get training again. I tend to change my mind a lot, and I enjoy trying new things.
So, that's where I'm at. Not that it truly matters, we're all just floating on a big ole' rock in space, no bigger than a spec of dust. I find that comforting, though. My problems are tiny.