“It’s just your imagination”

That fierce look on her face

I don’t watch sports. In fact I never cared anything about exercise (hated it, to be exact) in general until this year. Sports had been, and probably still is, an unknown mysterious world to me. 

Yesterday though, for the first time, I saw some short clips from @tapitta and some people at @p60bootcamp I follow on Instagram about the Crossfit competition. Crossfit competition!? I didn’t know such thing existed. 

I also didn’t know those 1 min clips could trigger this much emotion. Pitta’s face when she was lifting barbell overhead said it all. Her pain and struggle shown on her facial expression was so…vivid, so…graphic. It was as if she was dying but pushing herself to finish it, while people were cheering her “ONLY ONE MORE. COME ON. YOU CAN DO IT.” 

I wouldn’t get so emotional about it had I never exercised myself (Yes, I just admitted watching a Crossfit competition got me emotional. Oops). But I get it, I get those feelings so well. My regular workout is nowhere near as intense as Crossfit, but it’s that feeling I get every so often when I’m about to finish a set, muscles shaking, my PT counting “13, 14, 1 more, a bit more, only 1 more,” in my head I often start fighting with myself “I can do this. Gosh, these dumbbells are heavy, I want to drop these now. No, hang in there, I GOT THIS. Oh gosh my thighs are burning. Wait. Just a bit more. ARE WE DONE YET!?!? Just 2 more times. Get it DONE!!!”

And you know what the funny thing is? The more you push yourself on the edge, when you feel like you can do it but not 100% sure, the better that workout session feels. It’s that tiny edge that you need to keep pushing, in order to be a stronger you. 

Only in your imagination

There’s one quote my friend shared with me when he was running a full marathon for the first time. After 21 km, he started to lose it, then a Japanese runner ran past him with a sign behind his shirt,

  “It’s just your imagination” 

He said he felt like he got smacked in the face and that sign indeed woke him up, and he kept running until he completed 42 km. 

I borrowed that quote from him now. Quite often I start telling myself “It’s just my imagination” when I want to give up too. 

The joy of self-battle 

There’s nothing more beautiful than winning your yesterday self. Nothing feels more rewarding than beating yesterday you. The possibility is endless, you can keep going, pushing yourself to be even better. I particularly love this one hashtag on Instagram #tryingtosucklessthanyesterday That’s pretty much it. 

Your body can do those amazing things you want them to, when you put your mind and effort to it. 

More and more I started to understand what made me like exercise now. The feeling of pride when I can do something I couldn’t only a couple months ago can be addictive. I’m making progress! I’m getting better at this! I can’t believe I can lift that 16 kg. kettlebell now when 8 months ago a 4 kg. kettlebell felt too heavy for me!!!!! This kind of one-on-one workout session fits me too, when I’m prone to internalize so much and constantly seek for self-improvement. 

Exercise can give me that “high” feeling nothing ever could before. The results are also clear; how I get stronger compared with the pre-exercise period me, and how my chronic shoulder ache has gone away after I had been suffering for 3-4 years. You have no idea how happy I AM when my shoulder blades are no longer stiff and I don’t have to go for a massage weekly like I used to. I’m no longer in pain! Weight and functional training did cure it, little by little. Amazingly and wonderfully. 

My goal has never been about having a perfect body. What IS a perfect body, anyway!? By societal standard and pressure or what? And why should you care!? I’m only trying to be the best version of me, and no one else’s. It’s more about fueling yourself with daily motivation and self-discipline; fighting with yourself when you want to give up and achieving something you couldn’t before. 

I’m enjoying the journey now. I exercise because it makes me happy, and most importantly, fulfilled, both physically and mentally.

All of this may sound like some gym cheesy taglines, spoken and written repeatedly with meaningless marketing purposes. Somehow, the meanings behind those words speak to me now. It’s a new, beautiful world to indulge myself in. On my way to become a better me, indeed 🙂 

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