Things have been going well in the gym.
Just prior to Goose Hunting break, my gym buddies, K., and H, and I were alternating between Krissy Mae Cagney’s Beginner Strength and Strength Builder I plan. Doing both plans at the same time was awkward; it didn’t give us a sense of how hard we were suppose to be working in the more advanced program.
Since coming back from the holidays, we have been going full throttle on Strength Builder I. It’s taken us a couple of weeks to get used to the accessory work, following our lifts (in the Beginner Strength program, it ended anti-climatically on the lifts). Mentally, we are getting more comfortable working hard throughout the whole set. As well, we are developing more confidence in our personal level of strength. In hindsight, in our Beginner Strength program, all three of us were very cautious with our weights and didn’t push hard to increase volume between days.
So I’m happy to say that the 5×5 workouts feel manageable and don’t seem intimidating anymore! We are adding more weights and trying to keep ourselves challenged through all the five sets. We’ll continue to run through the programs for the rest of June:
Here’s a shot of me working on 3×10 55 lb push press, which is an accessory workout for strict overhead press:
Now the bad news ….
H. has decided to move back to Alberta due to illness in her family. She had initially signed on to continue next year, but changed her mind later on. Also, K. is not sure if her husband’s teaching job will be secured next year as they are still waiting for his Quebec license to be processed. Therefore, I might not have any gym partners next year!
All of us are a bit sad. It’s taken me 2.5 years to find reliable workout buddies and it was really tough not to have other women to chat with regularly. At this point, there’s not much I can do but see if K. will be able to stay for next year. Either way, I will still be plowing forward with Strength Builder II and Strength Builder III in the 2016-2017 school year.*
Not having reliable friends in the community make life in the north that much lonelier, which is why I still rely heavily on communicating with friends and family through social media for my daily dose of socializing. It’s amazing that I have Instagram and Cody friends who follow me and that I contact – perhaps not on a daily basis but still regularly – and that there are half a dozen people whom I’ve never met face-to-face, but I am hoping and planning to meet someday in person.
My point is, fitness is more than a physical journey. Fitness also includes mental health and for me to feel supported by the Cody community or have feedback on an asana through Instagram is part of that mental health balancing act. You might have read the last phrase and found the notion completely ludicrous, but speaking as a person who has already burned out once from her job, it is important to me and many others, whether you may agree or not.
I’m anticipating how my fitness routine will be like next year. Of course, I won’t be giving up the gym whether or not I have partners to go with. It might make it harder for me to workout consistently – although I feel that I have a fairly good routine and rarely bail anymore out of fatigue or lack of willpower – but I’ll still be there after work most days.
How do you balance your fitness? How do you find ways to help your own mental health?
*H. actually ended up purchasing the full bundle ($80 USD) and said she’ll try to follow with Strength Builder II come September.