Why Am I Doing This? by Chris Heedles

Mental Health is not clear cut. People will always say its not black and white, however they fail to mention just how colorful it is in the middle. All diagnoses look different for everyone and symptoms are even more broad. Anxiety for instance is not just constant worrying. Experiencing a desire to control people and events or having difficulty sleeping, could be a sign of anxiety. If a child is defiant or exhibiting challenging behaviors not consistent with their temperament, they may be anxious. Agitation, anger, unmanageable sadness, overthinking, avoiding activities, and even physical pain can all be signs that we are anxious. 

So WHY am I telling you this? Not to make you feel worse but to bring awareness to something that a lot of people do not understand. It is totally okay to have anxiety, its pretty normal, however if we do not pay attention to our behaviors and learn about how anxiety shows up, then we will never be able to manage it. There are few worse feelings than feeling a certain way and not knowing why? To learn about your own anxiety, here are a few tips:

1) Try to identify the factors in your life which lead to your anxiety. This can be people, places, things, or events. 

2) Consider the stress factors in your life, as anxiety is likely to worsen at times of high stress. Work, family, relationships, environments, life transitions, etc.

3) Take note of how your body reacts during stressful times. Do you sweat more? Does your heart race? Does your stomach turn?

4) Take note of how long your anxiety lasts and if it is different depending on the stimulus. Anxious about a PR, how long were you anxious for? 

5) What did you do last time during a stressful event to calm yourself down? Did you meditate to yourself? Deep Breathing? Did you Leave? (Leaving is totally okay)

Bringing awareness to yourself about your anxiety is such a big part of conquering it. It is also recommended to share what causes your anxieties with loved ones and friends so they can understand as well. The more you know, the more you can do to beat it.

You Gotta Suffer A Little by Chris Heedles

This may sound a bit extreme, but hear me out first.

Happiness is a funny thing. People feel that there is this special equation with happiness being the end result but this isn’t true. If you ask 1000 people what happiness means to them you will have 1000 different answers. Everyone’s vision of happiness is different, but many people believe, “If I look like X, then I’ll be happy” or “if I get this new Y then I’ll finally be happy.” If thats what you believe happiness is, Im sorry to be the one to tell you, but you’ll never achieve it with that mindset. Happiness is the result of suffering. Suffering through the ups and downs of life until you get to that goal.

If you want to look a certain way and believe happiness is achieved once you get a 6 pack, then you have to suffer through the regimented meal plan, hard workouts, battles with the scale, and much more. You have to be able to endure the hardships that comes with getting a 6 pack. You also have to battle the possibility that you may never achieve that “6-pack” and what that would mean in terms of your happiness. Ideally we reach our goals and I DO HOPE that when you have a 6 pack you become happier, if thats what you want, however Im more hopeful that you’ll succumb to the realization of how you have transformed mentally through the suffering. As soon as you welcome the suffering, happiness begins to show itself. We are all scared to suffer but we need to realize that is where the change really manifests itself. It is when you allow yourself to experience certain levels of physical and psychological pain, you begin to transform physically and mentally.

Remember your first time doing FRAN? I’ll give you a few seconds to think about how your lungs wanted to explode and how your form was so horrendous, you cringed the longer you looked back at it. Let that marinate………

Now think about how FRAN is months, or even years after your first time. Way different right! What got you to the point you are now? You suffered didn’t you. Hours and hours of pull-ups, squats, barbell work, and conditioning. Battles inside your head of whether or not you could shave your time down, and whether or not it was worth practicing your pull-ups. Ripped calluses, bruised shins, deflated egos, and defeated minds, got you to that point. Suffering is necessary, even mandatory for us to BEGIN experiencing happiness in some aspects of life.