For the past few years, I’ve lived my life online. Scrolling so that I don’t miss the latest going’s on in the blogging world and ensuring all my photographs were picture perfect.
Then late 2017, I hit a super low point. Years of consuming curated, ‘perfect’ lifestyles hit me all at once and sent me into a bloomin’ cruel spiral of self-doubt and disillusion.
I checked into pre-assessment for therapy and here I am, still on that waiting list to get help with my anxiety and depression.
The beginning of the year seen me feeling positive about my fitness training. I was working my butt off with my headphones on at the gym three times a week and happily so. What I didn’t realise, was that there was something missing that I hadn’t even considered. Other people.
Looking for some kind of ‘Club’ or ‘Team’ to join, I came across Crossfit Ulysses who had opened up the Middlesbrough Weightlifting Club and so I decided to head along to an open day they were having ahead of my first class.
I remember sitting in my car with my stomach knotting thinking to myself, ‘I cannot walk through that door by myself’. My anxiety told me that everyone would be looking, judging and that I’d probably never be going back. But I gave my butt a big ol’ slap and did it anyway.
Little did I know that that place was what I needed right at that moment in time. I was welcomed by friendly people, with big smiles, open arms and kind hearts. Something strange in me told me that I needed to be going to this place multiple times a week.
It only took one look at a CrossFit class for me to wanna try it. Not because of the actual workouts, but because of the sheer community vibe that was going on.
It was the clapping when the last person finished the workout. It was the high fives everyone was giving. It was the complete difference in abilities, and that being ok. It was the support coming from everyone. It was the determination on everyone’s faces to just keep going.
I wanted that and I knew that’s what I needed. So I took a free month trial and that resulted in me signing up for a 9-month membership.
The past couple of years, I think I’ve put what other people think of me ahead of anything else. I’ve lived to please others, to make sure I’m keeping everyone happy and not considered myself once.
I’ve talked myself out of real-life situations and into made-up ones in my head. I’ve forced myself into doing things that I really did not want to do only because it is what society expects from us.
But this year, I decided that enough is enough.
It’s time to focus on me, and little did I know was that I needed Ulysses, and the people there to allow myself to do that. In a safe, welcoming community with more support than I could ever imagine.
I completely, 100% fully understand that for some people suffering with their mental health, fitness may not necessarily be the answer, or even an option. Trust me when I say that I absolutely not did think it would be the answer for me, but it so is.
Weightlifting helps me to feel strong.
Whilst CrossFit continually makes me feel challenged.
& it’s not always a walk in the park. All it took was a 10 minute capped chipper on a Monday evening starting with the air bike for me to realise that this journey is going to be hard. & long. & that friggin’ sucked.
My body aches. My soul aches. & even my heart aches sometimes.
There are things that I can’t do but am determined to do so. & to have such a clear focus on certain things that I want to achieve makes me feel that I can begin to move mountains.
& the fact that I’m doing it all in a place that makes me feel awesome is just the bloody cherry on top.
I’m working towards a better ‘inside me’ more than the ‘outside me’ so bare with me world, cos I’m comin’ for ya.