Over the course of my life, lifting weights and being involved in sports has definitely helped my mental health and has in a sense saved my butt many times but through time I have realized that being active and fit isn't everything...
I started playing sports at a young age, although I was a brutal young athlete (literally, I was the kid who was too embarrassed to play in front of a crowd and would rather sit on the bench, I would score on my own team's goal, and I would have panic attacks and cry in the middle of the game) but I enjoyed being a part of something and I enjoyed watching myself improve after hours and hours of practice.
As time went on, I started becoming 'good'. I made an advanced soccer team which was short lived because I chose to play volleyball instead where I too became good at that as well... meanwhile I academically I struggled, nothing ever made sense to me. Athletics seemed to have been where I found my worth and value at the time...
But that's the thing... that was the problem... I found my worth and value in my athletic abilities and my physical appearances but nothing else.
When I was in college, I was dismissed from my volleyball team. I was crushed. I felt that every door in the world had been closed to other opportunities and possibilities... I ruined everything. Obviously that wasn’t true but I felt that at the time because I believed I wasn’t good at anything else. After my volleyball career was cut short, I found the gym. At the time I was fresh in recovery and working out helped reduce cravings and stress so it was kind of my "go-to" solution whenever I was feeling triggered or down. It was as if the gym was my god and God once again became some distant ‘thing’ that I only talked to when I was in a pit.
Sure, the gym helped decrease my anxiety and increased my confidence, but the gym wasn't helping me in a lot of areas of my life such as:
-My relationships. My relationships were suffering because of my inability to trust people/ not have my guard up.
-The reason as to why I had anxiety in the first place (fear, shame, guilt).
-My spiritual health. In fact, the more I relied on the gym to fix my issues, the less spiritual I felt.
-Finding my purpose. I felt that at the time I could eventually become some boss athlete, but reality hit me and I realized that my purpose is not all in fitness industry (just saying).
These are just a few to list but my point is this, the gym is a luxury for us to enjoy, a gift from God. A natural stress reliever. It isn’t something to obsess over.
The gym is not God. Fitness is not God.
Maybe you are wondering why you feel totally empty outside of the gym but so awesome in the gym and I will tell you the most probable answer here...
Perhaps because you have been relying on the gym or other vices to solve the issues of your life that these vices cannot actually solve at all... Perhaps now is a good time to be open minded in searching for the solutions to your troubles...
I would like to conclude this blog entry with one more piece of encouragement... Your worth does not lie in how aesthetically pleasing you are, how much weight you can put up, or how fit you are... Although it is crucial to take care of our bodies, it is important to remember that when we die, our looks and fitness will not matter. What will matter is how you positively influenced and impacted others.
Just a few thoughts ;)