As of today, I'm exactly 5 weeks out from Team Universe. I can't believe I only have 5 more weeks to go. It seems like such a short amount of time, yet still 5 more weeks of dieting, cardio, and intense training. I have to be honest - this prep is the hardest I've had since 2010. We knew it was going to be difficult and different because of the time off I took last Fall. I was prepared to work hard, so it wasn't a surprise. But just because I anticipated it doesn't make it any easier.
I'm doing a fair amount of cardio - more than I've done in previous recent preps. We needed to reformulate my body composition and then get rid of the fat. Because our dreadmill is still dying a very slow death, and I need to be doing intense cardio, I've been running outside. Yes, running.
I am not a runner.
Yet, there I am, layering on the outdoor clothes, strapping on my iPhone armband, and heading out the door every morning to tour the neighborhood. If I'm really being honest, it's more of a wog (walk/jog) than an actual run, but let's not get hung up on details. I've improved my pace drastically, so I'm finding a new challenge seeing my pace increase.
My training is intense. Every workout is a struggle. Sometimes every set, even every rep is a struggle. I'm not one who enjoys and thrives on pain. To be honest, I avoid it. I don't like to hurt, I don't like the lactic acid burn during and after a tough set. I don't get encouraged by "feeling the burn." Quite frankly, that just makes me want to stop. But how can I improve and make progress if I don't make myself uncomfortable? Literally and figuratively.
The other evening, J looked over while I was training and noticed that a set seemed too easy for me. I didn't think it was "easy" but apparently, I was supposed to really struggle with it. So he handed me a heavier set of dumbbells and instructed me to do another set. As I tried to move the weight, it became more and more difficult for me to complete the movement. I became frustrated that I couldn't complete the set, and since my emotions are thisclose to the surface these days, tears started to run down my face. It's no secret that I cry in the gym from time to time. I told J that I didn't want to cry every workout, and he flat out informed me that it's going to happen because I need to be pushing that hard. I now dread every single workout. But I still go to the gym and get the job done, because that's what champions do.
One of Muhammed Ali's famous quotes keeps running through my head:
I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'I want to be a champion. I WILL be a champion. I AM a champion!
Do you enjoy training to failure? What are your biggest challenges during prep?