This morning for the first time since last May I walked through the doors of the gym. What a wonderful feeling it was to hit the treadmill and the free weights. But, despite the good vibe I was riding on, I was apprehensive. That said, it was nice being back on the saddle again.
Fortunately, this wasn’t my first rodeo. I had been very active for the best part of ten years, focusing on cardio and weight training. So, getting back on the saddle again isn’t the most difficult thing for me to do. I immediately felt right at home.
Sadly, this perfect storm of events led to a decline in my overall health.
You may be asking yourself: “Well then, what took you so long to get back at it?” The answer to this question isn’t as straightforward as I would like. However, it’s not because I fell into a sea of laziness, at least not entirely.
The first part of my answer is mental illness. As depression, anxiety and PTSD overtook my life, I was left with hardly enough energy to get to the couch. With that said, it’s not too difficult to see why I was discouraged from taking on the requirements that go with working out.
Secondly, adding insult to mental illness injury was an unfortunate physical injury. In the spring of last year, I had hurt my left shoulder, an injury that is still problematic to this day. This understandably kept me out of the gym.
Moreover, the constant introduction to the different anti-depressive medication has been a roller-coaster of sedation and other harsh side effects. The outcome of this roller-coster ride makes the prospect of working out somewhat dangerous, not to mention unmotivating.
Even though I can’t really afford it, how can I afford not to?
Sadly, this perfect storm of events led to a decline in my overall health. Certain SSRIs can cause weight gain. This and continual shoulder pain can cause depression. These factors alone are enough to exacerbate the symptoms of major depressive disorder, a mental disorder that makes me sink to the bottom of despair.
Want to hear people talk about their mental health journeys? Go to The Depression Files.
Armed with my old mantra, do whatever it takes, I finally put a plan together and today, I executed it. Perhaps the biggest factor holding me back from getting back to the gym was not only the lack of money but its noticeable absence in a mental-health treatment program. There is no treatment plan that comes standard with mental-health treatment. Despite this, the fact is, physical fitness is an integral part of recovery as physio would be for my shoulder.
Want to read more? Go to my blog post; New Hope A New Medication
Sometimes, you just have to take matters into your own hands. Even though I can’t really afford it, how can I afford not to? I mean, we can’t really put a price on our health, right?
For me, I knew that I would get back at it. It was simply a matter of getting myself in the position to succeed. In my case, I sought physio for my shoulder and fought my way through a depressive episode. Now, I may be sedated so I take my pills after the gym so as to lower the risk of injury.
Remember, you get to choose where you put your energy.
We all have our roadblocks to success but we need to put the tools in place to dismantle them. Doing what we have to gives us the opportunity to ask ourselves “What do I need to do to get there?” Once we have the answer to this question, a plan will then evolve.
So, what do you have to do to get where you need to be? Your destiny awaits. Get back in that saddle again.