Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sweet emotions

Holding on to the memories
Of when we were younger
I can't forget
Cause when we were together
That's when I was at my best

And would you know me now
Would you lay me down beside you
Tell me all the things I long to hear
Like that was your favorite year
Like that was your favorite year
Cause that was my favorite year
The Dixie Chicks

It's fairly easy to know what stands in front of you as far as work when you come to Fitness Ridge. Do a little research, read about the hikes, read about the classes, and know that you are in for full day after full day of exercise. You can prepare somewhat for what lies ahead of you.The ridge is happy to tell you all about the pain and blisters and how the altitude may effect you. Can you replicate the experience at home so that you are completely ready for how your body is going to feel. No, but you can start to get yourself ready and at least understand what lies ahead.

What you can't really prepare for is the emotional roller coaster that awaits you in Utah. A big component of the program, and one that doesn't get much talk of before you walk through the doors, is how this place effects your emotional state. There is a ton of time during your day for self reflection as you go through feelings from self loathing to internal bliss. It's really as big a workout on your psyche as it is on your body.

They have started to address this portion of the program when you are in Utah. A day doesn't go by when someone isn't crying. And that's just the people that we see. The rooms are where virtually everyone has moments of doubt, moments of fear, moments of loneliness, and feelings of betraying those at home. And for many of us this is the time where we most want to reach out to our friend food and comfort our worries. That friend is not there for you at the Ridge, So if you tend to medicate feelings with food, you are going to be without your medication when you are here. It's a good time to work on that aspect of your life. because yes the ridge, will make you believe you can exercise much more, it will make you believe you can subsist on healthier food and a whole lot less of it. Will it help you pass up cake when you feel like celebrating, or grabbing a tub of ice cream when you are depressed, or some pizza cause your bored? Not unless you actively identify the issues and seek out some help.

So where do you turn for help. First and foremost you lean on your friends that are here. They are the greatest resource that Fitness Ridge has. You are not going through anything that a dozen other people here haven't gone through as well. Don't be afraid to ask for help, don't be afraid to say your struggling, don't be afraid to say that you feel that you are letting people down by being here or spending all this money on yourself. We all feel that way at times. It's easy to feel depressed when you are here, and it is just as easy to feel like you are on top of the world and in control of everything.

Fitness Ridge has a full time life coach on hand named Jen Morton. She has gone through the program, she has faced every fear we have, she has left behind family to be in Utah. She wants to help you, and she will. She is trained and has been successful in a corporate setting with helping people achieve goals. Like the rest of us she is a work in progress, and she would be the first to tell you that everyone struggles. She will help you. I spent an hour with her yesterday, left with some self reflective homework, and really addressed some fears and worries I have that accompany every trip to the ridge. I really recommend using her, She is a huge asset to this program. And she is the reason I signed up for my first triathlon and made sure I was ready to do it. I'm not giving her credit for me finishing it :) but I never would have started it if not for her.

So what can we can we do to alleviate some of the emotions that we feel at the ridge. I wanted to talk a little about the feelings a lot of people have here. People miss their friends and family at home. That's fine. On top of that I really miss a lot of the campers that have walked, and swam and hiked and motivated me on my previous trips. They miss you too, but they really are your biggest fans. They want you to succeed, they want you to work hard, they are proud you made the commitment to come. Honor them not by missing them, but by doing all you can for them. This place is a very expensive undertaking. A lot of people struggle not with spending the money but with spending the money on themselves. A common trait that I see is the selfless, giving, put everybody first except yourself trait that many people share here and whether it is an overwhelming need for approval or a sense of unworthiness, neither is correct. Everyone who walks through the door deserves to be there. You will be better for your trip here, and the help you are seeking here is well deserved. Don't dwell on what you have given up to be here, relish in the fact that you have decided to seek help and you are becoming better for yourself and for those around you.

There are going to be some really good highs here as well. You do things you forgot you could or never imagined you would. You start to believe in yourself. You start to motivate those around you. I have had a really hard time feeling worthy of the people who tell me that I inspire them, but I'm glad I do, because life really is a team effort and sometimes you lead , sometimes you follow, and sometimes you just get dragged a long for the ride. I really am someone who tends to celebrate with food. I give it as gifts, I like to reward people and myself with it. It's not here to celebrate your highs with. You learn that you can celebrate and be happy without it. It doesn't make those highs any less high.

Fitness Ridge is a wonderful journey. You will experience things you thought were not possible, you will see people that will amaze you. Your body will be pushed. But the one thing you are not prepared for is the flood of emotions that you have during your time here. We have all heard the term emotional eating. Many of us know it all too well. There is no emotional eating at the ridge and emotions tend to really be prevalent without our favorite medication. There may not be a great way to prepare for what your emotions will be, but they will be ever changing and you are not feeling anything that someone else hasn't felt before you in that same spot. The experience here isn't in any way just about your body, it changes, but so do your emotions and so will the way you feel about yourself. That being said it's Wednesday of week one and I'm sore as can be. There is nothing right now that doesn't hurt, well except my knee.... it feels pretty damn good. Hope you have a wonderful week. Peace and Love, Jim

1 comment:

fireangel said...

Oh My! I'm SURE you were talking directly to me!

I'm finally heading to the Ridge next Saturday (Nov 6) for 2 weeks, well after the night in Vegas, LOL!

Looking forward to it, terrified of it, can't wait to get it over. :)

Thanks for keeping your Blog up Jim, it's kept me going all year while waiting for my time to come up.