You could have heard a pin drop that morning. There I was, sitting in the intake office of Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Services (SPHS) with one of the intake counselors, a “tell-it-like-it-is” kind of man who takes no bullshit, a man who just REFUSED to cosign my own bullshit that I was willingly handing to him in a state of my own denial. I will never forget that fateful August morning in 2017.
“Who’s running your business when you’re DEAD?”
Two weeks prior to my meeting at SPHS, I was in the emergency room of Allegheny General hanging on for dear life as my body threw a MASSIVE physiological fit. Drug withdrawal is a horrifying experience, and in my case, it was a life-threatening experience. I am powerful enough to press two 28kg kettlebells above my head, but in the world of addiction, I am completely POWERLESS to escape the grip that drugs and alcohol have on my life. I never fully understood how terrible my disease was until I almost had a heart-attack while trying to stop everything I was doing on my own terms. Back then, I believed a cunning lie I was telling myself, that because I was strong enough to master the art of strength training, I was also strong enough to circumvent addiction without any negative ramifications. I believed I could still manage my life on my own ever after nearly dying. The insanity of my life in 2017 was. . well. . just that. INSANITY!
As I sat there shaking during my intake appointment, I could no longer lie to myself. My counselor that morning gave me a harsh dose of reality, a reality that I could no longer ignore. Within a few days after our meeting, I would be in a van headed to drug and alcohol rehab, and I really didn’t’ have much of a choice in the matter either. TO quote my counselor directly. . .
“If you don’t do this for yourself, you’re going to end up dead. Period. You almost died two weeks ago.”
I wanted what I wanted when I wanted it, and that instant-gratification mentality was literally killing me. To be honest, I already felt dead. I had tried so hard to grow my life and business with what little I had left , but my efforts were futile. All the branches of my life were broken, and the very roots I once had were all dried up. I had to make a decision, a decision to nourish the roots of my mental and physical health before I could branch out into bigger and better avenues for my career, my personal health, and life itself.
Hi! My name is Janelle. I am an addict in recovery. Just for today, I would like to talk to you about nourishing your roots, and what that concept means both in the spectrum of recovery, as well as what that concept means for your overall health.
During the period of time from August through November of 2017, I had believed myself to be an utter failure in both my own career , as well as a failure with respect to taking care of my own personal health. Addiction had taken it’s toll on me after a series of unfortunate and traumatic events had rendered me incapable of working properly. You can read more about that backstory here by clicking this link. At first, I tried to fight tooth and nail against the advice of medical professionals to prove some sort of point that I was strong enough to handle my own life on my own terms. That proved to be utterly self-destructive. It wan’t until I had lost everything I once owned and worked so hard for did I finally realize that I truly had a problem that was beyond my ability to control. I had to live life on life’s terms, and surrender myself to a power Greater than myself to take the time I needed to heal. I find an incredible parallel now with my own experience through addiction with experiences of new clients I have had the pleasure of working alongside of here in Beaver County, not to mention all across the globe form before.
One of the biggest factors that will determine your success in changing your nutrition and exercise habits is centered upon whether or not you believe you are worth taking the time to learn those new habits. I have had a few consultations recently here in Beaver County where I had asked prospective strength training client about who they were as a person. Many of them are busy business professionals and working mothers. Some of them are former athletes. A few are recovering drug addicts. Across the board, they had expressed a burning desire to change their health for the better, but they found that they kept falling back into old patterns of behavior with respect to poor eating habits and a lack of exercise. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the phrase “I feel like a total failure” in the past two weeks during my consultations here in Beaver Falls. I completely empathize with that feeling 110%!
But here’s the thing. . .
Recognizing certain set backs and failures in your life does NOT mean that you, yourself, are a failure. A counselor in my rehab sty at Cove Forge said it the best: “You fucked up, but YOU ARE NOT A FUCK UP”. Accepting the fact that you are at a stuck point, that you have had some “failures” in your past is one thing. Labeling yourself as a failure will only serve to keep you stuck, and I will argue that if you believe yourself to be a failure then you will find it ever more difficult to make the appropriate choices and change in your lifestyle habits to better your health. You may find that viewing yourself as a failure will result in reaching for fast food, skipping workouts, or indulging in your own drug of choice simply because you feel like you can’t see past the set back. I’d like to call “BULLSHIT” on all fo that right now.
So. . .what if we flipped this entire idea of failure up on it’s head? What if you believed yourself to be successful RIGHT NOW? Instead of giving in to what seems so immediately gratifying , what if you gave up trying to to muscle through old habits on your own and sought the advice of a coach, counselor, or personal trainer to help you learn from your mistakes?
“Nourish Your Roots Before Your Branches”
One of my closest friends in my recovery world recently relapsed on her previous drugs of choice. Having come out of the other side of the short run back, she had told me that much of the relapse had occurred over making two mental mistakes along her recovery journey. However, she chose to see these set backs as a part of the learning process, and NOT a total failure in her journey.
“I wasn’t giving myself the time to nourish the roots of my own health. I missed meetings, intensive outpatient therapy, not to mention my own medications. Now I have to do all of those things, and remain consistent. I have to nourish the roots of my life, my mental health, my overall physical health in order to live my life free of drugs one day at a time. I recognized I needed help, and now I am working with the right people to give me the help I need. I may have fallen, but what’s important to me is not how hard I fell, but how I chose to pick myself back up and rise stronger than before”
In America, we live in a society where that which is immediately gratifying is sold to us as some sort of package deal to take away all fo our problems. The result? Stagnation, or never reaching the goals we set out for ourselves in the first place. Had a rough day at work? Grab yourself a drink or 3 . Want to lose weight? Take diet pills and skip the gym for the sake of “saving time”. DO be sure to grab your food on the go for the sake of convenience. After all, you’re just too damn busy. Suffering from a metabolic disease, heart disease, diabetes or chronic pain? Forget lifestyle changes and just take prescription drugs. After all, you have a life to live.
You get the idea.
As harsh as that may all sound, it can be easy to fall into all of thee sorts of patterns of thinking and behaving simply because we choose to neglect the need to take the time to nourish what your body needs for it’s own vitality. The choices that we make will inevitably determine that kin of people we become, and if we want to press two 28kg kettlebells above our head, if we want to free ourselves from diseases complicated by poor diets, if we want to live a healthy life outside of the spectrum of drugs and alcohol, we simply need to surrender our previous habits and learn new , healthy habits from qualified people. We have to choose to nourish our roots, before we branch out into all the excess things life has to offer.
Are you struggling to make definitive changes on your own for your own health? Are you tired of beating yourself up for previous failures in your fitness routine? Are you ready to surrender to the greater help and assistance you need to dramatically change your life for the better through earning the right kind of lifestyle habits that suit your needs?
It’s time to nourish your roots!
The moment we center our minds on living a healthy lifestyle, we become mentally empowered to take action. When it comes to your strength and nutrition, this may mean cleaning up your diet, meal prepping one day out of the week, heading to the gym 3-5 times a week, or even hiring a coach to set you on the path towards success. With respect to recovery, this may mean hitting up meetings, getting a sponsor, or taking even greater steps to head into treatment to save the life that you have, and come out stronger than before. Our previous failures do not define us as a failure itself, and once we can flip the idea of falling backwards into rising up, we will find that the roots of our own spirit will be grounded in the belief that we can and WILL be the health, powerful, strong and RESILIENT human begins we truly believe ourselves to be.
The best part? Once we are rooted in determination to live and live well, we can branch out into a world of radiant health and sheer strength. We only need to surrender our previous habits, and nourish the roots we have through guidance, support, and the expertise of those who have walked the walk of strength, recovery, and health before us.
Ready for more?
Register today for our 2018 Kettlebell Swing Program, staring April 2nd! and get ready to swing heavy for the next 4 weeks! Unleash the stronger, healthier, EMPOWERED you and become a kettlebell swinging force to be reckoned with! Read more about the program here and REGISTER TODAY!
That’s it for the blog today folks!
Let NOTHING stand in your way!
Nourish your roots before yoru branches.
Let NOTHING stand in yoru way!