Monday, 22 January 2018

I am not a bird. I just have a lot of feelings.

In sacred ancient mythology, the colorful phoenix birds ends their life cycle by bursting into flames, and miraculously, from their own ashes, a fiery bird is reborn. It’s immortal – And a symbol of rebirth, immortality, and renewal.

I’m a bodybuilder/Crossfitter/Girlfriend/Daughter/best friend. Not a bird. I’m pretty sure I just have one life cycle, and I’m definitely sure I haven’t come to the end of it. But I empathize with the bird because so many times in my own life, within my various roles, I feel like I've crashed and burned. And yet, here I am. In fact, I’m just beginning my next phase. 

I’ve plagiarized before, and I’ll do it again, because my own words aren’t as eloquent or concise as those of strength and conditioning coach, and writer extraordinaire, Chris Shugart. In his own adaptation of “The Phoenix Theory”, Shugart states that “Those who make jaw-dropping physical changes usually follow the same basic path of the phoenix (sic):

The Phoenix Theory of body-transformation involves four key stages:
1) A traumatic event leading to a sudden realization and awakening.
2) Anger and a firm decision to change
3) The physical transformation itself
4) Continued progress fuelled by fear of regression."

This is my mad face.
Now can you start to see where I’m going with my blog? Wait for it though, don't kill the surprise... 

I know for a fact that we’ve all hit steps 1 or 2 in our lives, at least when it comes to dieting. New year’s Eve comes, we promise ourselves we’ll lose 20lbs this year, and start out determined enough to do it… Until we fizzle out around either step 2 or 3; which means we don't make it to Step 4. Either we don’t get angry enough, and therefore the decision isn’t firm enough (see my IG post about commitment here), OR, we realize the actual physical transformation is a lot more difficult and time-consuming than it was in our heads, so we give up, and tell ourselves we’re “happy enough." What does that even mean!? What is "happy enough"? Is that a euphemism for complacent? *shudders*

I’ve been a New Years Resolutioner. I’ve also been a competitive amateur bodybuilder. I’ve also been anorexic. Let me reassure you that each and every label took on its own form of Phoenix Theory. Step 1: At 11 years of age, I underwent a traumatic event, and realized it was time to start my first diet. Step 2: At 16, I made a firm decision to get my 5’7” frame below 100lbs (ended up hospitalized). At 17, I had I vow to build enough muscle to actually be competitive on stage at my first show. Step 3: At 21, I had to make a physical transformation that took me from the depths of hell (near death at 95lbs), up to a healthy weight and lifestyle, and then diet down to compete in my 9th bodybuilding show. But now, we've safely arrived as another incarnation of the Phoenix at Step 4: 30 years old, recovered for 9 years, and ready to continue that progress... 

Although every day has it's own challenges (whether in life, love, or the gym), I realize there's no battle too big. And even if something overwhelming comes over me, there's nothing wrong with a little fire. It could be what you need to *spark* change (see what I did there?)

For more motivation, follow me on IG, and hit me up in the DMs. Happy to help with inspiration, training, diet, workouts; whatever you need.

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