Once a month here at Beneath the Surface: Breath of Faith we share our real life journals as part of something called Random Journal Day. The Link goes live at 12 AM, the first Friday of each and every month. You can add your own post anytime over the next weekend – and I usually keep the link open all month. This month’s RJD Post features tips for keeping a Fitness Journal! I also will be inviting anyone who is participating in the 31 Days of Fitting in Fitness to feel free to link up a post. Stop by tomorrow for details!
So in keeping with the Fitness theme, I decided to go way back…to my OTHER life. The life when fitting in fitness was easy. You know pre-marriage, homemaking, family. Back when I trained people for a living- actual married people with families, and advised them on fitting in fitness. Ironies never cease!
Simultaneously kept journals: The Personal and The Training Journal.
I dragged out my stacks of three hole punch, spiral bound Training Journals, and decided to share from this particular journal because it reflects so much of what keeping a journal reveals that would otherwise be forgotten.
In 1999 I competed in a Power-lifting Competition. My last Competitive Bodybuilding Competition prior had been in 1992; which also, coincidentally, was the year I met my Savior.
1992 was a crossroads year for me in many ways, and if not for the rambling journal posts I made, many glorious details would be forgotten. I was busy with business, school and life when approached by a Weight lifting coach about competing in Power-lifting. I had NEVER entertained that possibility. The thought frightened me, as I heard stories about all kinds of disgusting injuries happening at those contests, as well as embarrassing malfunctions of bladders and bowels. No, I tell you this did not appeal to me at all. But, for reasons unknown to me at the time, I allowed myself to be persuaded into training and competition…despite the scary possibility of peeing or pooping myself in front of total strangers (close friends and family) while lifting some ridiculous amount of poundage I had no business lifting, anyway.
Anyway here are a few snippets from the journals- and in the end…I came away with so much more than a trophy. But that’s the way God is- journals, and journeys and joy for the journey.
Personal Journal: “It was an amazing day. And a learning experience, both as n athlete and a Christian. Lord, I thank you that you make this possible, that this world, this life, can be a classroom preparing me for eternity, teaching me lessons for eternity, teaching me lessons of eternal value. Lord, let me always have eyes to see and ears to hear. I thank you for these.”
It would take a whole other post to share how God blessed me through this particular competition training and preparation, but this opportunity was different. It would be the first and last time I got to train for competition as a follower of Jesus. God multiplied the blessings and lessons.
Ironically everything went wrong, the attempted lifts I was supposed to easily get, I missed. It was disappointing and add to this, my femininity made a surprise, off schedule visit in the midst of the lifts-and my legs were wobbling under the weight. All I had trained for seemed lost- but God…
Personal Journal :” On my dead-lift I opened with 245 lbs – it felt easy, However everything was wobbly…I prayed with them (fellow Christian supporters who had come to watch) and then adjusted my numbers from: 245, 275, 300 to 295, 325. All the other lifters were going ballistic, they thought I was crazy. I knew this was a good sign. I knew it seemed impossible; but I did not waver because I knew God was behind me and it was indeed His plan. I got every lift.It was awesome because when I went down for the 325, I messed up on my breathing and as I went to move it, it did NOT budge… everyone who witnessed it said, then it just “went right up”- and that’s what it felt like, too!” 325 lbs was not in the plan...at least ours. But God, already knew.
My Coach had written up my numbers for competition in advance… I taped the mementos into my training journal, too. As one of my favorite Jewish clients has said, “Man plans and God Laughs”; But, I believe it is not in a vindictive or mean way…it is that He knows the ends as well as the means- while we plan, fret and sweat, His ways just are not our ways.I don’t get it…but He is good.
Personal Journal: “I got to share some of my testimony with T between bench and squat. God just showed me that, 1stis my position as an ambassador for Christ then my position as an athlete. First is His Kingdom and all these things (competition, education, business, etc.) will be added unto you.”
These are the pages from one of my 1992 journals: Dietary intake on left, Training details on right and the far right with my schedule of appointments or things to do.
My favorite lift is The Dead-lift, Hence this photo from a Power-lifting magazine which shows the exercise being performed.
These pages from the Training Journal were reserved for all of my supporters: training partners, friends, followers, and family. I love looking back at all of the sweet, funny and fresh comments.
Shown: a monthly way to look at overall training. I still recommend this to get the bigger perspective of exercise frequency and consistency in “real” time.
What I loved most about Power-lifting was how well it suited my ADHD perfectly. Low reps, higher weight, more rest and easier diet. A little much on the joints long term, in retrospect.
Dawn Paoletta is a life enthusiast who loves to juggle words, chug coffee, and journal excessively. You can find her gathering stones on the beach most mornings. She enjoys hanging out with her hubby, daughter and family pets in Narragansett, RI and shares her passion, poetry and prose @Enthusiastically, Dawn.
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