Mirror mirror on the wall…
That mirror on your wall, the full length one, is it friend or foe? Is it the one space in your bedroom where you avoid standing raw, naked, the space you neatly avoid, or allow only fleeting glances before pulling a face and hiking on layers of clothes for the day? Another day, your reflection ignored. More squish-into-it ‘iron out the bumps’ underwear invested in and on we go…
I was choosing an outfit for my 40th birthday party when I realised how little attention I’d paid to that mirror for such a long time. It was easy to ignore. For years, the rare night out had involved a manic rush with kids and babysitters – if I had two minutes to put some lipstick on I’d count myself lucky. The first ironed dress I could pull from my wardrobe would suffice and as long as I didn’t put it on inside out, it would do! The pull of an evening with friends was far stronger than my need or desire to look my absolute best.
I had also begun to suffer increasingly with lower back pain. Again, largely ignored until it occasionally turned acute and then a dose of medication to put me back in action. Is this not just the way of things? We begin to develop aches and pains? I had crept up two dress sizes but again, when I looked around, so had many others. No issue. No action. No extended gazes in that mirror.
I was 42 when I qualified as a Personal Trainer. I wasn’t fit, I was overweight but I had an innate competency with all things sporty. I could still huff and puff my way round a tennis court and win, I had always skied at every given opportunity and took part in lots of sport sporadically. I had confidence in my ability to help others.
During the following months and years, without expectation or a particular personal aim, I changed. I had launched myself into a new world and business. I began taking classes, spin, aerobics, cardio tennis. I learned lots about fitness and nutrition. I dropped two dress sizes, my lower back pain is completely absent due to stronger tummy muscles. It’s gone – it never even twinges.
As I started to work with women I saw the same process. Years dedicated to family, years when our own fitness is no longer a top priority followed by a slow dawning… “I don’t feel so capable and I’ve lost confidence in my body”. For some it’s worse, an illness or an injury is the spur to make changes. For many, it’s just a moment – aching in the mornings, lethargy, nagging back or neck pain, just a sense that it’s too early in life to be feeling physically low. It is – far too young for this.
Now, I have the pleasure in seeing changes. I have the joy of gentle encouragement producing ridiculous results. I’m used to the familiar story, the fears, the lack of self esteem BUT now I know I can help people to start a new journey. It’s empowering. A strong body is a beautiful thing.
Whenever you’re ready, I’m right behind you.