On Monday morning, I had my Strength Training session with Luke Davey at Breakaway Fitness in Berwick. I spent the weekend replaying the events that happened on Friday over and over inside my head. I even went down the rabbit hole of possibly quitting and thought about the worst case scenario…that Luke wouldn’t want to train me again. But these thoughts were all irrational and highly unlikely. Today I reminded myself that most of my anxiety and fear is all in my head and that everything was going to be okay. Breathe. Take your time. Do your best. Be proud of your achievements. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

WARM-UP…Today I began my session by doing 3 rounds of 10 single arm rows on the bench with a 15-20kg barbell and doing some stretches with the resistance band. I didn’t really say much during this as I was concentrating really hard on doing well today. Plus I was trying to get comfortable with the awkward silence.

DEVELOPMENT…Back to the bench press, this time with 10 reps of controlled ring rows thrown in between each set of lifts. I did 5 rounds of 3 reps today. I was a little shaky at the start and found it difficult keeping the bar straight but I slowly improved over time. Luke made sure I was activating the various muscle groups whilst lifting and lowering the bar. For example, turning my feet out wide, keeping the elbows in close to my body and pulling the bar apart with my hands.

WORKOUT…Today’s workout was another tough one again. A 12 minute AMRAP which included a farmer’s carry, 20 pushups and 15 wall balls. I kept repeating a mantra to myself to keep me focused (Don’t let the mind (mental illness) win!). That’s what messed me up last Friday. But today I had it and I was determined not to give up.

Denee, Kane and Michelle were all up the other end of the green running track and acted like a cheer squad of sorts, encouraging me during the workout. It actually really helped me a lot. The push ups were easily the toughest, even doing them on my knees, but I was determined to get them done. I still need to work on catching the wall balls better but I’ll get there. The fatigue made it difficult to do decent reps. I ended up completing 3.5 rounds in total.

After my session, I actually bumped into my old high school friend Nicole who I haven’t seen in about 10 years or so. Very much a small world. It’s nice when you see familiar faces from the past and you end up crossing paths like that.

I’ve really learned a lot today in terms of my own personal development and things I still need to work on mentally and emotionally. I really took all of Luke’s feedback on board, the positive and the negative. I have to remind myself that he’s not criticising my technique or my movements to put me down or to make me feel like shit. He wants me to improve. He wants me to get better. And today it really showed. I gave it everything I had and I felt a lot better about myself because of it. https://www.facebook.com/breakawayf…

On Monday night, I had my Foundation Meditation course at Brahma Kumaris Centre for Spiritual Learning, The Peninsula in Frankston South. Being my second week at BK, I was beginning to feel a little more comfortable setting foot into the building. At least I knew where to go this time. The turnout was significantly less than last time, possibly because of the weather or perhaps Angie scared them away after last week.

Tonight, we focused on the concept of the physical body (human) being separate from the soul (being). It really took me a while to process this as I’m still very much a “fence sitter” which an open mind towards Spirituality. The being part is the spark that gives the physical body life and energy. The “third eye point”, located between the eyebrows, is where the soul sits in the body.

The next part however was even more difficult to wrap my head around, only because I’ve been brought up in a Western society. Most people see themselves from a body conscious perspective e.g. I am this age, this gender, this race. When the soul leaves the body, it goes into another body. Therefore, we are eternal beings with no ending or beginning. We have simply always existed. If I am a soul, I have original qualities including peace, love, happiness, wisdom and purity.

A popular example of what a soul actually is can be found in the film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban where Sirius Black has his soul sucked out of his body by a dementor. We see a small, glowing white ball of light gradually floating out of his mouth and away from his lifeless body. So it’s not really a new concept as such but one that we don’t really consider very often. http://www.bkpeninsula.org.au/event…

On Tuesday morning, I had my appointment with my support worker Ally at Colourfield Cafe Casey Central. It’s been about 3-4 weeks since I last saw her so naturally we had a lot to catch up on. I talked about dealing with living alone in the house while my parents are away in Queensland for their anniversary. Feeling better about my relationship with the personal trainer and trying hard to focus more on the positives in my life. Getting excited about starting the Healthy Cooking course again next term. And about my experiences at the Van Gogh exhibition last week.

On Tuesday night, I attended my Body Combat class with Cinamon Guerin at YMCA Casey ARC in Narre Warren. In terms of technique and keeping up with the combos, tonight wasn’t my best performance of all time. However, I was still giving it 100% and doing my best to really put some power into my punches and kicks. And that’s what I try to focus on in these classes. Not all the mistakes or my negative thought patterns but the fact that I’m still trying and I’m working hard during my workout. That’s what truly matters.

It was really good to see Cinamon mixing up the track list with a variety of different songs (Klubfiller – Feel Alive, The Prodigy – Firestarter) and fighting styles from Boxing and Tae Kwon Do to Muay Thai. There were certainly some challenging movements including punching and turning in a circle which caused me to get dizzy fairly quickly. It’s all about knowing when to pull back, slow down, focus, breathe and rest. It’s not always about keeping up as it is about getting the technique and movements right and also making sure you don’t over-exert yourself by forgetting to breathe. https://www.lesmills.com/workouts/f…

On Thursday morning, I attended my Slow Flow yoga class with Keren Gurrieri at Now, Yoga. in Narre Warren South. I haven’t seen Keren for over a month now as she’s been travelling to Bali and was also away sick for a couple of weeks. It was really good to see her again especially with the recent announcement of the Now Yoga Retreat coming up in November. Honestly, I’m all in. This could be a really good thing for me in terms of improving my self confidence, increasing my sense of independence and being able to travel alone without feeling anxious. And of course plenty of yoga and relaxation! http://nowyoga.net.au/

In this morning’s class, we focused on deep stretches through the sides of the body as well as the legs, thighs and hips. I was feeling a little shaky today with my balance and I was sweating a lot but I just did the best I could. We did several flowing sequences including:

  • Flowing Sequence 1…Cat-cow pose, knee-to-nose pose with leg extensions
  • Flowing Sequence 2…Plank pose, chaturanga on the knees, cobra/up dog
  • Flowing Sequence 3…High lunge, sweeping hands, Warrior 2, back to high lunge
  • Pigeon Pose…http://www.active.com/health/articl…

On Thursday night, I went to a Water Workout class at YMCA Casey RACE in Cranbourne East. After dealing with some rather hurtful and negative comments on Facebook, this was exactly when I needed. Time to switch social media off and focus on myself…not arseholes who are trying to bring me down. Of course with Casey Arc still undergoing their pool renovations and it being the tail end of the school holidays, the pool was really crowded tonight but it didn’t deter me one bit.

The class was run by instructor Janine who was rocking a bright pink tank top that you couldn’t miss. She was extremely uplifting, positive and fun and I could tell that she had good energy. She was also very encouraging, telling everyone in the pool “It’s really impressive that you’ve all come out here in the middle of Winter to exercise. Well done everybody. You’re all amazing.” Even if she was trying to be flattering, I didn’t care. These were the words I needed to hear and believe in myself.

Tonight we did a mixture of different aqua aerobic movements including jogging, ski slopes, rock n’ roll, mermaid, high jumps, tuck jumps, front and side kicks. There were two other guys in the class down the far end of the pool who were goofing around and making jokes but Janine didn’t seem to mind. She was just glad that everyone was having fun and exercising. http://www.swimmingpool.com/pool-fi…

On Friday morning, I had my Strength Training session with Luke Davey at Breakaway Fitness in Berwick. Things could have gone really pear shaped for me this morning but thankfully they didn’t. As much as I wanted to avoid the subject, I decided to confront the elephant in the room because it was still bothering me. My big online blowup with Denee Lalouette last night. Honestly, I’d rather forgive and forget but making negative assumptions about my character is really not okay.

I couldn’t be further from being a selfish person. I care about my parents, my friends, my personal trainer, my yoga teachers, my fitness instructors, my work mates and band members. I donate to charities regularly. I support local businesses, projects and bands. So asserting that I’m a selfish person is extremely laughable to say the least. He also called me shallow and that I focus too much on the negative. Again all bullshit.

I attend regularly therapy sessions, read self-help books, meditate, write myself positive affirmations and try hard to focus on the positives aspects of my life. I have many things in my life to be grateful for…being able to still live with my parents, having a part time job, being able to afford fitness classes, having friends in my life, being a creative person, having a car and being alive.

The truth is that I’m a pacifist and a peacemaker. I want to try and get along with everyone which I know is highly unrealistic but certainly not impossible. I hate drama, conflict and confrontation. And for the most part, I really do like Denee. He has good intentions for me but last night he really crossed a line with me and I got really upset about it. If you start judging me, then I’m going to get defensive. That’s how I roll. But personally I’m sure I’ll be over it by next week.

WARM-UP…Today I started my session by doing some pigeon pose to open up the glutes, hips and thighs. Luckily, I had some practice with this yesterday (thank you Now, Yoga :P). Next I had to release my knees towards the ground whilst keeping my feet wide and my legs bend. It was pretty tough but I had the flexibility and range to do it. Finally, I had to hold a squat position whilst holding a bar over my knees. This one really tested me because my knees were starting to hurt and I had to keep focused in the moment.

DEVELOPMENT…Back to doing some weighted back squats, this time 5 rounds of 3. I was feeling so much better about my performance today. I took all of Luke’s advice on board and my form and technique have improved heaps as a result. I was lifting up to 80kg which was pretty huge for me. It wasn’t perfect but overall I was really happy with my performance today and Luke gave me some positive feedback about it too.

WORKOUT…Look, I’m the first person to admit that I don’t enjoy running but if you give me a reason to run, then I’ll do it. And I have a lot of explosive power behind it too. I had to do 5 rounds of alternate sprinting and jogging along the green running track. Luke really wanted to help improve my technique with both of these exercises such as swinging my arms, taking long strides when sprinting and shorter strides when jogging. I tried really hard to listen, learn and really aim to improve my running style. And I did it. It honestly felt great despite panting and sweating a bit but that means I’m working really hard.

“You are not weak, Harry. The dementor’s affect you most of all because there are true horrors in your past, horrors your classmates couldn’t scarcely imagine. You have nothing to be ashamed of.” Professor Lupin to Harry Potter, Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

“But you know…Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.” Professor Dumbledore’s Welcome Speech, Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

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