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Balls to the Wall – nothing in between!

I have several trainers/fitness consultants on my Facebook page.  I love reading their motivational status updates and occasionally they are linked to some good information.  But what exactly IS their message!?  Today I “unliked” one of them after reading this status update:

“If balls to the wall, push to failure, kill yourself training is at one end of the spectrum and sitting on your couch and not training at all is at the other, to be anywhere in between is pointless. Forgive me if you simply want to stay in shape and have some physical activity in your life; it that is the case then it’s fine.  But for anyone else who actually has aspirations for themselves, anything less than all out (company’s name) hardcore training will not do.”

No, “Forgive ME” while I voice my concerns; I’m a little annoyed.

Is your long term health worth less than going balls to the wall??  Is going in the middle something to be ashamed of?  Will you gain less?

This is the sort of crap that people need to stop pushing, breeding and stop BELIEVING!  At the very least, stop taking it so literal.

Is it ignorance or stupidity?

It really appears that these sort of “balls to the wall” comments are true beliefs.  And I have to be honest; I used to believe the same.  I got comfort in pushing myself further than I had ever pushed in my LIFE and I loved that I was strong and capable – far more than I had previously thought.  I felt like a super hero!  My kryptonite was my ignorance and maybe a little bit of stupidity and lack of trust… in MYSELF.

The “no pain, no gain” and “all or nothing” approach has left me rehabbing my adrenals and thyroid with hormone therapy and virtually NO strength training, which blows more than “anything less than” balls to the wall ever would – trust me!  Recovery is a long process but then hopefully I’ll be able to do something in the middle down the road.  I’ve come to believe, regardless of intentions, these sorts of messages and beliefs are dangerous and potentially life threatening.

I refrained from sending a very reactive, emotional response.  Instead I “unliked” this company.  And now, I can’t help but think I had an opportunity to share my experience and possibly help others, even in the slightest way, and I avoided it.  I’m not really clear as to why I didn’t speak up.  Fear of confrontation?  Maybe I misunderstood their first message; maybe I’m missing something (seriously??)?  Doubt in myself and my own beliefs?  Doubt in my own opinions and experience?  In which their second status update less than 5 minutes later would have served me well.

“If you want to stand half a chance to get fit you better push yourself harder and learn to have the strength to stand by your convictions. How many times have you done something because everyone else does it? Why? Why are you so quick to assume that someone else knows better than you? Have some faith in yourself.”

But mostly I didn’t respond back because of a deep feeling that “it wouldn’t do any good anyway”.  They’re the “experts”.  I’m just… just what…?!?  I’m experiencing the effects from the guidance of these experts!  My knowledge has now surpassed a lot of these experts, and I’m feeling more empowered to have a voice.

In a world where people are struggling to be themselves, not to mention FIND themselves, we are pushing “you’re not good enough” messages in any way we can.  “Forgive me if you simply want to stay in shape and have some physical activity in your life…  But for anyone else who actually has aspirations for themselves…” WTF!?  I can now see the severity that awaits such requests on one’s body – pure abuse.

I’m not saying one should adopt a boring, moderate workout lifestyle.  If you enjoy a strenuous workout, there are ways to get your “killer”, “hardcore”, “insane” workouts in without damaging your future health.  You don’t have to stop what you love; you just have to be smart about it.

What is your definition of “balls to the wall”?  Is this your exercise mentality daily?  How do you get in a good hard workout and still remain balanced and healthy?

4 Comments:

You know how I feel about this Tara. Keep up the good work! I’m behind you all the way!

Thank You, Karen. Means a lot.

Wow, T! I’m so glad you shared this. I would have done the same thing you did and un-liked. You’re not going to win a comment on war on FB, you will just open yourself up to verbal abuse from people who have no understanding of moderation and would try to build themselves up by tearing you down.

There is a whole lot of room between “100% all out, all the time” and sitting on your ass. Different people may find their own healthy moderation at different points along that continuum. That doesn’t make the more intense exercisers better or more accomplished.

Since you and I both were “couch sitters” at one time, I’m sure we can come up with other ways that we were productive members of society even if we weren’t burning maximum calories!

Having a single focus can be useful when you first need motivation or to get out of a rut but if you take it too far, it does get dangerous.

Hi Tara. I came here through Karen’s link on Facebook and I am so glad that I did. I love what you’ve written here and wholeheartedly agree. But the reason why I am going to spend a great deal of time on your blog is because I am also recovering from adrenal exhaustion! I can’t wait to read more…

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