Stop Doubting Yourself

“I’m sorry!!” I yelled.

I was in the middle of doing 20 jumping pull-ups.

My arms were weakening.

My heart was pounding.

And sweat was dripping down my body…down my face to my back to my feet….

I was pushing my body harder than ever before…I am talking Biggest Loser style.

Oh yeah, you know…the ugly faces, the tears, the nearly puking expressions, the grunts, etc.

Photo credit to Google Image Search.
This is what I looked like yesterday, probably at least 4 times.

“Why are you sorry!?” Dustin, my personal trainer asked me.

I suddenly felt like I was on an episode of Extreme Weight Loss Edition.

My body kept moving, but mind stopped to think.

Why am I sorry?

I wanted to say:

“I’m sorry I’m not strong enough.”
 

“I’m sorry I’m slow.”
 

“I’m sorry I’ve almost puked 3 times now.”
 

“I’m sorry if my form is off.”

Instead of replying with any of these responses, I said, “I’m sorry that I always say I’m sorry. I just don’t believe in myself…it’s something I know I need to work on…”

“Listen, you’re doing great,” Dustin said. “I’ll tell you when your form is off or if you should be working harder. Stop doubting yourself.”

I wanted to cry.

Not because I was sad…

But because he believed in me more than I believed in myself.

(Disclaimer: I did not cry, which was a huge milestone of my week).

***
Let’s back track for a hot minute…

Two years ago, my best friend’s husband (Dustin) became a personal trainer at a fitness club called Fitness 180.

The very first night I met Dustin! Winter 2006.

The club was only a few miles from my office, and at the time – it was only a five minute drive from our apartment.

“You should come see me!” Dustin would always say. “I won’t work you too hard. Oh wait, yes I will.”

I always promised I would come in and see him, but I never did.

Deep down I was afraid.

Afraid I would get my butt kicked.

Afraid I would look like a fool.

Afraid I would fail.

But in reality, I would get my butt kicked. That’s what personal trainers are there for…

I would look like a fool, because everyone has to start somewhere.

And I was only failing myself by not even trying.

I had absolutely nothing to lose, except for more weight- which hello I’m obviously all about losing more lbs!!

***
Okay…back to the last night…

When I arrived to Dustin’s gym, I was nervous.

Extremely nervous, but as you know –nervousness comes with my personality.

He asked me how “hard” I wanted to go tonight, on a scale of 1 to 10.

I said a 7.

“Alright, let’s start with 30 push-ups,” Dustin said.

“Can I do them girly style?” I asked.

“No,” Dustin said. “Well, at least try the regular ones and we can worry about altering your form if you can’t do regular push-ups.”

Strike one, I thought. First exercise and I was already struggling.

“If you have to do 10, then take a break- that’s fine,” Dustin assured me.

After watching my form he said, “Look out at this paper, don’t look directly down. It’s harder on your neck that way.”

I crashed after 10.

“Alright,” Dustin said. “Not bad.”

I thought we were moving on. I did 10, right? That was good enough, right?

“Wait, don’t stand up,” Dustin said. “You aren’t done. You have 20 more to go.”

Dustin was the voice of reason I’ve always needed inside my head.

He was the external voice telling me I can’t stop early.

I must dig deep every single rep is completed.

I finished the push-ups. My form didn’t look pretty, but I finished all 30…

“Okay, when was the last time you jumped rope?” Dustin asked me next, wasting no time going to the next exercise.

“Ummm when I was 12?” I said.

“Okay, well do as many as you can to start,” Dustin said.

I did 5.

“Okay, try again. But this time go for 20,” Dustin said and then offered a suggestion to my form.

I did 7.

“Alright,” Dustin started. “Do 20 or you have to do burpees next.”

Oh hell no. Not burpees, I thought to myself.

I did 23.

“Great job,” Dustin said. “The good news is you don’t have to burpees next. The bad news is I am making you do them later.”

“NOOOO!” I said.

He laughed, “Oh yes! Kaila told me not go on hard you, but you said you wanted to go for a 7.”

“That was before I knew what 7 meant!!” I said back, already exhausted after only two routines.

Our workout continued, I almost puked like 3 times.

But I never puked (even though we made a special trip to the bathroom to splash water on my face and wrists).

Instead, I fought through some of the hardest exercises that I’ve ever done (see introduction above). 

And one time (at band camp), I made the mistake of telling Dustin, “I can’t do that…”

“We have a rule here at Fitness 180,” Dustin said. “You are not allowed to say you can’t do anything. Instead, you can say, ‘I am going to try my hardest.’”

He was so motivating the entire night. He knew when to ask me questions about life, work or my weekend plans if I needed to escape the “pain” of the workout.

He would count down in a motivating way.

“Just three more left,” Dustin would say. “Give it everything you have. One, Two, Three!”

I lived for those final countdowns last night.

He would tell me to keep going strong when I wanted to give up. I don’t know if he is a mind reader or if I am just terrible at hiding my emotions (I’ll go with the ladder)…but he really inspired me when I needed it the most.

He was my very own Chris Powell.

Our last exercise of the night was the kettlebell swing.

I didn’t feel like I had much strength left in my body.

When Dustin handed me the kettlebell I said, “This feels really heavy.”

“Just try it,” Dustin said. “If we need to lower it after a few reps, we will.”

You are seeing a trend here…I am constantly doubting myself before I even start anything.

Sure enough, I killed it and finished strong.

“I knew you could do it,” Dustin said. “You did great today. Like I said earlier, just stop doubting yourself…”

I discovered this a muscle in my back / shoulder area that I didn’t even know existed. I could barely lift my arms to wash my hair this morning. Despite a few body aches, I have a feeling this is just the beginning of an amazing journey.

And I am already looking forward to next week’s workout.

He looks scary.
But I promise, he’s only scary when he needs to be! 🙂

So, what is your life lesson for the day?

Believe in yourself. Take a chance to try something new and challenge yourself.

I guarantee you are stronger than you think…

Much love,
Ashley

2 thoughts on “Stop Doubting Yourself

  1. Darin Armstrong says:

    Hello Ashley,
    Just a quick message to ask if you would be interested in a 'mutual' following on twitter. I am currently following you now and am awaiting for your follow-back if you indeed decide to do so… (#FYI I do RT's for all #Triathletes #Cyclists #UltraRunners & #Marathoners who follow me on Twitter and have something important they want mentioned…)

    All the very best to you and yours for the rest of 2012 and beyond Ashley. Look forward to hearing from you…

    Darin
    twitter.com/DarinArmstrong
    #TeamLIVESTRONG

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