Growing up, I was often sick. From a young age, I was in the hospital several times, and throughout my adolescent and teenage years, my immune system was less than favorable to me. With that said, looking back, I know that much of my sickness throughout the years was not purely a weak immune system. Most recently, realizing how much nutrition affected my well-being growing up has been a focus of retrospect. Between the reality of sickness, there was a fiction of sickness as well. School never felt completely safe to me, and was not always a place I felt comfortable. At the same time, home was not always a haven either. Finding where I belonged, I believe, took a toll on my mental health, and thus, I reacted in a way I knew how to – to be sick, or “sick”.
My freshman year of high school, I missed about 60 days of school, which is a considerable amount of school to miss. The next year, I only missed about 43, which is still a lot. Between these years, I joined the Upward Bound program. UB helped me in a variety of profound ways. I felt like I had a large group of friends, I was motivated realize my goals, and there were positive role models. My senior year of high school, I only missed 1 day of school for a dentist appointment.
That senior year, my french teacher said something to me about my health that made a lot of sense. She told me that often times, our mental afflictions affect our physical health – these things are all connected. That was a moment that clicked for me, and I understood that the opportunities that UB gave me helped me be a healthier person in a variety of ways.
With that said, my first year of college, I was sick in a rather detrimental way. I was fatigued and couldn’t consume food for 9 months. Doctors never found out what was wrong with me, and it was one of the most challenging things I had ever had to deal with in my entire life.
Obviously, when we are sick, there are biological means to contraction and development, but I do firmly believe that our mental health is an integral contributing factor.
So, what the hell is this blog all about? Growing up, I faked being sick so many times because I did not want to go to school, an excuse to not face my problems and to back out of challenges that faced me. Given, I was a teenager, and the challenges felt great, but being “sick” was easier than forging through.
This morning, I woke up, feeling rather nauseous. I think I ate too late last night, and did not get enough sleep. On top of that, I did 3 upper arm workouts yesterday and I was SORE as heck. I sat in my chair for several minutes, wondering if I could muster the energy to get to CrossFit. The pain and the feeling in my stomach felt enough to sway me from going. I probably had legitimate grounds to go back to bed, but due to my history, in times like this, I need to evaluate where I truly am. I got dressed and got in the car, where I spent another 5 minutes wondering if I could make it through my workout. I put on some music, and threw the car in reverse. Yes, I wasn’t 100%, but if your excuse is that you are not 100%, you may miss out on something that you need in life. For me, this journey I am on right now is of top priority, it is my future, my health, and my mentality. The workout was difficult, once I started in, the fatigue set away (only for the duration), and my stomach felt better.
I’ve said it before, that this journey is more mental than it is physical. It’s a mindset, and that may force you to tackle your past. Rephrase — It WILL make you tackle your past. If you are deciding you need to make a change in your life, odds are something led you to a place where you feel the need to make the changes. If you don’t face those, and look to what created those barriers, you will not get to know the reality of your situation.
Today felt like a victory. I have sustained my motivation for awhile now, and this felt like something that was going to throw me off the path a bit. I thought about that sick kid growing up, how fragile and unknowing life was, but now I have determination and purpose, and I don’t have to default to those methods in my life. Goodbye, Sick Kid.
On a side note, in the last year and a half, I have been less sick (in a legitimate way) than I have in my entire life, which I never even thought would be a side effect (heh) of going on this transformation. Def. a plus.
Keep on keepin’ on.