For Christmas and my birthday, which happens to be one week after Christmas, Brad gifted me with entrance to two OCR (obstacle course races) for both of us. This is something that we started a couple of years ago as a fun way to spend time together and to have fun outside playing in the mud.
This is the first year that we are doing two in one summer and it is also the first year that we are doing races listed at over 5km. In June we are racing in the Spartan Beast and in August the Tough Mudder. I am excited and rather nervous.
So I thought it would probably be a good idea to actually train a bit for these races if I want to do the very best that I can. With that in mind, I decided to refocus my efforts at the gym and try to add in some extra strength work in the mornings . . . this admittedly has only been hit and miss but at least there have been some hits.
This past week they have announced a fitness challenge at the gym and I thought it might be a great way to push my training forward. Unfortunately, a part of this challenge is taking one's measurements at the beginning and the end of the challenge.
For the past year or so I have actively avoided weighing myself or taking measurements of any kind because it seems to mess with my mind. I become fixated on the numbers and I base my self-confidence, my self-worth, on those numbers. If they are too high I berate myself and I find internal dialogue becomes very negative, very dark. If I decide that those numbers need to go down I become fixated on achieving that and have, in the past, done things that on the surface appear healthy but the reality is quite the opposite.
In the past, when I became fixated on those numbers I turned to exercise as a way to fight the demons in my head. I overdid it though. There were days when I would be at the gym twice in a day and then play in a soccer game or perhaps a hockey game. I was in the best shape of my life. This over-training led to me blowing out me knee. Needless to say, this made my fixation on the numbers worse because I was no longer able to turn to my outlet.
But I digress, back to the fitness challenge at the gym. I have pondered long and hard about whether or not I could participate in it. In terms of training for the upcoming races, it would be a great kick in the butt and a starting place to increase my strength and overall fitness. But it could also be the catalysis for yet another unhealthy fixation on the numbers, the beginning of a spiral into basing my self-worth on numbers that tend to be so far from the ideal that I set in my head.
I don't want to chance it. I don't want to put myself into a position to damage the healthy place I am finally in mentally. So there will be no participating in this challenge for me. That is not to say that I won't join in unofficially and push myself along with them, I just won't be up for any prizes.