At Unleashed, their slogan is “Explore A Stronger Version Of You”. What I am about to write is going to be somewhat superficial and then somewhat deep and incredibly difficult. First, I am going to tell you how I am exploring a stronger physical self.
This past Friday, I attended Freestyle Friday at Unleashed which is basically a 2.5 hour free-for-all where you can use anything in the gym that you want to create a workout for yourself, or spend time practicing something. I’ve only been a few times, but it’s a fun time. We’ve come to have some friendly competitions to push each other to always do more – especially with the sled.
After some event specific warm-up and training (more on that in a bit), we started pushing the sled around. The last time I did it, we were at somewhere around 700 lb. This time, we loaded it up with plates and just kept pushing. We eventually added sandbags, then humans, then smaller humans. Here is a pic of me pushing about 1070 lb and below that is a video of me pushing around 1020 lb.
My friends encouraging me to do more, and then being able to do it, makes me feel strong, physically and mentally. Now, let’s talk about that event specific training, shall we? After shadowing the GOREV, I was completely inspired. I told myself I would never do another GORUCK after our Light in October because I felt I didn’t have the mental fortitude to get through it. After witnessing what my friends pushed through, and all that I’ve overcome in the last several months, I decided to register for another GORUCK event, appropriately called a Challenge.
I have several friends who are going to do it with me and, with their support, I’m going to give it my all. I know they will do everything in their power to see that I don’t fail. On that same note, let’s talk about how I’m exploring mental strength.
It’s no secret I have depression and anxiety. I’ve always been honest about that on here and don’t feel the need to hide it anymore. I’ve decided to share a bit more and, maybe, it might help someone else needing help.
I don’t remember if I’ve spoken about it before, but I also have PTSD. I’m not going to (and never going to) get into why on this blog. What I will tell you is that I also used to cut as a coping mechanism. I started when I was a teenager and did it well into my early 20s. For those who have no experience with it, personally or otherwise, I will just tell you that I did it as a way to distract myself from the mental pain using physical pain. I’ve come to understand that it is a common theme with those who do/did it.
What I’ve only just figured out in the past few months is that cutting is an addiction I just need to keep at bay, not unlike alcoholism or drug abuse. My immediate instinct when having a really bad day, hour, minute is to turn to something that makes that mental pain go away. Luckily, I have Tara and amazing friends and I haven’t resorted to that. The urges were almost daily, but thankfully are getting better with continued therapy and medications I am on. It helps that I have learned better coping skills and am working through what I need to work through, difficult as it may be.
I guess my point in admitting this in such a public forum is that you don’t have to do it. It sucks, and it will hurt, but there are other things you can do. Don’t stuff shit down because it’s not going anywhere. Work through it and come out stronger on the other side. It will get better.
If you need some alternatives, I’ve found this site helpful: https://casapalmera.com/helping-a-loved-one-who-self-injures/