Did you know I go to a therapist? Right here; right now. I do. Not many in the fitness industry probably admit to this. How many even do it? I’ve been in therapy most of my life. I sometimes take breaks...months, even years. But I think it is healthy to admit you need a professional ear to hear you and a professional mind to help you find you. I am often one who helps lead my posing, training, and competition clients into the waters of introspection. But then I am left wondering who is there to help me. When do I get to be weak? To whom do I cry? To whom do I admit defeat, despair? Who helps me to detangle? I try to shoulder the responsibility of it for as long as I can. Like hanging onto a rope that becomes weathered, torn, threadbare from the weight of my heart. And just when the rope threatens to break, I reach out. And that is what my therapist is for.
I see rest and recovery from the gym as a type of therapy. When the body feels threadbare and ready to break, we must listen. I’ve talked about this a ton on my social media, how silly and stupid I think the “no days off” attitude is. You can certainly train until you die. And then you will die. A slow death. On the inside. The inside of your heart. Your valves. Your arteries. They will shut down. Collapse. Blood will not pump. Neurons will not spark. The fire will not be lit. You will become cold. Going through the motions until you become one of those people who drives by the gym and says, “Hey, I used to go there,” and who stands in line at the grocery store, talking to a bodybuilder, saying “I used to be like you back in the day.” All because you had to do it your way, with no breaks, no intermission, no off season.
I am in the midst of my yearly week off from the gym. Not a deload. A true week off. Some of these days I am doing nothing more strenuous than picking up Roxi and some socks off the ground. Some of these days I am doing stretching classes and yoga and recovery therapy like hydromassage and cryotherapy.
I haven’t died. I haven’t gotten fat. I haven’t grown a third horn. I haven’t forgotten how to squat. I haven’t lost my love for the gym. In fact, quite the opposite. I’m excited about Monday when I get to train legs with Jason again. I’m excited about what I get to do with my body at the age of 45. I’m excited (and slightly scared) about discovering how well I’ll balance school, gym, and work like the old days when I began lifting. It’s so weird, like I’m coming full circle. I wonder what this means for this next year. I wonder what I should do New Year’s Eve to set the tone for 2018.
And that begs the question: what will you do to set your tone for your 2018?
Jodi Leigh Miller is a Women's Physique IFBB Pro with experience in all divisions. She is a record-achieving power-lifter, posing specialist, certified trainer, life coach, and author. She holds an English degree from The University of Texas at Austin and is a certified educator. Jodi was recently accepted into the low-residency MFA in Writing program at Pacific University Oregon and begins January 2018. She is an experienced, knowledgeable, multifaceted phenom who shares her soul in this blog.