The Best View Comes After The Hardest Climb……..

The Best View Comes After The Hardest Climb……..

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Happy Sober Sunday!!

First please let me apologise for there being such a delay in me posting – I am really sorry!!

If you are following me on Instagram you will know the reason why…….. I have been training to qualify as a Bodypump Instructor and I have finally done it, whoo hoo!!

It has taken me a lot longer than I ever thought it would do and I can safely say that Les Mills are asking for a very high standard in there assessments, down to clear instructions and millisecond timings.  The standard was much higher than I realised and it took me three attempts to get there but I finally did it. Here is my little Bodypump journey for any of you out there looking to follow the same path and become an instructor,  or just for anyone struggling right now – I hope this may help.

So my first initial training weekend was on the 30th and 31st of March (mothers day – I know, the guilt!)  This involved around 15-20 people spending two days of learning the tracks and being monitored and assessed.  On the Saturday morning I actually felt physically sick during the one hour drive to get there, I was so nervous but I really had no need to be.  There was a mixture of ages and physical abilities within the class but everyone was super friendly.  So I soon calmed down and felt relaxed with everyone.

The first thing we did was the masterclass – which was the new body pump release lead by our instructor Daniel and Damien who were the coaches.  They were amazing and easily showed us how it should be done!  After that it was a full day of practicing our tracks that we had been allocated and then teaching them to the rest of the class. So after day one I felt a lot more confident but also so tired and so hungry! (major tip – take lots of food!)

Day two was pretty much the same formation with your official assessment at the end.  Luckily we all passed and that was an amazing feeling!  Unfortunately though this feeling was short lived as you then have two months to submit full recording of you teaching the whole release to a class, scary!!!  Now two months may sound like a long time but when you include a holiday, the two weeks Easter holidays and basically just life in general getting in the way – then it really isn’t all that long.

So I learnt the release the best I could and submitted my first assessment – you then wait up to two weeks for your results (I know – the torture!)  Ten days later my result came back as a pass pending.  I was so upset, everyone else on the group seemed to be passing as we were updating a Facebook group we had set up – but no not me.  I cried for about half an hour and then thought – well I ‘ve just got to do it again!

So it took me another two weeks to keep practicing and aiming for perfection.  This time I thought it had gone better but my recording had cut out half way through so that knocked my confidence and threw me out with the timing.   But I was just at the point of thinking – sod it! I will send it in anyway and hope for the best.  Guess what- Les Mills don’t want that attitude they want confidence from instructors and they want your recording to run smooth and lets be honest almost perfectly.  So once again I got a pass pending.

Now this time my confidence was really knocked.  All of the self doubt started creeping in – I am too old to be doing this – I’m not good enough – its all a big mistake – its not for me – I cant do it????  Honestly I was so close to giving up and ready to wave my dream of being a bodypump instructor goodbye!!  I was 99% sure I would not be going to submit for assessment again.  My email with the result had come on a Friday and that weekend I had to dig so deep to not stay in bed for 48 hours.  I was gutted, that gutted feeling where you want to escape from being you – that gutted feeling where only sleep or alcohol will allow you to escape.

But I kept myself busy, the kids had netball matchers and we had other stuff that needed doing like cleaning the house!  I also had a really good chat with Damien who was one of the instructors on the training weekend – now talking to him was a game changer for me! He was and is so positive and convinced me to go and shadow him at his gym and told me that I HAD to submit for a third time.

So I did – I went to his classes and his enthusiasm sparked the fire back in me – I became so determined – this is what I want to do and I am not going to stop until I am qualified! For the next couple of weeks I had never done so many squats, lunges and deadlifts in my life.  I recorded myself,  recorded all of my practice classes until I knew the routine inside out and most importantly the timing.  For the first time I sent my recording in feeling CONFIDENT – I honestly felt like I couldn’t have done any better – and after another ten days of torturous waiting …………..yes,  you guessed it I PASSED!

When I opened the email confirming that i was now qualified – the feeling was the best!  The fact that it had taken blood sweat and tears to get their (literally) made it all the more amazing when I finally got there!  And you know what I believe its definitely made me a better instructor now.  I worked so so hard to get there I will never just take it for granted. Les Mills you are a hard act to follow but the constructive criticism and rigorous assessment that you gave me has certainly been for the best and I am so proud to be a Les Mills instructor.

I feel like I have got so much more out of this than a qualification.  I have learnt how important it is to not give-up, no matter how difficult things get.  I will be 32 months sober next week and honestly I have found my sober journey easier than my body pump journey!  But I don’t think I could have one without the other – the drinking me could only dream of achieving something like this and would have given up at the very first hurdle.

I have always said that giving up drinking is only the start of your journey and it is so true.  My challenges used to be just getting through a weekend without a drink, or even one night without a drink!  But now it has slowly led to me challenging myself both physically and mentally and although it sounds dramatic saying that getting sober has changed my life – it really has because it has changed how I feel and my mindset.  I want to fight now for the things I really want in life and I know I have the strength to not give up until I get there.

I will apologise in advance because you are now going to be singing this all night but in the words of Miley Cyrus :

“It ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side – its the climb!”

So to anyone reading this and you are struggling with the early days or million day ones of sobriety – just remember this one thing DO NOT GIVE UP – you will get there.  And if you have a few months of sobriety under your belt and you are starting to want to change certain things about yourself, in your life or challenge yourself in different ways – go for it -you can do it!

I am hopefully going to get back on track with my blogging, although I have just received the Bodypump 110 programme which is now being released, so the learning has started all over again!  Just like my sober journey – things are changing and challenging me all the time!

I hope you’ve had a lovely hangover free weekend and if not and you are looking for help and inspiration then read through my other posts and don’t forget to find me on Instagram  @Liftingweightsnotwine 

Love Angie xx

 

Two Years Of Sparkling Sobriety!!

Two Years Of Sparkling Sobriety!!

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Today is the 21st November 2018 and today I am celebrating TWO years of not drinking. Two years since my day one. Two years of NO hangovers. Two years of just being, me alcohol free!

Now I am someone who couldn’t even get through a Friday night never mind a weekend without drinking (unless I was pregnant or ill!) so yes I’m going to celebrate and post about it!!! For me its a pretty big thing!

As all of you lovely followers know, I started my Instagram page @lifitngweightsnotwine and Blog back in March this year and with the support of you guys it really has taken off, so thankyou so much!  Who knew that there are people out there who want to listen to a sober, 43year old Lancashire lass rambling on about her sober journey!  So thankyou for sticking with me,  from the bottom of my heart I appreciate it more than you know!

Up until today my Blog and Instagram page have been sort of anonymous, as in I have only told a few close friends and family about them.  However today to mark my two years soberversary,  I have shared them on my personal Instagram and Facebook page.  And I’m not going to lie, its made me feel really nervous and vulnerable.  I feel like everything surrounding my decision to stop drinking is out there for all to read.   And most worryingly its out there for people to judge!

That’s one of the reasons why I held back sharing Lifting Weights Not Wine, because I know my decision to stop drinking was a personal choice, just like people choose to drink.  That is their choice and for a long time it was mine too and I was happy (or I thought I was)  with that decision.

So here I am two years on from making the decision to quit and what have I learnt from two years of not drinking?

I have covered these points along the way in previous posts on my blog and go into much more detail on there (just click on the link to read them) but the main things that I have learnt on my sober journey are the following:-

  • Stop waiting to make a change, start now, where you are and with what you have got!  I stopped drinking on the 21st November 2016 when I had Christmas coming up, it was the perfect opportunity to say “I will wait until the New Year!”.  But instead I thought if I can do it now,  when there are so many social events and boozy opportunities ahead,  then I can do it no matter what.  So just start NOW, TODAY and STOP WAITING!  (lets share the same sober date!!) read more at Just start……….
  • Please do not worry about losing friends!  True friends will support you and stick by your side no matter what.  My best friends (some who have been my serious drinking partners in the past!) are still my best friends now.  They have supported me 100% and I am so grateful for that.  Yes I have lost a few friends, mainly going out friends but I view that as their problem not mine!  read more on this at Will I lose friends?
  • You can still socialise sober!  I go out more now than I have ever done.  WHY?  …

          I’ve realised I’m still a bit crazy, chatty and sociable without the booze.

        Nights out now mean I can have a good laugh, remember it all and not write off my whole weekend because I have a hangover!

         Plus I can drive, so meet up in different places and go to different things, plus I can taxi everyone along with me! read more at Sober Nights Out!!

  • Stopping drinking has given me a confidence in myself that I have never had, well not for a long time! – This is because I no longer have the anxiety that hangovers and drinking left me with. I now have a new lust for life and constantly looking to try new things and challenge myself.
  • I have discovered a passion for health and fitness, especially lifting weights.  The main thing I have found is that consistency is key – that’s what makes the change both physically and mentally.  I used to exercise for a few days then a hangover from hell and carb coma would send me off track for the next few days and undo all my good efforts.  Now I am ON IT and FOCUSED every single day and it feels AMAZING, I feel stronger and fitter than I have ever been.
  • I have discovered a tribe of sober supporters out there.  My Instagram and online family and followers have been amazing, sometimes just knowing that you are not the only person out there feeling this way,  is all you need to make the change and take that first step.
  • You are never too old to change!  I am 43 and recently signed up to train as a Bodypump Instructor next year, it scares me to death but not doing it scares me even more!  It makes me want to train harder too, because if I’m going to be the oldest one on the course I want to be up there with the fittest! I am also planning on taking a Life Coach course next year too.
  • Most importantly I know that I am giving my two girls the best mum that I can be.  They have been my inspiration from day one, and my cheerleaders.  They now have a mum who is full of energy, full of life, who the majority of the time is calmer and more patient (not all the time, I mean I’ve only stopped drinking and not become a Saint!)  I am 100% present when I am with them, they have got ALL of the sober me.  And that for me is my everything! My Girls – My Wake Up Call!

There are a million and one things I have  discovered in the past two years and the above are just the tip of the iceberg.  But they are the biggies for me!

The reason I have shared Lifting Weights Not Wine is because I feel proud of it!  I am not desperate for people to follow me, and I certainly don’t want people following me just for a nosey or to get a dig in where they can. If it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing and your probably better off following someone else!

My Blog and Instagram page are for people who feel the same as me about alcohol and who are looking to make a change or have already done so! It’s about grasping life with both hands and changing what you are unhappy about with regards to your drinking habits, health and fitness. The ultimate message is about living your life as the best version of you!

I have had so many messages and emails from people who are looking to change their drinking habits and lifestyle. And I also have a few friends who are on their own sober journey too, wether I have inspired them to do so I don’t know?  All I do know is that there is another world out there full of people wanting to change their self destructive drinking pattern and start living a life they love.  If sharing my story is helping and inspiring people then that’s all I can hope for!

Thankyou so much for all of your likes, comments and follows on Lifting Weights Not Wine – it really does mean so much!

Next week I will be posting about Surviving A Sober Christmas, and it will probably run over a few weeks because I have a lot of tips and survival strategies so watch this space!!

Happy Wednesday Sober Warriors!

Angie xx