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Training regiment is roller-coaster ride of emotions.

Byline: Kat Polomsky

Since the start of the Fittest Loser Challenge, my body and mind have been on a roller coaster.

Some days my body feels great, other days it feels like iron weights dragging behind me.

The same can be said about my mind. Some days I feel 10 steps ahead, while other days leave me with massive headaches and mental fog.

I believe my previous back injury is to blame, as most of the pain lies between the shoulder blades and radiates throughout my body. To help alleviate these aches, I use a foam roller, stretch often, and use hot and cold compressions, but these only do so much.

Whenever I go to Push Fitness for training, I am able to smash out the swollen muscle in my upper back using a weighted bar, but this isn't something that can be easily done at home.

My trainer, Josh Steckler, taught me a technique that can be done anywhere using a dense ball between my back and a wall to smash out the hard-to-reach areas.

It has been difficult trying to balance life's demands while experiencing this pain, but I'm trying my best to not let it bring me down.

Another contributing factor to these roller-coaster rides is dealing with weather conditions.

If it is a warm and sunny day, I find myself jumping for joy and ready to take on anything. But if the day becomes overcast and gloomy, my energy is completely drained.

To help compensate for these conditions, I've noticed that exercising helps to reduce the fatigue. I especially feel a difference on the days when I'm able to wake up at the crack of dawn to exercise and prepare for the day. The early morning exercise helps me feel more energized and helps reduce the stress of trying to fit in exercise later in the day.

The only issue with waking up early is getting to bed at an early hour to enjoy a good night's rest -- a lifelong struggle of mine.

Monthly meditation retreats help with this issue since those days begin at 4:30 a.m. and bedtime is at 9:30 p.m.

Although, it doesn't take long for me to fall back into old habits once the retreat ends.

Habits seem to play a huge role in a healthy lifestyle, and on difficult days I find myself saying, "When will this be over with," but, in reality, the last thing I want is for this to end.

I enjoy the support and accountability of this program and worry what will happen after the challenge ends, because I want to continue building strength and am fearful that I don't believe in myself.

Will the pain ever go away? Do I have to accept the fact it will always be part of me?

These questions prevent me from moving forward, but I need to overcome these obstacles by caring for my body and harnessing the strength that lies within me.

I need to learn to control this roller coaster ride instead of letting it control me.

* Kat Polomsky is a Daily Herald events specialist and also helps manage the Fittest Loser At Work Challenge.

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Title Annotation:Health Fitness
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Apr 22, 2019
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