The culture I am coming from is a very curious one, just like many other ones. Similarly to other nations, Russians have their own traditions and prejudices. I was born and grew up in Moscow which is a very different from Sydney city, in my opinion. It is different in almost everything! Without going into too much details, I want to say that I am The White Handed girl. When I tried to Google this made up by me definition I could only find secret military groups or not that secret criminal gangs called White Hands. This is nothing to do with what I am about to talk. 🙂
In Russia, where tzars and princesses have always been in the head of the country (apart from now, when officially it is a democracy since the revolution), some people were very rich whereas others very poor. The poor people were farmers and hard workers with strong rough hands which lets admit is now a hard core work out in the gym for many, not the lifestyle [giggling].
The rich people were fat, weak and white skinned, I mean like really pale. During the royal times, just like it was in Europe, Russians tried to keep their bodies as white as possible to fit where they belonged. White tender skin was considered to be a sign of aristocracy whereas tanned people were just peasants.
I am not a princess; however an indoor child. I was brought up in a small soviet union flat with no or very little outdoor activities in my life, cherished and looked after by my very protective mother. My first (and I think the last) climb was when I was so little I can barely remember it now, ended up in falling over whatever I was climbing, landing on my head breaking it open, bleeding all over the playground. Since then I have never really attempted to climb anything or run too far or too fast, cycle, swim… anything!
So here I am living in a totally different world, in Sydney, where people are obsessed with climbing, running, cycling, swimming…. everything! And here I am with my tiny very white hands trying to climb things. Believe it or not, 20 years after my first trial of climbing it is not easy to do it again.
Now, when I am so into weights training and lifting things I have noticed that my wrists, palms and arms themselves are very weak. Although I am not a royal person, I, believe or not, have never lifted anything in my life. Therefore every time I try to approach climbing or lifting tasks, I fail.
Massive blisters on my palms are often a result of trying to attempt chin ups or simply hang on the bar. Even grabbing weights causes a lot of pain in my wrists and palms. Clearly, this is not much fun!
The only solution I personally see is to carry on doing what I am doing. However the entire life of sedentary existence vs couple of years of very active lifestyle can be very challenging. Therefore I say “take it easy”! I know there are a lot of people out there who are trying to change their lives and feel like they are failing again and again. As a representative of the White Handed Girls I must say, there is NO fail in trying! Every time you do something, you invest in the bigger picture and this is why so many athletes, personal trainers and other fitness obsessed people always advice to keep the bigger picture in front of your eyes. For some, literally; others can imagine it and go back to it mentally when needed. Keep your picture with you at all times!
My approach is to carry on doing no matter what IF I really want it. This is why I decided to be a part of different social runs which they call it Fun Runs in Australia. With my fairly anti-social nature (personality) and far from being very fit body (or am I being too self-criticising? lol), I decided that getting out there (in small doses) can be very beneficial. I have never liked running or training with anyone else but myself and I have not changed, but I agreed to add other people in my fitness life and try to live with it. Bingo! It worked! My white hands are still sore in the gym, knees often affect (negatively) my every day living (after a long run) but I carry on and absolutely sure that it will all change one day!
Now, we all have better days and worse days; and I sometimes take a week off ANY training feeling like “why do I even do it all, its not me”. However every time after such a week or couple of days off, I come back to “WOW this is awesome and I remember now why I am doing it”. I decided to write this post because I know people who are not sure whether this is what they are but they attempt to dive into this fitness world, often walking away eventually. We never know what we are without trying things out, isn’t it?! However there are things we probably shouldn’t try (giggling)! Fitness is not one of them 🙂 I am a precious white handed indoor kid and will always be one; however I am far from the box (Moscow) I grew up in and I can now climb again on the playground and if I fall and break my head again, I will laugh it out (if don’t die because of the blood lose lol) and try it again tomorrow.
I AM scared of falling down or breaking my arm or a leg or whatever injury I can potentially get when climbing, running,cycling or lifting weights even. I am absolutely petrified by the thought of an injury. However the longer you hide in the box the more scared you will be. This is why I decided to try things out with more or less success here and there 🙂
These Fun Runs I mentioned earlier are really for good if you just want to test the waters. If you are really not sure how fit you are but you are ready to find out, get a shorter track or challenge yourself and go for the longer one. Now, I found out that 10 km is okay distance! I found out for myself that I can do it in okay time most likely getting a tiny injury but still going okay. I found out that most people can run / jog 10 km and don’t struggle too much with. However, 5 km is just as good if you want to have fun!
I have approached running with obstacles in the mud in the middle of nowhere when its hot, sweaty and dirty. Now, remember that I am the white handed girl? Well, we don’t do dirty 🙂 (giggling) This is why I just HAD to do it! I must say it was fun but in smaller doses. Everyone finds their own limit & type of fun.
Along my running way I met many very different people. I concluded that “fitness freaks” (sorry, this is how I’ve noticed general public call healthy people so I am going to use for now) are very different as well. I’ve met many people who care for results and need to be better than others. I also met people who care for fun and love the social aspect of running (or whatever sport) and I met people who are testing the waters and mortified and scared because others are so good, so strong and we all need to be better. Well,whatever type you are, it is only in your head which pushes you to be whatever kind of person you chose to be.
I personally admire fitness athletes and enthusiasts because of their devotion and skills but there is something wrong with it for me. I am very diverse, if you want. I don’t devote my entire life to running or gyming (or any other sport) and I think I cannot excel in it without bringing my full attention. I have so many other areas of interest I want to succeed in. What I am trying to say, do not compare yourself to others! There is no a single human identical to other. Do YOUR best, not imaginary very good or their good.
I caught myself f thinking (multiple times) I am not good enough here and there. I must admit it is very easy to fall into this trap. Many people think they are too fat or too thin or too dumb or too slow or too weak… These people are wasting time trying to figure out what they are bad at. However what are you good at? Most importantly, how do you know you are too fat or too thin or too slow? Where is the benchmark? In your head! So make sure it is yours, not someone else’s.
I have seen many people punishing themselves for not being good enough. I saw myself punishing me for having white hands. I am still not fully happy with not being able to hold on to the bar without crying. However if I really like crabbing onto this bar I will be coming back and one day I promise you I won’t feel this pain. I am sure it applies to anyone!
Oh, and definitely there is nothing wrong with a little bit of competition. If you are pushing yourself to someone’s benchmark, go for it. However if it ruins your life, is it really worth it?
A little note on the side: my blah blah blah applies to anything. Fitness does not have to be your passion. It just happened to be mine. I encourage everyone to share their passion because by saying things out loud we often change them.