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Training with Anxiety Part 2 - It's good to talk


A few weeks ago I wrote about training with anxiety and how I had been dealing with it. Three weeks in to the dis-ease, I was seriously struggling and it had started to affect my life and training in a way that it nothing like it had before.

I’m not one to shy away from hard training. I train about 4 times per week in jiu jitsu, sometimes 5 or 6, and coach 2 women’s classes per week, one to one’s as well as my kickboxing classes and holding down a full time job by running my own company.

Time is usually of the essence with me, and my day works by sticking to a schedule and being reliable. I love being in control of my actions, my life and planning each day.

I have a dog, so she gets walked every day for an hour, comes to work with me, the gym and when I coach privates. My life is pretty full on, but I love it that way. It’s full and each day is quite different, but my routine of coaching and work is always the same.

My anxiety struggle started about 4 weeks ago. It came out of the blue and I couldn’t put my finger on what was causing it. The tight chest, sick feeling to my stomach, light headed feelings passed. Then about 6 days later, those feelings emerged again. I got advice from friends to change my posture, stand tall and breath. It was working and the sickness was subsiding.

I missed a few jiu jitsu classes that week as it became more frequent and every day I was struggling. The sickness and fuzzy head feeling had totally wiped me out. All I wanted to do was sleep. I had classes to coach, privates to teach and a business to run.

My friend blends homeopathic oils, and she sent me one for anxiety. I followed her instructions, and straight away I felt grounded and back in control of my feelings.

Last Monday, I had waves of sickness throughout the day. I had started to use the mind coach who helps me through the lead up to jiu jitsu competitions and day by day his help was making me feel better. Monday night I trained jiu jitsu and my ever so awesome training partner completely understood when I had to stop, take a moment and breathe.

The next day I went to the gym to start on my strength and conditioning program. As I walked in, my head started to fuzz and the sickness returned. I was open with one of the coaches and said that I felt anxious. He sat me down and told me to be calm, breathe and take a moment to feel present. The sickness subsided and I was able to continue with my training.

On Wednesday’s I coach my friend in a private jiu jitsu session. We got on to the subject of our posture in jiu jitsu, and I opened up to her that I had been struggling quite frequently with anxiety, and keeping my posture strong and tall was helping me. She told me that I didn’t seem the type and that I come across as being so together. The thing is, I am, but there is an issue in my life that I have no control over, so when I think about it, or speak to the people dealing with the issue, the anxiety creeps in.

After the session I trained in No Gi. The class was great, and I stayed for the sparring class after. I’m always the smallest, and usually the only female. I felt vunerable sparring with the guys. I carried on, pushed through and faced my fears of getting squashed, by my male training partners.

Day 4 in to being coached by Rob Dawson of Mind Sport Consulting, I felt like I was gaining control of my feelings once again. I had spoken to a number of people and opened up to the fact that this strong woman who is control of her life, has been struggling, but ever person who I have spoken to has experienced anxiety in some form or another.

Since Thursday of last week, I haven’t had any sickness pangs from anxiety. I trained at the gym on Friday after a phone call that should have made anxiety grab me and take me down. But I took hold and turned it around in to being able to control the situation. I haven’t felt anxiety since.

That night I went to my friends yoga workshop and we breathed, said mantra’s and meditated.

I don’t doubt that anxiety will return, but when it does, I think I know how to control it. I’m not a controlling person when it comes to others, but I am with myself. I’m the main controller of my business, my dog, my home, my training, my kickboxing club, my life and my feelings.

Through the really tough days, my mind was tired and I physically couldn’t face training jiu jitsu. The sickness was overwhelming. Through the days where waves of sickness would come and go, I pushed through and forced myself to the gym. Each time I felt better for it and as though I had achieved a goal. I’m hoping that anxiety keeps at bay and I can return to a full on return to training for my up coming tournaments. I don’t like feeling weak, lazy and like a failure by not training. I know I’m not those things, but it certainly makes me feel that way.

If anyone else who reads this is struggling with anxiety, I suggest talking to people. Be honest and open. It’s amazing how many people it affects. Those who look the most together, a bit like myself, aren’t as together as we seem. EVERYONE struggles!

By talking, sharing experiences, helping with breathing, calming the mind and just being a good friend by being patient.

We are all human, and by helping one another, we can make difficulties a lot easier.