BARBELL REVELATIONS #2 by Paluna Santamaria

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BARBELL REVELATIONS #2 by Paluna Santamaria


Barbell revelations are not always technique related aha moments. They happen when you are truly in the moment. They come as words, phrases, feelings, sometimes as lack of thought or feeling. You simply get a sense of unexplainable clarity.

I’ve been away. Away from home. Away from my gym. Away from my boyfriend. Away from my friends.

Traveling is great for the mind and the spirit. It forces you to adapt and grow in ways you could never do otherwise.

Traveling as a barbell athlete presents a whole other spectrum of challenges. Where do you train? Where do you eat? How much will you sleep?

At home, I wake up no later than 5:30am most days to either train clients or work on projects. Sometimes I fit in training in between clients so my sessions are broken into 1hr sessions. I’m the happiest when I can fit in 3hrs in a row.
I love my routine. I work when I want, train when I want, eat when I want and what I want. Sleep, rest and repeat it all over again the following day.

I’m currently in Mexico City visiting family for a month and while spending time with loved ones is great. I’ve come to realize I’m very used to being alone. I moved out when I was 18 years old and never went back. My boyfriend is the easiest person on earth to live with. I never feel suffocated or overwhelmed. We share many passions and goals and we understand the work it takes to get there so we don’t get in each other’s way. We support each other.

My second week here I was feeling sad, frustrated, short tempered and couldn’t figure out why.

There is a tiny gym across the street I went to. It’s full of machines, mostly for arms. No squat racks, barely any room to walk around.
The first few days I was happy to be able to do something: deadlifts, pull-ups and push-ups were my main routine. I was usually out of there in an hour, sometimes less. I even got on a treadmill twice. Me, on a treadmill!! Every session was a lesson in gratitude. “Be thankful you can move” or “At least you can dead-lift,” I would tell myself. This internal dialogue would go on before, during and after each session.

One day in the middle of my deadlift set, the barbell revelation hit me: it’s not “working out” that makes me happy. It’s training. It’s the knowing I’m working on something and that I’m going somewhere.
I’ve chosen a sport that requires certain equipment, a very specific way of training and a big commitment to this lifestyle.

I have a coach, which I respect deeply and even though I don’t train with him in person I am committed to my program. I feel that not following the program is disrespecting the hard work he has put into developing it.

I was letting my coach down. I was letting myself down so I was sad.
This may sound dramatic to some but this is who I am. As a coach myself I understand the other side. I know a coach who cares spends a lot of time thinking about their clients and how to support their journey. Clients become your friends, your family. A family united by the barbell.

I found a CrossFit box I could join 9 days after I had been doing what I could at that little gym across the street. After loosing so many days of my program and beating myself up for it, I decided to change my mindset: I will train hard and consistently but I will put my program on hold (I was on week 9) and will start from week 1 upon my return. Why? Because I want to give it an honest try. I’m excited to see where it will take me so this month even though I’m still training 6 days a week it’s still a vacation from my usual routine.

To me this is what life is about. Embrace every situation with open arms but don’t conform. Fight for what you believe in and always ask yourself: can I do better than this?


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