Applying Linear Progression to Life
If you are familiar with the Starting Strength program you understand that part of the basis for their program is using linear progression to help you get strong. Essentially, that means that each time you lift your workout weight you add a little more weight to the bar from workout to workout… typically 5 lbs.
I was strength training for almost 18 months when my eating disorder kicked up with a vengeance. I was separated from my husband who had been diagnosed with PTSD the year before and at the time seemed to be in a darker place than he was previous. I was living as a single mom and trying to come to terms with what looked like would be a failed marriage. My heart was broken into a million tiny pieces. Life was not turning out like I expected, and I was exhausted. Beyond exhausted.
It’s funny because I look back at that time and am so incredibly grateful for the life I have and the lessons I have learned.
During that time though, I felt like I was barely functioning. It took every ounce of me to clean the kitchen or do a load of laundry. I was blessed that it was the beginning of summer, so I did not have the added responsibilities of teaching to manage. I knew the level that I was functioning at was not my norm and it was not how I wanted to live my life. I had to get a grip and I needed to do it quickly!
One thing that remained consistent is that I kept lifting. Some days barely getting the bar up. I kept going back even though the light weight felt so incredibly heavy because I knew I was getting something from it. Something more than just physical strength. One day, it occurred to me that I could take the idea of linear progression, of slowly adding a little weight to my daily tasks.
The first day, I wrote down a list of three tasks I wanted to complete. It took longer than it should have to complete the first task, but I got it done. Then prayed and fell asleep. I woke up and completed the second task, prayed and fell asleep. And, finally completed the third task. Each day for several days I added one more task to the list and continued the ritual of completing the task, prayer, and rest. Some days I hit a wall just like I do in my lifting, but soon I was closer to my normal level of functioning.
It was not a huge shift or revelation, just a simple reminder of one way to approach managing all the tasks that I needed to complete during the day without becoming completely overwhelmed and shutting down during a difficult time. And every once in a while, I still pull from this same concept.
If you are struggling or know someone who is, I encourage you to look for ways in your own life, things that you are already doing that could be applied to different facets of your life to help you balance the load. Life may not always be sunshine and rainbows, but when you allow yourself time to slowly build up your strength there can be sunshine and rainbows in every day!
Have a beautiful day ya’ll!