Stress feels less stressful when you have energy for it!

Most of you who follow me on facebook are familiar with my startup posts and photos showing the changes that are happening over here. It is indeed busy times, and it will most likely get even busier!

Even though busy can cause a lot of stress, I'm amazed at how calm and collected I feel. I'm happier than I have been in a very, very long time, I now have a "purpose" and there's never a boring minute! Stress is something I've had a lot of issues with in the past, starting at the age of 17 when I got my first epileptic seizure, a grand mal in the middle of class. I woke up with all my class mates looking down at me, not knowing what the hell was going on. After that I fell behind in school and my intense relationship with Stress started. Before that it was as if I was unable to stress and that was pretty nice. I've had to work hard to get were I am today. But I'm sure I still have a long way to go!

After upper secondary school I had a year off, like many others, and was confused about what to do with my life. Torn between decision on whether to stay or leave home/Sweden, which career to chose and so on. I fled to Stockholm to work as a photo assistant for no money, and as you can probably imagine it was tough. So I experienced stress with money. I had to give up what I thought was my dream and come back home, but when it was least expected, I got an offer to start at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland. I went in a hearbeat!

Once again stress caught up with me. Stress from being so far away from home, from living with less than ideal people (halls ughhh), from the epilepsy and of course, being an A student (a pressure that I myself forced on myself). I've always had a fear of failure in things that really mean a lot to me, so when I, in my last year of Uni, crashed into the wall and burned out, that was pretty much the worst thing that could have ever happened to me.

But you know what? It wasn't that bad. The worst thing that could happen wasn't bad at all. And people didn't even care. I cared, but once I let it go and said, "screw this, it doesn't mean that much to me" I started the journey towards being able to control stress and stressors around me. Things can only stress me if I let myself care about them too much. And when I care about things I can't control, it is a lot harder, but I CAN let it go.

One thing that really made me make up my mind about not letting stress control me, is the fact that 100% of my epilepsy seizures seems to be triggered by stress.

At this point in my life I have more important things to do in a shorter period of time than ever before, but I have a feeling of harmony in me, as if it's just the perfect balance between surrounding myself with stressors I have control over and being able to use the support I have around me. That is something that isn't always easy, but makes us grow as people. We all have people in our lives that wants us to succeed, so don't be afraid of asking them for help when things are too much. Personally I've managed to "plan for stress" pretty well, as in I prepare before stress comes so that it becomes a non-issue, just a passing feeling rather than an apathy sinking it's claws in me. This fits well; if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

My advice to anyone that is experiencing the same types of issues;

Map your stressors

Make a list of things you think about, big and small. Collects thoughts over a few days, and when you feel "empty", sort them into categories. Must do's (or I'll be bancrupt/die/fail etc), can't control/out of my hands (family members living situations etc), things that can wait, things I want to do (because you have to do some things that you really like :]) and should do's.

Avoid your stressors

When you've mapped your thoughts a few times you'll see quite clearly what it is that stresses you out the most, and which things aren't worth stressing over. This means you will be able to plan better for things that you know will most likely stress you out. Things that you can't ignore that causes stress can be money, time, family and a whole bag of other things, but if you can point to a certain thing that stresses you, you're in control because you can now form a strategy to avoid the stress element. For example, if you experience monetary stress, you can make budgets, pay off the important stuff first, live a bit cheaper for a bit etc. If your income is just to low, then maybe you strategy should be to find a new job that pay you better. But it is always about priorities.

Face the remaining stressors head on

Once you've managed to map your stress, and eliminate the most unnecessary stress in your life you are ready to face your remaining angst, and yes, you will have the energy for it. Because when you remove all the unnecessary stress and let positive things replace it, magical things happen. You have more energy for those things that are actually STRESSY for real! Deadlines, family issues, money, jobs etc. Stress feels less stressful when you have energy for it :]

New times

It's been a year since Mimmi's passing and I've passed through a lot on the way here. I can't believe it's been a full year already. I miss her terribly still, but it is getting easier. I think about all the good times we've had and it puts a smile on my face...

After her passing I had the darkest time in my life and didn't even look forward to my US trip to meet the women in my female lifters network, Barbelles. I thought about cancelling because I just couldn't see the purpose of going. But I dragged my ass there in the end, and I'm very glad I did. Ever since then things have been moving forward, and in a quick pace at that!

 
 

I stayed in the US for five weeks, spending time with amazing people that lifted me, helped me get out of the hole I dug for myself. Those five weeks were the best thing that could have happened to me! I did my first strongwoman competition in the US, I did a bikini competition at Muscle Beach with my favorite doctor Rachael Keilin, I met several of my clients IRL, we had Barbelles meetups in Long Beach (Metroflex), Las Vegas and San Fransisco. I got to go to SIGGRAPH again and meet my nerd friends :]

After the US I realized how much of an impact Barbelles had done on the women in the network, and I found a new purpose. I started planning for starting up a company. But the real kicker was in December, when I called the owners of my dream facility (industrial place that would look great as a gym) and asked about rental and costs. Not impossible it seemed, so I kept doing new budgets, look at equipment, research the gym business and came to the conclusion that it wouldn't be impossible. So, on February 14 I started my own company, Massive Performance, and I am opening my own gym. It will take a few months yet, but it will be the most beautiful gym ever. I've never felt so passionate about something in my whole life.

I'm going to start writing about the whole process on a website dedicated to it, link coming soon, and let anyone who's interested follow along on my journey, through good and bad!

 
 

Regarding the loss of my Best Friend

It’s been two months and two weeks since the worst day of my life. A day that wasn’t supposed to have come in many, many years, but it did. I found out that my best friend had died. Gone.

It crushed my world and I suppose I thought it would get easier. But here I am still, crying my eyes out day after day. Thinking what it would be like if she was still here. If I could hug her just one more time, or hear her laugh or just sit together in the same room.

There are no words for what it feels like to lose your best friend. No matter what I

write or say I will never be able to express how this feels and what’s going on in my head. Just like someone who never met her would never understand how amazing she was even if I told them. Some people have to be experienced and she was certainly one of those people.

Even if I know I have lots of people who love and support me in what I do, I feel alone. I feel so alone it’s as if my heart is going to fall out. I feel like my world is shattered and I’m picking up pieces in the dark. There’s nothing to stand on, I’m in a black vertical tunnel and if I lose contact with its walls I’ll lose myself and fall down that bottomless pit.

I’m scared.

Where am I supposed to go from here? It’s as if one half of me disappeared and now I’ll ever only be half a person. I’m torn between a myriad of feelings. I’m sad, desperate, frustrated, lonely, empty, cold, small and insecure. But I also have moments of great gratitude, happiness and completeness when thinking of memories we’ve made together. The down time is a lot denser than the up time, and I feel like Bilbo just before he leaves the ring to Frodo.

"I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread."

I wish there was some sort of guidance, a way to make this less painful. This is the hardest test my mind has ever had to go through. There have been days when I’ve thought that life isn’t worth living anymore. But I find something, because I have to find something. They say strongwoman-training takes a strong mind, but in my world there is no training or physical test that can ever match what I now have to face every day.

I get afraid to lose someone else I love. The first two weeks after I found out I was so scared something would happen to my family. That I would end up alone with no one. I’ve come to realize just how precious and rare life really is. I just hope that one day I’ll be able to find friendship as true and powerful as the one I had with Mimmi. And I hope that you will too.

Follow me on Facebook :]

In case you don't already. It's slightly more active than the blog :] Not sure why I don't update more frequently here, but I like my posts to be longer and contain something interesting rather than just babbling about nothing to no end like a lot of other people tend to do. I keep my babbling to facebook ;] I also post more pictures there!

Sick but high in spirits!

I've been sick this whole week, which really, really sucks... I was going to start my new program on Monday (2x3 trap bar DLs, go heavy!), but woke up with some sort of evil cold or something. I stayed home from work Monday and Tuesday, then went in to work at the gym on Wednesday… And got the assignment of cleaning all the dumbbells (approximately 1900kg). Needless to say this wasn’t an ideal day to spend an unwell day. So got to stay home today as well... But, this evening I’ll be working at the other gym, and as I’ve got three clients I really can’t stay home… Been looking forward to it for a whole week!

 

Last Thursday there was a girl who came in for an intro session and wanted to know more about training for strength (lucky she came in to the right instructor). She was a former gymnast and had been doing several sports on a decent level. Only 16 years old, but with great body control and great will to learn. This is the ideal client. I’ve written her a program now and I’ll stick with her to see how things are going. She did so well in her first session, I don’t think technique or motivation will be a problem. After booking her next session two of her friends came up to me to book the same intro session for this week. I love it when people have the right attitude! BAM!

Hopefully some caffeine and naproxen can sort this damn headache out…

Also, I’m working on making an intro program for Breeze Fitness as well (for the under 15s). I haven’t worked much with teenagers before so I’m really looking forward to learn more and make myself useful ;]

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January Update!

Hello blog readers!

So I’ve been absent for a while again… I’ve enjoyed both Christmas and New Years, during which I had a whole week to myself for de-stress and catch up time. I’m so glad I did, because so far January has been a really busy month!

The first week on January I started two internships – at a gym called Breeze Fitness (amazeballs – learned loads already!), and at a EU organization that gives money to rural projects. It’s great to learn more about the wonderful world of training, and the things I learn at the EU place is also invaluable, for when the time comes for me to start my own projects (or company?), I’ll know all about how to do it! Actually, I already started. So much going on now I can hardly keep my head straight.

The first project that I’ve been working on for a looong time is finally ready to get to work. Actually it’s been done for quite some time, but now I’m ready for some REAL work! It will take off! So if you have a couple of free minutes – please check out www.strongmanevents.com and let me know what you think! You can also register as a member, like on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Every little helps, right ;]

Second big thing is a new web based projects – won’t tell you much more right now, but I think it will fill a space that really needs filling… And I’ll let you know when I get into production! So excited about this one!

Third project is a summer camp that I’m already planning for aspiring strongwomen! For it to qualify for the project support I’m applying for I’ll need to aim it towards women under 25, but I’m sure I’ll be able to fit a few older girls in as well ;] Best thing about interning at that organization is that I get to plan my own project too on interning time. How awesome is that?

I’m also in the process of building a few other websites, and I really hope they turn out awesome. My naprapath has a lot of work to get to on Tuesday after all this computer time…

I'm happy to say my motivation seems to have returned :] Wonder if it might have something to do with the insane amount of D3 I'm consuming.... Here's some pics from my January training!

The girls of Sjobo Strongman!

The girls of Sjobo Strongman!

This is my new Bosu ball ;] I use it for situps..........

This is my new Bosu ball ;] I use it for situps..........

...............and unloaded skwatz.....don't want to get too bulky ;]

...............and unloaded skwatz.....don't want to get too bulky ;]

Glad to say we have some new girls in training :]

Glad to say we have some new girls in training :]

And this is me in my current state! Look how bulky I am ;] All manly and stuff! :D

And this is me in my current state! Look how bulky I am ;] All manly and stuff! :D