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I was fake, so fake. As fake as press on nails. Only I knew this, those I led, didn’t.

“Prove them wrong! Show them what you are made of! Show all your naysayers how wrong they are about you!” He yelled.

The more he yelled, the harder I pushed myself. I could feel my legs shaking, an earthquake in my leggings, muscle failure was setting in, but I refused to quit. I was going to push myself to the very last rep. He was the fitness trainer and I was the trainee. Come hell or high water, I was going to push to the end. No matter what. I had to prove those who broke me down how strong I was! I didn’t deserve to be treated this way, I deserved better, I would show them! This was my driving force, this was my motivation, this is where my discipline came from.

“The best form of revenge is self-improvement.” I lived by these words until they became the very poison that eroded me from within. I had successfully created a mask of being confident, of being “happy”, of having it all! It was all fake. Within me, I was seething rage, but no one saw it.

I channeled this rage into my workouts, used it to focus on my nutrition. Despite using negative methods, I saw success. Little did I know this success was temporary. Soon enough, my success was shared on many platforms and people started following me wanting to learn from me. But I didn’t know the impact this would have on me.

What I had was fake, I was fake because the basis of everything I was, was pure anger, hurt and even hatred at times. When your foundation is based on negativity, you are bound to fail. This is why I failed to lead those who followed me to the success that they perceived I had and I failed at it because they didn’t have the anger, hurt and hatred that I carried within me. They had love which I lacked. Where there is love, fear, anger, hatred and hurt cannot exist.

What I felt was driven by fear - if I wasn’t angry, if I didn’t tap into the hurt and the anger then I would have to forgive and forgiveness, to me, meant letting the other person off the hook. Absolving them for hurting me.

The only way to shatter the fake and bring out the real me was to walk away from what I had built. So many people ask me why I closed my fitness group. This is why. The basis of what I did, the very core of me was fake, built on resentment, anger, hurt, frustration and even the desire for revenge. To show those who had put me down that I wasn’t the loser they made me out to be. These feelings drained me and the more I poured into my group, the emptier I felt only because I couldn’t make my followers taint the love that they had in their hearts with the ugly feelings that existed within me. Even today, I cringe when people tell me what a supportive and great group I ran. I cringe because I remember the poison I was filled with, poison no one else saw.

This poison drained me, I was beyond exhausted, my tank was empty. Put quite simply, like fine crystal wine glasses falling off a shelf, I fell from what I thought was grace and I was shattered to pieces.

In falling apart, I came together in a more beautiful way. I forgave - how? I will save this for another post. Now that I have come to this realisation, I still won’t go back to running a fitness group because, through this turmoil, I learnt that this isn’t my calling. It isn’t my life’s purpose.

What I did learn was probably the most profound lesson one can learn through experience - what you feel within you will mirror back to you through experiences in your external environment. So the next time you question your external environment, your experiences, ask yourself what you feel within you, for yourself, for those around you, for humanity, for the environment, for every living being and creature on this earth. If it isn’t pure love, then this is an area that requires work and healing. When you heal, the impossible becomes possible.

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