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5 Ways to feel good about your Steel Mace Training

by | Mar 5, 2021

Let me be honest with you, I am not always all cheery about my training or even my life and I have come to understand that it’s okay to feel this way (I can hear Demi Lovato singing “It’s okay not to be okay”). We all go through our emotions when it comes to our fitness AND with all the extra stress we are all having right now it can impact your flow. Today I am going to share some personal tips on how to fight your daily battles and your inner demons so that you can feel good about steel mace training again (if you are feeling off).

1.Get off social media for a few days

WTF does social media have anything to do with my training? Well, what else do most of us do for #steelmace? Our community, especially during COVID, is where? ONLINE!

Now let me be real with you, this one is hard for me because as a coach and founder of steelmacewarrior.com” I can’t just stop”. At least that is what I tell myself! Isn’t that some shit? I’ve had times where I wanna just shut it all down FOREVER. Not because I don’t love what I do but because It can be a lot for one person, it can get exhausting and I can start to feel burnt out from all the social media I have to do. No one ever really knows how much effort you do in the back end. Now, I ain’t complaining, I love what I do at the end of the day and this will be different for you, of course. But if you ever feel exhausted and burnt out that’s a sign to put your phone down or to turn it off for a few days to gain back some serious energy.

Another thing that can happen with social media is COMPARISON. Yup, you’ve heard this one before right? But seriously, how often do you go online and watch someone flowing? As you’re doing this are you comparing yourself? Are you trying to be that person? Are you picking up a mace more than you should  “to keep up”? Yeah, this can make you feel exhausted and burnt out too. My advice, turn off the phone. Take a few days to just be yourself and to train with no outside comparisons, inner judgment, or influence. Always choose to be you even if it’s not where you want to be right now. There is no one like you and with time and good practice, there’s nothing you won’t be able to do! And just to be clear I am not saying to go it alone. I do believe in getting proper mace education, just make time for you and your mace when you feel like you need it.

2. Stop Overtraining

This one happens way too often. You train and train cause you want to get somewhere. You got some goal, you got some target you really wanna hit. Shit, maybe you’re just hella excited to pick up a mace! But see, the speed that you go in isn’t important. When we overtrain we are trying to get somewhere quickly. We might even take shortcuts on the way and doing so you might even miss some important spots. Just know that the speed and the shortcuts you make come with downfalls such as injuries, low-energy (exhaustion), and even mild or severe anxiety/depression. Do you know what’s even worse? Overtraining with no humor. If you are taking steel mace training too seriously I believe that it will suck out the F-U-N or true benefits out of the equation. 

Now overtraining is different for everyone. We all know what we can handle and when we start feeling “NOT SO GOOD” – mentally and physically. You know yourself better than anyone else. And if you really wanna get down to specifics hire a coach to help you figure that out.

Take the time to rest and recover in whatever way or form that keeps you inspired to keep going. It doesn’t necessarily need to be yoga or foam rolling, it might be a light walk or chi gong. I don’t know! As I said before, just do you and I promise you will get to where you wanna be. Just keep in mind that whatever you love will take time and it’s better to take things slow.

3. Punch Imposter Syndrome in the FACE

Honestly, by the subtitle of this section, you are probably like, hmm do I want advice from someone who seems to be pretty angry? Well yeah, I am angry over the fact that I battle with Imposter Syndrome like a mothafucker, and choosing to not take part in talking about it with others is a choice I make often. But for today, let’s chat about it!

What is Imposter Syndrome? Well here is a definition from an HRB.ORG article:

“Imposter syndrome is loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. It disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments. Many questions whether they’re deserving of accolades”

https://hbr.org/2021/02/stop-telling-women-they-have-imposter-syndrome#:~:text=Imposter%20syndrome%20is%20loosely%20defined,they’re%20deserving%20of%20accolades.

Do you ever feel like an imposter when you pick up a steel mace? I know I did when I first picked up a mace and you would think that it would go away by now with all the training, knowledge, and coaching I have done but it hasn’t for me. 

I remember meeting up with a local MMA gym in my city and I went to go team up with the owner. I took the time to show them how to use the mace and we shot some video for a workshop we were planning (FYI it never happened but I still feel grateful for that moment). I remember looking at her after the session saying “I know I am not as good as so and so. There are people far better than me.” She said, “I would never know that. I don’t even know who you’re talking about but you make it look easy and I can tell you know what you are doing. That is all that matters to me.” I will never forget this comment from her. It felt good to hear that and I don’t think she knows how much of an impact that made in my life.

Some say that Imposter Syndrome is seen in women more than men but I don’t agree with that statement. I don’t see why being a woman has anything to do with it. But I hope you know that if you battle with Imposter Syndrome, whether a man or woman, you are not alone. I could go on forever on this topic but for now, let me tell you how I deal with it (or punch it in the face):

  • Admit and recognize that you are not the only one with such feelings. A lot of people feel it, we just don’t talk about it. I hope that with me coming out with this, it gets you close to this recognition. 
  • You are allowed to fail, make mistakes, get shit wrong, have a day off, AND TO ASK FOR HELP. You won’t look stupid, I promise.
  • Reinforce those imposter thoughts! Make a new script for yourself. Whenever you feel those demons talking in your head – meditate, pray, talk to god, say your positive affirmation out loud, tell yourself you are a warrior! Whatever works for you but get that TRUE script about yourself in the forefront because being an imposter is a lie, a parasite in your mind,
  • Pick up your Steel Mace and train! Move your ass! It helps spark all those good feeling chemicals.

4. Do something else than Steel Mace Training or mix it up!

Lately, something I have been doing is putting the mace down. I know, you are probably like “What! How can you do that?”. But if you are feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated or bored with mace training I think it makes more than enough sense to mix things up or try something new. There is nothing wrong with that and it doesn’t mean you don’t love mace training.

 If you look at the photo attached to this article you can see me hiking with my primal flow wooden mace. I mixed it up! I’ve always dealt with depression growing up (even suicidal thoughts) and from time to time (even though I don’t show it or talk about it) I get hit hard with the blues. Taking a hike with some friends, getting some sun, breathing in fresh A.M. Air, and even putting down the 10lb steel mace to pick up a lightweight mace feels wonderful (at least to me).

I think we live in a world where everyone is trying to be tough, strong, with cut-up abs, or trying to be resilient all the time but I like to feel my feelings, I like to let go and I love to surrender as well. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t make you weak or less of a strong person to seek some spirituality, to seek peace and love instead.

So try something new, put the mace down or mix shit up with your mace! The important thing is to find what makes you feel good. Don’t get trapped or caught up in the world of perfection and earthly shit that won’t matter when you die. Cool

5. Face your Fears

All right, we made it to the last one! This one is about facing your fears. Another thing you should know is how terrified of heights I am. A few weeks ago my brother came over to help with my messed-up roof (it was about to rain). He asked me to climb a ladder and all I can think about was my fear of heights and how that made me feel. I was like “No, really I can see everything from here” while I was halfway up the ladder. He started laughing and gave me a hand to get up there with him. Let me say, I was shitting myself. Of course, nothing happened to me other than my brother laughing at me which I allowed (close to punching him though).

Well did you take a close look at the photo in this article? I am high in the mountains. I could see all of the city and highways from up there. I could also see the heights! And guess what? I was shitting my pants once again. When my partner took the photo I was like “hurry, hurry!” This is a moment we must take! And as scared as I was, I was truly facing my fears and happy to be there conquering the little things.  

Go face some fears! Do it a few times a month! You’ll be okay afterward and it will make you feel amazing. You’re probably like “Yeah, Victoria, let’s get back to mace training!” Well how about this, what have you been fearing with your steel mace training? This could be something that makes you feel stupid or scares you a bit! I dare you to face one steel mace training fear today! For example, I suck at pivots! I did it with Leo in person and I sucked! Of course, he didn’t say that but I am harder on myself than anyone else. Anyways! That is something I work on now. It’s a fear I had that could hold me back if I let it. So what are you going to choose to do today?

Victoria Islas is founder of Steel Mace Warrior, a blog and podcast dedicated to the art of steel mace training. She is also an ISSA Elite Trainer, Certified Steel Mace Trainer (by more than one system) and Nutrition Coach. Her mission is to share inspirational warrior stories and instructional material that that will make an impact in all areas of your life – body, mind and spirit. To awaken the warrior within you!

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