More than just a physical workout

Today was my second day as a member of this CrossFit gym. My friend and I – we signed up together – have schedules that don’t align for workouts today and tomorrow, so we’re going to separate classes on both days, as will be the case going forward, whenever our schedules don’t align (that is, we both must and will go on the same day, at least three days a week, just not always at the same time… sure, there will be times where this doesn’t work out, but it is our strong intention to stick with it as absolutely best as is possible). Therefore, I went to the midday class on my own today. It was hot out, in the eighties, and I was tired… I had helped this same friend put together her new television stand and television last night after our late dinner together after class, and then I had to be up rather early this morning. Plus, of course, I had done the actual workout yesterday evening in the first place, and I was still a bit sore from the test class we’d done on Thursday evening. Altogether, I was hot, tired, and alone on my own. But I was there, and I knew it was exactly where I wanted and needed to be – everything was perfect in this. I was even nervous, because I’m new at it and don’t quite know how things work at least half the time; I’d even said we felt like lost puppies the other evening, as we tried figuring out what was going on in the middle of the class. 😛 Anyway, continuing onward…

So, I’m there on my own. I also happen to be rather un-strong right now – not that I’m weak, but I’m nowhere near as strong as I have been much accustomed to being throughout my life. And I have a good amount of fat on my body that I want to go away. In fact, I have wanted it to go away for years, but it has, instead, increased ever so slowly these past few years or so, with the occasional drop of most of it, and then the returning slow increase. You see, I can’t ever stick with it… I always hit a point where I can’t stand the fat an low fitness level, and so I do something about it. Whenever I hit a certain level of fitness and fat reduction, I always end up stopping… not from exhaustion or annoyance or anything, but from a thought that comes up of, “That’s (good) enough for now,” with a hint of something like fear behind it.

I shall return to this thought after explaining more from the class today (that is, you will figure out its relevance in just a bit).

Pushing through the workout, doing all that I could, my body shaking throughout about half of the workout, due to the struggle, I found myself in almost constant tears. I methodically reassured myself (when I was alone on the running section each time) both inside my head and aloud, that this is perfect that I am here… I can’t do this, and that is why I am here… I am meant to be here… This is perfect… This is exactly where I belong… This is where I need to be right now… This is where I need to be… This is perfect…

Over and over again, I repeated the varying versions of the idea that I was exactly where I needed to be, while acknowledging that it was difficult to do the workout (without degrading in any way), all the while crying.

When I finished the last bit, I stayed lying on the bench for about thirty seconds or so, because the tears were so strong, my body was even convulsing with a few hearty sobs as I rested my arms on top of me in a sort of relaxed hug… I let it out, so I could let it go.

And then I wiped off my tears, got up, and started cleaning up everything that I had used, reminding myself that this is perfect.

I didn’t talk to anyone initially… just the bare minimum of how long it took me, and then nods to say that I was, in fact, okay… avoiding the part where I didn’t know what I even could say, let alone would say, if talking were required.

As I put away the last thing, the bar I had used, the girl (lady) I’d met at the beginning said something to me. I don’t remember if it was a question about the workout, or merely encouragement, but there eventually came a point at which I went ahead and shared a little with her. Taking it slowly, and eventually having the tears start pouring out (but not as badly as they could have been had I not taken it slowly), I told her how a lot was coming up for me in this… My having always been one of the top performers in almost any and every sport I did growing up and as a younger adult, and suddenly being on the other end of it all, I felt like the fat kid – this workout was hard for me in places that things had never before been hard for me… My life direction and style and goals having begun and finally done a sort of plunge into a drastically different direction, terrifying me ever so slightly but intensely… The regular stresses of life, combined with the raccoons and the fleas… and, most importantly and intensely, that I am actually taking on for real getting my body to the physical fitness level and look I so long to have.

This last one may not seem like much, but it is. I told her how I had kind of hit a point of being afraid of being a beautiful female body, and that I started to shy away from the idea, aiming for the less feminine versions of clothing and such. She (appropriately) asked if something happened to me, and (appropriately) acknowledged that it wasn’t that something had to have happened to me – she just wondered if any incident had played a role in that, since it so often does, especially for women.

And, surprisingly, – but also not surprisingly, since I’ve been working on being my true self and being self-expressed truly – I told her that Yeah, I kind of did. It wasn’t exactly the catalyst of it all, – I had already started feeling uncomfortable with being womanly and all. But it did act as a strong encouragement that I was right, and that it is bad to be womanly and sexy. I even shared a bit of details that were relevant, remaining comfortable and confident in myself the whole time.

I recently had a long and tough and beautiful conversation with my best friend about my own incident, and I completed what I needed through that conversation – whatever I needed addressed or said or acknowledge, happened, and my feeling of being trapped by the incident was, after years of avoidance and mental pain and struggle hiding in the back of my mind, finally disappeared… I could see it as something that happened, and was able to talk about it fully at last. I don’t mean each and every detail, of course, but the experience itself and anything that was particularly heavy on me suddenly lost their power and weight in my mind. And my recent efforts to find the kind of exercise I want to do, and then finding the right gym to do it once I’d found the exercise, all came out of this conversation I’d had with my best friend near the end of last year.

And today, all on my own, knowing fully that I am in this at least through September – already paid of through then, essentially – and that I am guaranteed spectacular results by then (especially since it usually only takes about three months to see massive results, anyway, here), was a somewhat terrifying experience and feeling. I’ve spent so long, so many years, convinced to my core that I must avoid these exact results I am not actively seeking. I must not become an object that might be desired sexually… But my recent experiences of wanting to be able (eventually, anyway) to have that experience of not only wanting to desire a man, but of wanting that man to desire me… now those already have been huge, and were formerly unthinkable… but now they actually have a chance to happen one day soon…, and that is so scary to the terrified girl I had grown so accustomed to being inside my head.

But I want this. And I can finally see clearly enough to believe that it truly is okay for me to want it. I want my partner in life to want me in every way, and vice versa…and physically is one of those ways. And I shared this all with her.

And then she shared about her own miserable incident… and how she struggled to get to where she is today – happily married and comfortable with her body and going after amazing fitness, even showing off her body in her workout clothes (not inappropriately at all, but quite flatteringly and tastefully, I dare say) – and that she agrees with me that this is the perfect place for me to be with this. The community is wonderful at this gym – yes, there are physical beasts of men, but not one of them is anything less than a wonderful human being. And, by the way, ‘I didn’t dress like this when I first started coming here,’ she told me, smiling knowingly as I smiled and chuckled in my loose and somewhat baggy t-shirt and shorts. A hint of her midriff was showing, her top was sleeveless, and her shorts were mid-thigh and exercise style snug… it looked great and showed off her muscles modestly, but well.

As we were leaving, she told me that she regularly attends that class, clearly encouraging me to return and to see her as a willing friend of sorts. It felt good. And in a way I’m not sure I’ve known in quite a long time.

Post-a-day 2019

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The lonesome night with myself

What do you do when, at the end of the day, all you want to do is talk, chat, hang happily with someone you love and who loves you, and you have no one with you?  When you consider calling any of your beloved friends or family members with whom you usually chat on the phone, but recall that that is usually during the daytime on weekdays, when their own partners in life are off at work, and so they are actually home with their own beloved individual right now, and they really don’t have the time and space to talk with you, nor do they really want to chat with you right now, because, well, they want to spend the time with each of their special persons…, what do you do?

I suppose I could just feel sorry for myself, consider myself pathetic for having to feel sorry for myself in the first place, for not having a someone with whom to talk, for not having someone who wants to talk (at least, not yet).  I think that might even be my inclination at present and on most similar occasions.  As soon as I put the idea into words, of course, it sounds absurd and silly and totally not worth it (though still, somehow, enticing – at least that way, I get to be worth feeling sorry for, which would suggest that people would care about me, because I was suffering in some way).  However, that clearly does not serve my highest self, the best version of myself, but only the lowly sad, and pathetic version that exists mostly in my head from time to time.

Therefore comes the question of Well, what does serve my highest self?

Hmm… I’m not sure.  I’ve considered walking to the store to buy that gelato I want…, but then I feel almost guilty at wanting to get gelato when I want to be good to my body and to have good foods only on my list of intake… I mean, I know I ate that chocolate stuff earlier – which is silly, because I don’t even like chocolate all that much – and I’ll eat likely more tomorrow, but, by not getting the gelato, that is one thing fewer to add to the list of non-healthy things I consume.  Surprisingly, though, gelato gives me a sense of joy and happiness, which I think could be called positive.  And, my excuse about its being dairy and therefore worth avoiding, might as well go out the window, because I consume dairy almost every day anyway – it’s kind of like the candy thing all over again: one thing fewer on the non-healthy things (read dairy) I consume list.  Also, it is more money that I would be spending, and it would be for an ‘unnecessary luxury’, so to speak.

Those are my anti- arguments.

Now the pro arguments:

I like gelato and am happy eating a few bites of it in the evening.  I would have to walk to the store to get it – walking is good for me.  I need another few thousands steps for today, anyway.  It is only a few dollars, and it lasts days, if not weeks, sometimes.  I feel guilty considering having it.  While this one seems like it would be an anti- stance, it is a pro, because I have this feeling that guilt is not necessarily something beneficial for us (if ever)… on way of saying this that I have heard could be that guilt spawns from the devil…, though that isn’t quite how I think of it…  I mostly see it as something worth considering, whenever I feel guilt about something.  Oftentimes, I find that my feeling of guilt has to do with something that happened way back when in my life, when I was super young and super impressionable and didn’t know how to evaluate a specific situation on my own yet, and so took whatever it feels like I was told as though it were hard truth and the only way.  Kind of like how eating candy will rot your teeth out.  I heard it and believed it as a kid.  Now, I understand how sugars work on the teeth and mouth, and I actually have extremely good oral health, for which the dental hygienist always compliments me.  Yet, I still eat sweets.   Though, that isn’t the source of my feeling of guilt for tonight…

I think, actually, my feeling comes from the idea that ‘only fat people sit at home alone, eating ice cream.’  So, the little kid in me, who is terrified of being one of those people who don’t care about their own health, and how dare they be so mean to their bodies, and how could they possibly not play sports all the time?…… the emotions and thinking from that point in my life have me terrified to go get gelato – they peremptorily have me feel guilty about eating the gelato, because I’m not at my ideal fitness level right now.  All of this, just because I find myself wanting gelato… I hadn’t even really considered going to get it yet, when the feeling of guilt had already taken its hold…

Hmm… very interesting… very interesting, indeed.

Post-a-day 2019

Winter, Wait – Weight, Workout

Tonight, at the gym, I did a workout class that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now.  It was painfully hard, that class.  And not necessarily because the workout is a difficult one.  Yes, the workout was difficult and fast and rather nonstop.  But the hardest part of it was how my usual self could have kept up with it.

Right now, I don’t even want to weigh myself, because I know I haven’t been gaining any muscles lately, and I have definitely gained a whole extra layer of fat throughout a good portion of my body.  I have been through various weights, for sure, but I typically have a point which I never pass.  I am almost certain that I am past that point now.  I have never had the peeping of my belly be an issue before, because my belly has always looked nice.  Even when it had extra weight to it, it was a nice, smooth, ladylike curve.  It suggested a bit of plumpness to it, but still looked healthy.  Today, when I raised my arms in a stretch at work, I was saddened by the sight.  No longer do I have the cute belly peeping beneath the raised shirt.  It isn’t terrible, of course, but cute and feminine are no longer ways to describe it.

So, in this workout class this evening, as I was in a tremendous physical and mental struggle, tears were brimming at one point.  I initially thought to fight them off.  But then I realized that that was exactly why I was here in the class – because this kind of thing is hard for me right now, and I want to deal with that.  So, I let some tears have their say, and I put extra effort into what I was doing.  I was lame and slow for a lot of it, I couldn’t even do one of the exercises (going to talk with the teacher about how it’s meant to be done, and see what stretching would help me best to do the exercise), and, by the end, my whole face was flushed and I could barely breathe or move.  But I stuck it out.  I even stayed for the relaxation yoga class afterward, even though I was exhausted (mentally, physically, and sleep-wise) and ready for bed.

I even talked with one of the girls afterward about my wanting to come more often to the gym, as well as my struggle to do so (being depressed really does suck).  Today’s been a sort of up day for me, and I’m hoping to have a similar one tomorrow, so that I might start myself on a habit with going to the gym on days when I’m not already working just down the street from it.

Peace and Love, and Goodnight, folks.  😀

 

Post-a-day 2017