Late gym arrival today could not be avoided. I had to get lab work done for a medical checkup next week and the lab does not open until 7:30. Unfortunately I am not someone who can exercise on a completely empty, fasting stomach, so my only choices were to go immediately after getting blood drawn or wait until this evening to exercise. Since evenings seem worse to me with regard to distraction, I chose immediately after the lab.
I am a creature of habit. I like some or a lot more than some predictability in my life, and when it comes to the gym and to exercise, it’s definitely a more stick-to-a-schedule than not to get it done. Sometimes the schedule doesn’t work, though, and I either have to modify my typical plans or skip the exercise completely. Rarely anymore do I choose to skip it completely.
Imagining things to be quieter, emptier at 8 rather than my usual hours would not be that bad, but it is January and there are a lot of people just embarking on pursuit of new year resolutions. In the room where I was working at first it was quiet, just another trainer and her client, both of whom I know well enough to chat with and exchange pleasantries when our paths cross. At 9 there was a class, though, and prior experience said it would be a larger class and that I would want escape to another part of the gym. Unfortunately I did not choose List of the day all that wisely, as there were at a lot of folks using the machines in the area where I was working, with the baby/toddler daycare in one corner and the stairs/elevator in the other and parents and children walking back and forth along the pathway where I was trying to establish myself to complete my List. Between other members working, people walking right through my area with children, my nervous system had a melt down I chose to retreat rather than fight the good fight and get over it.
Frankly, there is presently some internal emotional conflict over this choice. Rational side of me that is far kinder than once upon a time is still pretty hard on me; she sees my choice to bail as one of weakness or weakening resolve toward pursuit of what I have set sight on as genuine priorities.
Emotional side of me that houses the long-held interiority complex impulses – this feels appropriate. Which is probably why my rational side roars to life and snaps so hard. Giving up comes so easily, so naturally. When my rep range is 8-12 and I was to stop at 5. When my sense is that List of the day will take at least 90 minutes and I don’t want to get out of bed, pull myself together, and into the gym with enough time to do everything that militant “don’t be suck a f**king LOSER!” roars to life.
The battle is real and it wages fiercely even it is quieter than before, but still there is still still stubborn bad code within that hates myself – the mother of negative girl and her ilk – and flares to life at the oddest of moments.
Sometimes I think enough time, energy, exercise, and a fullexorcism will extract it from me, that I can be fulfilled and healed by from its influence and toxicity. But if the opportunity truly exists, it continues to elude me. Anymore, most of the time, it’s okay. I would not be the person I am without my struggles and scars. Also anymore, it is only very occasionally that I let the negative girl rants about my shortcomings weigh on me.
They still exist. They persist. It’s far easier to cope with now than ever before, but my better health quest is far from all rainbows and unicorns. If I am not managing my expectations about my choices and behaviors today it is mostly because I rarely have to anymore. I choose to drag myself out of bed at 4 a.m. to get to the gym as early as I do so I can be walking back out after a satisfying workout by 7:30. When I a manage my time appropriately, my expectations fall into place and into line. Today was a single Tuesday out of many this year, a fasting blood test day that in the future will be scheduled on a Saturday rather than a Tuesday. Lesson learned, my lab appointment in 3 months already scheduled.
My learning curve has not been just about how to squat, how to lunge, how to press, or pull and what weights or colored bands are appropriate for me at any given time. Learning to trust my instincts and my own judgment, to set aside my fears and anxieties has been profoundly more difficult. Because I have lived with them throughout my life and as part of my coping mechanisms for the horrors of childhood they are hard, familiar, traits to release, even if it is better and healthier for me now and into the future.
Learning to like myself has been the biggest challenge I have faced thus far. Believing I am worth the hard work and the zillions of small victories has been so hard.
Days like today, when the desire to flail myself over a perceived backsliding shortfall, I only need look back over my shoulder to recognize how far I have come. My starting point is so far back in the distance I have to squint to remember who I was then.
Because I’m so not that girl anymore. And we’re both very glad of that.