What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger…by Liimu

I cried at the gym today. And by cried, I’m not talking about little sniffles and silent tears staining my cheeks – I mean big, racking, gut-wrenching sobs that caused my sister to suggest we retreat to the privacy of the locker room since being doubled-over in tears on the elliptical can’t be good for morale – mine or anyone within sight range, for that matter.

Let me tell you what happened. Like most mornings, I started off my day texting my sister to see if she would be going to the gym. She said she was, and asked what I’d like to do. I have been enjoying daily hikes of an hour or more, but at the gym I have found it difficult to get a good workout, because my internal mojo for lifting weights and running on the treadmill just isn’t there these days.  I told her I was feeling unusually tired and she said we’d take it easy. When we got there, we saw there was a TRX class that was just starting and since I had given her a few sessions for Christmas, we decided to give it a whirl. If you haven’t done TRX, let me tell you a little about it. TRX is suspension training that relies on body weight to result in a resistance workout that develops core body strength regardless of which body part is being exercised.  When your body weight is 50 (or 60) pounds above what’s normal for you, that means it gets really, really hard.

Imagine yourself on the floor with your feet in stirrups.

Now imagine going up into a push-up position (feet still in stirrups) and trying to do a push-up, then pull your knees to your chest.

Repeat over and over again for close to a minute.

Or, how about this one?

Put your hands on a bosu ball (that’s like an exercise ball that was cut in half and of course, the flat side is what you put your hands on).

Now put both your feet on a medicine ball.

Now, do push ups again. And again and again and again.

You get the idea. And I couldn’t do hardly any of it.

This may sound arrogant or even ignorant (or maybe it will just sound obvious) but I don’t like doing exercises I can’t physically do. I have no problem pushing myself – I ran a freaking marathon when my first two kids were 3 and 1, for God’s sake, and ran EVERY step (except when I stopped halfway through to go to the bathroom). I ran a half-marathon just this past November, even though my ankles were nearly damaged from how much extra weight I was carrying. I’ve completed a triathlon in the pouring rain, running the last mile as fast as I could to avoid being hit by lightning.

I am NOT a quitter. But I quit today.

I felt so discouraged by the feeling of not being able to do any of the exercises the trainer was asking us to do, exercises everyone else was doing, I just stopped. I no longer opt to do things that make me feel like I’m not good enough. My sister and I talked – and yes, at one point, she suggested I diet so that I’d get smaller sooner, a suggestion I fairly well dismissed out of hand. I am still not going to adopt the diet mentality. I am still done with dieting and once you’re done with dieting, well, there’s no way to really do it successfully. It’s sort of like giving up alcohol. Once you admit you’re an alcoholic, there’s really no way to ever drink successfully again. That’s just for me.

What I need to do is focus on feeling GOOD. Keep eating healthy and keep eating intuitively (with the accountability of MyFitnessPal), keep doing exercises that feel good and do them as much as I possibly can for as long as I can bear it. And I WILL keep doing TRX, but perhaps wait on doing large group workouts until (a) I’ve lost a bit of weight and (b) I’ve done enough one-on-one sessions with my trainer that I feel stronger.

I am NOT a quitter. But I do know when to cash in my chips and go home. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be back. Because I’ll be back. And when I come back, I intend to come back swinging…from those damn TRX stirrups as I bust out 20 perfect pushups followed by 20 perfect burpees.


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