Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Bigger Baby Step

This morning I did something I haven't done in ages, I went to the gym. The ability and desire have been percolating inside me for a while now. When I found myself filling a bag with bottled water in order to do bicep curls at home, I knew the time had come to pick up the torch of something taken from me many years ago. Of course it still took me a couple more months to actually get myself together enough to walk in the door, but today I did.

Although it was a gym I'd never been to before, I decided to skip the tour and generic personal training session and jump in with both feet, all on my own. After all, I weight trained for years before I got sick, and even some years after Fibro set in. It's like riding a bike or having sex, right? You don't really forget how... When I couldn't even find the women's locker room I felt stupid. After asking for directions at the front desk, and still not being able to find the locker room, I felt even stupider. As I circled the space like a vulture searching for a decomposing carcass, all I saw were these really buff people doing all this really intense working-out stuff. I felt like an alien. Certainly everyone was staring at me, laughing and wondering why a thirty-something year old woman looked so lost and scared staring at a barbell. I even went so far as venturing back past that front desk to head towards home. I was intimidated and out of my element. Just walking in the door is progress, right? 

Chickening out was something I did for a long time. I needed the baby steps to rebuild my confidence, to regain my faith in my ability to engage with the outside world. But I decided today, at about the same time I remembered I didn't care what one single person in that gym thought of me, that particular time has passed. Before I made it out the door something rose up inside, and I decided to get over myself. Forgetting about the stupid locker room I couldn't find anyway, I made my way to a bench, pushed play on my headphones and set to work. I was rusty, didn't know what weight to use half the time, and knew my form was nothing short of comical, but somehow I got through it. Now I sit here feeling fluish, wondering what sort of toxic disease junk working-out released into my system, and can already tell how sore I'm going to be from the exercise itself. But I'm also overwhelmingly proud of myself. Because after I was done exercising I miraculously stumbled upon the locker room, walked inside and stepped on the scale. Nobody was more shocked than I to discover, from the height of my obesity after a terrifying tango with high-dose steroids, so much sickness and a slew of Fibro drugs, I've lost 80 lbs.

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