Thursday, February 17, 2011

Today was the closest I've come to crying at the gym

I quit on myself and Jackie this morning. It wasn't a good feeling.

I woke up not wanting to work out. Sometimes, I've got to talk myself into feeling good about going. And some days are harder than others. So feeling like I wasn't in the mood, I ate an apple at about 6:15 (for that little helpful burst of energy), and I headed there a little bit early so that I would have a few extra minutes to psyche myself up instead of procrastinating in front of the TV.

Today's workout was akin to the kind I complained about a couple of blog posts ago, the kind I call "high-impact cardio torture" days. We went right into a blast of burpees; raising the bosu over my head 10 times fast; lunges; three-part squats; stepping up and down off of a bench with a knee left on each side; a side step off the bench with a lateral leg raise on each side; and curtsy squats on each leg. All of these sets of 10 and 12 were repeated three times.

In the midst of this cardio onslaught, I felt my mind shutting down. For the most part, what you can and can't do in the gym is a total mental game. Yes, your muscles get so tired, but you are able to find one last push or one last lift if you tell yourself you can. I don't know what it is that causes it, but sometimes I can't seem to find those words in my mind.

Within the first 20 minutes of the workout, I quit talking. (Usually, Jackie and I chat about whatever the whole time.) Within 30 minutes, I kept stopping during sets for rests. More than usual. By the time we finished with arms during the 45- to 50-minute mark, I was struggling. I couldn't finish my sets.

Jackie asked me if I was getting sick. I said no, but I was feeling that pukey reflex. She asked me repeatedly, "How are you doing?" I just quit answering her. She kept telling me, "It's all mental. Quit talking yourself out of it. Talk yourself into it. You can do this." I didn't want to.

So after arms, 10 minutes before 8, she said, "You're out of here." This woke me up out of my daze of "I can't do this." I said, "No abs? Is it because I've been fighting you so much today?" She said no, but she looked mildly annoyed and also like she was conceding today's workout. That I'd made it clear I didn't want to be here, and she was giving in. I said, "Are you sure? Because you look pissed off at me, and I'm sorry." She went on to say that wasn't it, that some days a person just doesn't have it, that there could be other things going on, that the last set seemed to hurt a lot, and that we should just cash it in for the day. I teared up a little. I felt like I'd really let her down. But I left, anyway.

I was wondering if she was right and there was more going on. I did feel a lot of disappointment. Looking in the mirror during the workout today, I was down on myself, thinking it didn't look like enough improvement had been made. I was thinking about the scale in the women's locker room, how it hasn't been kind this month. I was thinking about the goal of a loss of 32 pounds by March 1. But mostly, I was just thinking that I don't want to do this anymore.

Once home, showered, with a cup of coffee, the mind clears a bit and you realize that quitting is out of the question and today was just a bad day. But there's nothing worse than that feeling that the only person standing in the way of success is yourself. And yet, still, you can't bring yourself to do what's necessary.

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