In the last three weeks I've had as many people ask me what has brought about the change in my shape/dedication to fitness/motivation and the quick “funny” answer is always, “Well … I don't want to be single forever, so I want to look good.” It's a joke, mostly. I mean there's truth in the statement but it's not my motivation.
My real motivation has been simmering inside me for my whole life. But I'll save that one for last because there are actually several reasons behind my recent hyper-focus on fitness.
Reason #1: Survival
It was apparent when I got left like useless trash on the curb that this rejection, if I let it, would wreck me. I was devastated and knew I could quite possibly fall apart and lose all of the years clean I have and all the hard work the Good LORD and I have put into redeeming my life from the pit I once called home. I was ready to throw things, break things, use things to get relief from the feeling of once again being that person no one wanted. I was ready to lose my reputation, my dream that was starting to take shape, my kids, my self respect, everything.
See for me I can't curl up and die ('cept for that one Thursday, that day I was ready… but I'm still here aren't I?). I'm not made to be still. I've got more energy than I know what to do with and though I tend toward depression my depression isn't “stop functioning depression,” it's a “mindless-doing” kind of depression. I'm like one of those little wind-up cars that gets squirrely all around the room bumping into things but never quite gets anywhere. I lack the ability to make decisions and am aimless and that combination usually leads to… well, not good choices.
I couldn't write much, I couldn't focus on my volunteer obligations or really even do much with my kids but I was all wired up. I knew I had to do something with my energy, or it was going to make me self-destruct. So... I sent it to CrosSport and the loop! If I didn't know what to do at lunch, I knew there was a WOD waiting for me. If I couldn't stomach being home alone all those hours after I got off work, I knew I could go to the gym and take some time and see friendly faces while I worked off the energy. I knew it was a better alternative than other choices I could make. I made it my energy outlet. Not to look good enough to get him back, I knew he was gone after May 22nd, not to look good enough to get someone else… simply to keep my energy focused in a positive direction.
Reason #2: The Leaving didn't matter there
This one is a little more selfish and maybe mean and that's why I actually haven't shared it until now, except with one person. CrosSport and the loop were and still are all mine. He never had a part of my life in either place which meant the rejection couldn't hurt me there. I am no less a person at the gym than I ever was. I'm not missing a piece of me there, my history on the loop and at CrosSport is only mine. It didn't have to change because he left. I didn't have to figure out how to walk in and show my face there the way I did at other places “we” went together. The gym was all mine. It was like a blankie… that smelled like sweat and sounded like rock 'n roll. The gym is safe, the loop is steady. I like security and I liked knowing they didn't change like everything else had to.
Reason #3: I'm doing it to see what my body is capable of
This one is even MORE selfish. I'm doing it for me! I grew up in a herd of fit, active boys, and with a dad who coached wrestlers. Our Gramma liked to keep us busy. “Many hands make light work” you know! As the ONLY girl I was always weaker, slower and never the one that got asked to do laborious stuff. I was … what's the word oh yeah… the reject of the group! Yep, that was me. So, I never pushed myself, because I knew I couldn't hold a candle to them no matter how hard I tried. I never knew what strength was inside me. And then I made myself go to the gym instead of go off on a downward spiral and the by-product was strength and ability like I'd never known. I have always liked to move but I realized I was good at it. More than that I have embraced what a gift my body is and how precious and this time in my life is. There are many with health and physical limitations who cannot ever do what I do at the gym. I have a co-worker, and friend who is wheelchair bound, she doesn't let it get her down but it is a limitation. I don't have that restriction to my movements, why not celebrate it? And for that matter, I might as well celebrate now because I know I can't flip a #4 tire when I'm 100... if the LORD allows me to even be here that long. Right now, in this moment in my brief, fleeting life, I am fit, I am strong and I am better every day than I was the day before. I don't compete with the other ladies at the gym who are far out of my league. I don't compare myself to those I might be stronger or faster than. It's me, it's my demons, it's myself I challenge and I am better than. I want to know what I'm made of, capable of. I know I'm in the best shape of my life.
I wish I could have realized I'm made to move before this time in my life, but I'm here now, and I know, despite the resiliency, that I'm still healing. I know I'm a little in survival mode yet and I know I need the safety of the gym and predictability of the loop but it's turning more into a lifestyle choice than a survival tactic, and I love the health and wellness lifestyle. It suits me.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I've turned into a gym rat.