Saturday, May 3, 2014

Everything Can't Be An Epiphany All The Time

I get epiphany-impatient. I am hungry for enlightenment. I want Big Change.

Unfortunately, I think the next series of Big Changes will happen through exercise.

So. That'll be coming right up, then.


My vicious cycle with exercise is that I have back and neck problems which have led to abdominal weakness which have led to worse back and neck problems which have led to worse abdominal weakness which has led to difficulty exercising without injuring myself which has led to a general lack of conditioning and flexibility which has led to embarrassment and shame over said lack which has led to a lot of hiding and couching which has led to back and neck problems.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Introverted me, as you might imagine, harbors an unholy dread of the group exercise class.

But then again, introverted me also harbored an unholy dread of the private training session and I managed to hold down a few months of wonderful Pilates sessions with the amazing Kiko at Rise Bodyworks (home of our favorite Active Release Therapy maniac, Dr. John Beall) last year.

But it's still excruciating-- excruciating!--  to get myself going on this, obvious benefits aside. Basically, I just don't want to be seen-- by anyone, including myself-- being flabby and awkward and uncoordinated and sweaty and fat and gross and stiff and weak and...

... all of the things I'd never, ever think about another woman if I saw her doing her best to work out despite any limitation she might have.

Right. Yeah, I know. Still. She is not me. I have much harsher standards for me.

But if I force myself out of catastrophic thinking for a minute, I have to admit that this is probably true for most people. We are worried about what others might think of us, but we are far less judgmental of them than they fear in circumstances like these.

Especially at a place like Rise, where everyone is so incredibly kind and welcoming and supportive and encouraging. It's not like a regular gym there, although many people do go there purely for the exercise. It's a therapeutic environment, so the vibe there is one of healing and growth.

I love them there. It's like a warm, hilarious little family.


But group classes are scary! And I am embarrassed! And people! And all the sweaty!




It's excruciating! I DO NOT LIKE TO EXCRUCIATE!


Then again, if I hurt myself, John is right there to pop me back into shape, I guess.


My husband's employer will even reimburse us for the membership.


God damn it.




Sometimes, these epiphanies just SUCK.


  1. I feel exactly like you do. Exactly. And I will never take a class (again). Because once was enough being the worst in the class, and this was when I was YOUNG. (Not counting high school, which was even worse, being the next-to-worst, only slightly better than a really fat girl, when I wasn't even overweight yet).

    So what's wrong with walking or treadmilling until you get into better shape? Theoretically. Pilates and some of that really hard stuff would be too hard on my own back etc. There has to be a solution that doesn't involve shame or injury. Surely. Right?

  2. I'm not sure how much you'd be into it, but with the Sherlock references, I'd guess you might enjoy some of Nerd Fitness (

    I mention it because I was continually stuck wanting to exercise but constantly gave up due to (1) use injuries that hurt (usually in the neck and feet); (2) general laziness on my part; or (3) shame over how easily I was winded and how I must look to outsiders.

    The site was fun and funny; it didn't say anything much I hadn't heard before, but said it in a way that "hit" me when others hadn't (generally by appealing to my love of epic fantasy and general geekdom). It also reinforced the idea that you can start from anywhere, in any shape, and every small step is a good step, no matter how seemingly insignificant in the face of the overall goal. The advice, for me, to not spend time worrying or regretting or feeling frustrated or ashamed over where I was and just start moving from there helped a lot.

    So every time I would hump myself out onto my driveway and flapped my arms like last year's turkey in a dozen jumping jacks, or felt foolish and ridiculous for getting winded from jogging for three minutes, the advice and encouragement really helped.

    Whatever you do, just remember that being awesome and working toward being awesomer is always a good thing. And the rest of the world can stuff it if they don't like it.

  3. You know, people at the gym are typically paying attention to their own workout be it private, group or otherwise. And if they ARE paying attention to you, you may jut have an opportunity to inspire them. Being afraid to be seen may just squander your moment to motivate someone else out of their self conscious bubble. If you can't do it for yourself, do it for the girl who feels just like you. She needs to see that she CAN. :) You. Are. Amazing. Overcome the lies your head tells you and follow your heart.