12 Feb, 2012
seconds when i’m shaking leave me shuddering for days.
Posted by: lilblueticket In: Pearls
You know, I think The Biggest Loser kind of ruined me and desensitized me in some sort of bizarre way. Because there’s so much fabricated drama on the show that it’s easy to roll my eyes when I hear about people’s big mental breakthroughs when it comes to working out or weight loss or busting down walls.
Then I have days like yesterday, when it’s All About Me, and I realize what I see on the teevee isn’t necessarily such bullshit after all.
I was emotional and proud after my session with Cutie McTrainer last week, but that’s nothing compared to how I was after my first TRX workout. I did things I swore my body wasn’t capable of. It hurt. It was uncomfortable. My legs were shaking so hard when I walked out to the car that I thought I might collapse before I even got there. That’s all expected. It’s what I signed up for.
But I didn’t expect all this mental stuff that goes along with it. I knew I’d be pushing myself physically, that I’d be in pain, that I’d swear and kick and scream and have days I didn’t want to go to the gym. I just didn’t know that it would all have such an emotional impact on me.
At one point I was hooked up to the straps doing this exercise that I lovingly refer to as Reverse Death Crunches, pouring sweat and trembling so much I literally felt like I was vibrating. It was so unbelievably hard and all I wanted to do was collapse on my stomach on the mat and weep. I wanted to yell at my trainer and ask him what the fuck he was thinking. It was the first time I got legitimately mad at him. I mean seriously…how in the hell did he expect a fat girl to get through such an insane workout?
But like last week with the lunges I knew that if I quit I was setting a precedent and admitting defeat, and there was no way I was going to let that happen. I dug deep and summoned this inner beast and powered through the last four reps. Before, of course, collapsing on my stomach on the mat where I stayed panting and groaning while CMcT unhooked my feet.
He was all “okay, you get to stay there for like 15 seconds then it’s two more sets of core work and then we’re done”.
I think I may have sworn at him. I remember him laughing while he helped me up.
Then he got very serious.
“I have a question for you,” he said as I was gulping water.
“Mmmph?” was my response.
“Why don’t you think you’re strong? When we first talked before I started training you, you told me you have no upper body strength, no stamina…what’s the deal?”
I thought about it for a second. “Because…I don’t know. Because I don’t? Because I’m fat? Because back in school when we had the president’s physical fitness challenge I…”
He interrupted me.
“You couldn’t do a pull-up?” he asked.
I just looked at him. “Well, yeah.”
“Do you know how many women have said that to me?”
He was getting a little agitated and passionate.
“Look,” he said. “I’m going to tell you right now, you may never be able to do a pull-up. There are women in this gym in peak physical shape who can’t do a pull-up. There are MEN who can’t do a pull-up. IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU’RE NOT STRONG.”
For once I didn’t have a snappy comeback.
“I want you to know something,” he continued. “What you just did isn’t some kind of easy workout. It’s hard. It’s the same kind of workout athletes do. And you didn’t just get through it, you killed it. You did everything I told you to do. Your form was good, and you didn’t quit. You talk about being the big girl, but look around. There are far bigger people in this place, and they can see what you’re doing. Half the people here who are smaller than you can’t do what you just did. It’s motivating.”
It was more words strung together at one time than he’d said to me since I met him. I just stood there, dumbfounded, staring at him.
“You ARE strong. So no more of this thinking you’re not, okay?”
He put his hand up for one of his CMcT high fives, and sort of grabbed my fingers and squeezed.
“I want you to know how proud I am of you right now.”
And with that I very humbly and compliantly did my last two sets before hobbling to my car and bursting into tears.
It’s not like I’ve never had people around me who believe in me. I’m so fortunate to have come from a loving, supportive family who always told me I could do anything. But that never really referred to anything physical or athletic, because we just weren’t that kind of family. So to be where I am now, at my age, with this little core group of amazing people in my life assuring me that they have faith in me, that they’re proud of me…I don’t know. It’s special. It’s empowering.
And maybe I’m starting to believe it, just a little bit