Rock Bottom

Yesterday was my first personal training session of the new year. I have committed to twelve long months of twice weekly workouts with a guy who looks like he has the propensity to inflict a great deal of pain. Either that or he seems like a good candidate for an Eagles running back.

Our sessions are only 30 minutes, but that is just enough time to ensure that everything from my diaphragm on downward hurts. It’s also just enough time to get me realizing that I have really done a number on myself; I am really starting at square one. Moving my body is what I imagine it would feel like to try to lift my car with my bare hands. I’m not even convinced that my lungs and heart know how to work in sync to keep me from passing out on the floor of the LA Fitness. After yesterday’s workout, I could feel every fiber of my being vibrating with adrenaline. Every movement I made felt so spastic that it was hard to control the clutch with my left foot on the drive home. My body just didn’t seem to know what to do with all of the chemical reactions going on inside. Suddenly, entire muscle groups that had never been engaged were being pressed into labor and my circulatory system was forced against its will to keep the blood flowing from top to bottom as I hurled myself through new and uncomfortable motions.

I have a quote on my manifestation poster that reads “Try seeing exercise as freedom, as opposed to obligation”. While my trainer was timing my power-walks around the gym facility, I had to keep repeating “freedom” over and over again in my head to keep myself from breaking down and screaming “I can’t do this!” It felt THAT difficult. The mantra helped me to focus on what I would be gaining from this supposed torture – freedom from lower back pain, freedom from potential chronic disease, freedom to participate in activities I’ve only dreamed of doing, etc.

When the trainer asked how I felt at the end of our session, I didn’t sugar-coat my answer: “Terrible. Out of shape. Like crap. Like I hate myself.” He told me that it would get easier. It’s hard to imagine what “easier” is right now when I’m particularly angry at myself for having let things get this out of hand, but I’m hoping tomorrow’s session will just be a bit better.

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