That Time I Went to the Gym

And then chipped a tooth to keep from crying all the way home


     Out of boredom, after nearly 6 years of gathering courage, I finally went to the gym to give machines a try.  It was a whim.  It was bold.  It was spontaneous.  It was courageous.  It was a damn mistake.  Everything I feared would happen, actually did.  I even got kicked out.  Yeah, I got kicked out.  I was wearing jeans, I get it, it’s against the rules….but it took me 6 years to get there and all I did was find out how completely unprepared I was, and that my anxiety is more a predictive service than it is a restrainer.  It knew what was going to happen.  It knew I wouldn’t be able to use the machines without the assistance of a professional (as in, not my husband).  It knew I would have difficulty walking.  It knew I would feel utterly, hopelessly lost in a fucking gym.  It knew I would apologize for every breath I took in that damn place.  It knew that the longer I was there, the harder it would be to keep trying.  It knew that the harder I tried, the clearer my boundaries would get.  It knew that I’d be so wound up by the time I’d leave that my left body would be near completely useless.

And Yet I Went

     And I’m not entirely sure why.  I knew Kasper would chaperone me even if I told him not to.  I knew he would feel obligated to follow and assist me.  I knew this would make me feel terrible and guilty.  I knew it would make me wish I didn’t agree to go; like I was some groupie girlfriend who can’t ever leave her dude’s side and must always have him hold her hand through everything.  I knew he’d push me to try machines I already knew I couldn’t use but would try anyway because it’s what he wanted– and I knew I’d be the one walking away each time feeling worse for walking face first into yet another wall of limitation.

     I knew my left body wouldn’t cooperate.  I knew I’d feel jealous of everyone around me.  I knew I’d look at the machines I couldn’t touch and feel my left body growing heavier with the weight of its burden.  I knew I’d look at the others and see a reflection of myself that could never could exist.  I knew Kasper wouldn’t understand how I felt inside and how much I just wanted to spin in a confusing circle and scream “I don’t know what’s going on!!”  I knew he wouldn’t understand how much of myself I had to swallow just to stay inside that God-awful place.  I knew he would have a negative view of me by the time we left.

Anxiety Warned Me

     It warned me for almost 6 years.  Every time I seriously considered going to the gym, everything mentioned above would flit through my brain like a gnat trying to land, knowing it can’t.  It’s overwhelming and no matter how much I’ve wanted to go, I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything more than sweat profusely and say:

Maybe next time

So…Maybe Next Time

     What I hope is that it won’t take me another 6 years to enter a gym without a prescription required, first.  I wouldn’t mind physical therapy so much if my city had a decent facility with decent therapists.  They don’t have to be the “best of the best,” “cream of the crop” type crap, but, can I get an actual therapist?  For once?  I don’t know how others do it.  One day I’ll figure it.  Today obviously wasn’t that day.  It’s unfortunate but at least I can say I tried….right?


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