Showing Up

woman holding book

I’m sitting here in my favorite coffee/sandwich shop on my side of the river, having a coffee and some breakfast after a very productive morning. I made sure to make it productive, since I wasn’t getting to spend time with The Hypnotist, sort of gritting my teeth, “Okay fine, I’ll get some things done if I HAVE to…” and instead it’s turned into a really nice morning on my own, getting shit done, and I am feeling so good.

One of the things I got done was a gym class this morning. My first at a new place, and I loved it. See, I joined a gym yesterday night. Not a big box place, and honestly when I went to meet the woman that owns/runs it last night, I didn’t intend to join. I was just kind of poking my head out there. I’ve had such dismal luck at the bigger gyms, feeling intimidated and like a dunce because I want to use the equipment, but afraid to ask for help, because everyone else looks like they know everything, and of course they are all beautiful and fit or else studly and glistening with testosterone, so I end up on the treadmill because that’s the only equipment I understand, but gazing longingly over at the weight equipment, because the few times I’ve used the weight machines I actually really really liked it. And while I have a treadmill at home, and have been doing a couple days of floor exercises a week and like my treadmill, I have recognized it’s not enough. Not enough for my body, but also not enough for my head. I need the quiet, focused space I get into when I run or swim (biking is too stressful and not rhythmic enough.) But running is out of bounds to me now, and I don’t have access to a pool (I’m not counting hiking or yoga as exercise.) So I’ve been kind of down. And then during a video call with my PCP’s NP, when we were talking about my down mood, and Seasonal Affective Disorder, and medications, she mentioned exercise, and how it always helps during this time of year. But it has to be a certain type of exercise. It really is more about my brain than my body. And I cringed a little, because GYMS. Ugh.

Then I saw this women-only, “small group classes” gym near my house, and I thought, “What the heck.”

Initially I made and cancelled an appointment to meet with the owner, because there are some obvious barriers to me going – getting out of the house, times interfering with other plans I have during the week or on weekends, and drivetime. But then I drove there from home and realized it’s only 12 minutes away. And…like to admit it or not…our new WFH policy (only 2 days in-office/month), while I’m thrilled with it, also means I am isolated a lot, and, well, it might be good for me to get out more than the once or twice a week that I do with K and Adam to go bowling. To, I don’t know, hang out with humans of my own gender, all working together (but separately) toward a common goal…

I dunno. It made sense in my head.

And then I met with her, and it was like…OMG this is the place I always imagined going to. She opened the gym after having the same, exact experiences at other gyms. I mean, like, almost word for word. I could feel myself leaning into it, drawn to it, like I never had with the Y or the purple place, or anyplace else. And I signed up.

And then this morning, there were three classes that I could register for. I really really want to be a person that gets up early (I’ve expounded on that here many times) but I’m not, so even though I wanted to go to one of the first two classes, I wisely didn’t set myself up for failure, and registered for the last one instead, even though I wasn’t sure what HIIT was and it sounded scary. But then…when I felt anxious and already wanted to bow out…I repeated my 30 Days of Yoga mantra (which, btw, I am still on): “Just show up.” And I did. And there were only four of us there, and it was exhausting but fun and I didn’t feel like a dolt, and… I dunno. Maybe this could be a thing?

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