This morning I was up and off to the gym. I figured it would be relatively quiet, being a holiday and all, and again I was mostly right. The group fitness room where I usually do my floor and strength training exercises was relatively empty – no classes today. I walk out of the locker room and straight into one of my clients from the law firm. Ugh – not a good or happy place to unexpectedly run into someone I know professionally. He stopped to chat, introduce me to his wife, and all the while I was wishing for a sudden sinkhole to ope and swallow me whole. Does anyone ever feel like they look their best going to work out? Dirty hair wrapped up in a pony tail, workout clothing that are only flattering to the very fit or thin, and my not normal anxious feeling about being there in the first place. So not the place for me to be.
So my workout morning got off to a poor start, and after wishing them a pleasant day and turning to escape upstairs to the cardio room, who do I see but trainer J doing his own workout. My day is just getting better. I force a smile, exchange the briefest of pleasantries (while at the same time feeling as if I am intruding), and finally escape to the elliptical upstairs.
Why this bothers me this many hours later remains a mystery. It’s like yesterday after I got home and realized I had not put away a piece of equipment and agonized over that, to the ridiculous point of maybe needing to drive across town in the other direction to another location. My anxiety about going to the gym has been evolving into an obsession since Saturday. Yesterday I could not make myself go despite my best efforts. The feeling of self-consciousness and as if I do not belong there have been overwhelming previously, but it’s evolving into a genuine phobia. My more rational nature quizzes me about what I am afraid of, and I have no clear answer. I don’t feel sporty or fit so therefore I do not belong there with all those other folks who are somehow making far more progress on getting healthier and fit. The abundance of negative self-talk is getting completely out of hand.
While I should be feeling triumphant about getting there, staying, and actually going through at least 2 full sets of this week’s training exercises, I am worried about seeing my client tomorrow and what I will do about going to workout tomorrow. Typically the only cure for this is to just get up and do it, go for at least a 30 minute cardio hit as frequently as possible until my emotions calm down. M does not really understand it, other than the avoidance of pain and exercise is a painful endeavor for me no matter how I try to pretty it up.
On the brighter side, my hair stylist/esthetician did a brow shaping for me today and remarked that I looked thinner. That made me feel a better, even if I mostly feel she is being very kind to me. My brows look so much better now, though, and that’s a concrete positive reality in the face of my otherwise irrational brain overload.
I have an appointment with my therapist tomorrow, so this weekend’s extended anxiousness will be my first item on the agenda. I have been putting off seeing him, because I have had a lot going on and been mostly coping with the stress and anxiety of such sweeping life changes. Apparently my stay well card has nearly expired, because I am evolving into a basket case this weekend.
What perplexes me, though, is I know this will pass. I will be okay, I will be better. Soon. But for right now, driving the crazy brain is no fun at all, and my reassurance that this is just another phase is not convincing.