For the first time in months, I cried on my way home from the gym. Because I was having issues with a couple of the new TRX movements. Seriously, first world problems here.

I have no idea why my frustration threshold is so low tonight. It has been a pretty good day despite the drive in and out of San Francisco on a Tuesday with traffic. There was time to take a shower and relax before going, and I was in a good mood and at the gym with good intentions toward my practice. There was no blaring country music tonight either. I was late enough that pretty much everyone had cleared out.

The first exercises were fine – squats, overhead squats, split squats. Then came the TRX Y, and from the mangled cues (my fault – something went wrong when I tried to print it) and photos it seems deceptively simple. Except I am standing there with the straps in my hands and absolutely no clue as to what I should do next or how exactly to hold them to make the Y happen. I picked up my phone and started to text J … then thought maybe he was in the gym and would actually come to my rescue and somehow that seemed even worse than my confusion as to what the hell I was supposed to do next.

Eventually I think I figured it out. A few clumsy reps later and I was back on familiar ground. Then came the TRX face pull with external rotation, which I had indeed had issues with yesterday. Tonight was even worse and I felt like an even bigger idiot trying to figure out what I was doing and what I was doing wrong.

Things went downhill from there.

I went through the rest of the sheet, and even the single leg Romanian deadlift seemed like a breeze compared to those two deceptively complicated new things. There are other vexing new things on the list as well, and while I struggled mightily, swore endlessly inside my head, I got through them. Grimly, but I completed the recommended reps.

Second set was better and worse than the first. I finally remembered what I am supposed to be doing on the Y and the face pull, but my concentration on just doing it was overwhelmed with intimidation of just doing it incredibly wrong. By now much of my entire thought process and focus was out of sorts, upset, and sure I am the biggest TRX idiot in the gym ever. The negative chatter inside my head is nearly impossible to quiet once it gets revved up and going, but I did try. It made it worse.

I know it’s one night out of the rest of my life. I know I have a long, uninterrupted strings of days ahead to practice and can ask J to go over it with me yet again on as many Thursdays and Mondays as it takes until I figure it out and can remember it.

But it feels awful to me. Hence the tears.

M suggested that I have gotten more accomplished and better at some of the things I am learning and this is something new, different, and requires a refreshed mindset and focus. What I heard is you are probably faking it okay at these other things now and when the next step of more challenging comes along and you have to bail and give up because it’s too hard. Because you’re a loser; it’s your birthright.


Oh the joy of the voice of insecurity, doubt, and destined for failure that has been programmed into my head. When I was a teen and learned about what a lobotomy was I used to fantasize that having one would shut off that script because I would actually let go of my yearning to run away from it and just accept my place in the hierarchy of life.

I started feeling anxious about writing this post. Anything and everything I write about gym stuff or even remotely related to gym stuff I share with J – the good, the bad, even tonight’s version of the supremely ugly. The soundtrack this evening? Don’t write about it, don’t say anything, don’t even tell M why you are crying. He’ll think you are silly and stupid, which you are, but no need to confirm it again. What if J takes the TRX away from me before I have an opportunity to do better? What if he fires me because I really are am village idiot when it comes to exercise? OMG – what if this is all I am capable of ever doing?

That shit is wrong, wrong, wrong. All of it is ridiculous and silly. M has seen me come home crying from the gym, from work, from errands or the grocery store frequently enough in our years together to know the negative voices have me in their thrall and to ask once and then wait patiently for the explanation. As for J taking the TRX away from me, I have copies and can practice on my own whenever I want. And J is far more resilient than that and not one to give up so easily just because some hysterical client is weeping and wailing in his dropbox.

Sometimes I lose my mind for very specific reasons, and sometimes I lose my mind because the sand in the batshit crazy timer just ran out. Tonight could be a combination of both.

But I am calmer now, feeling more sensible. A good sleep and my usual morning routine before and at the gym and I will pull myself together. I still may be completely baffled by the Y and the face pull, but Thursday is coming and help is on standby to walk me through it yet again if needed.

Here’s hoping it’s not needed and that we just go through it to reassure ourselves that it’s all okay.

One thought on “TRX tears

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