Guilt, shame, clumsy still happens

Guilt and shame … my old friends. There was a time no matter how good a day I had, how sweet a moment I enjoyed, something tiny would occur or flitter through my mind that would cause these emotions to encompass and color my whole world and separate me from that moment.

Not anymore. Guilt and shame do not live here anymore.

But clumsy? Clumsy still happens.

This morning I dropped an ice cube on the kitchen floor while preparing my pre-workout protein shake. Then while my eyes were looking for the errant ice cube, I stepped on it and slipped and fell, wrenching my knee, banging my shoulder and head, tossing a Vitamix pitcher of ice, water, and protein powder all over the kitchen and down my front. Much swearing ensued.

Cleaning up the kitchen and myself made me late getting to the gym. In hindsight, I should have just skipped it and gone this evening if I felt like it. But nope, I went forward as if nothing really happened. It’s Tuesday and I have a flexible working from home schedule today.

Practice was not terrible, but it felt unsatisfactory. By the end of the routine I chose, knee and shoulder both hurt. *sigh* I live and I learn. I bailed early and headed home for a couple of pain relievers and to begin my day.

There was a time when I would have felt guilty and ashamed for not pushing through the pain and completing my practice, when I would have berated and shredded myself inside over my failure to push through and get it done. There was a time when I would have felt paralyzed and fearful and anxious about going back, because I was a gym poser, a pretender, not a “real” gym person who pushes through and belongs there.

Those days are behind me now. If it hurts, I stop. I am still pretty far from a “no pain, no gain” type person and hope to continue to stay away from that level of extremism. But I am still clumsy and still fall down, just not as frequently anymore. Accidents still happen.

The mental game remains a tough gig for me. I want to do the right thing; I want to not give up too soon. And the further along I get on this journey, the more I realize how little I know … about anything. Learning happens every single day, sometimes through experience, sometimes through reading, usually a combination of both. Most importantly, though, the more I recognize that traditional, mainstream sources of information and “inspiration” are not necessarily applicable to me. Maybe if I began years and years ago with younger, fresher, joints and muscles all that stuff in glossy magazines and on health and fitness websites might be more applicable. But today, it’s not. Today, I have to listen to my body and what others with more experience and expertise, people I know and trust, suggest is best course for me.

Another issue I have come to accept as reality, there is no rushing this process; there are no shortcuts available to me or anyone else. And as long as it takes me to get from here to the next waypoint of progress is how long it takes. Just yesterday I was pondering injury avoidance, wondering if I could continue to pursue my training and practice schedule without hurting myself or others. With the fresh pain in my knee and shoulder, not to mention the big honking bruise on my hip, I will take the rest of the day and see how I feel later and on into tomorrow. It’s not a terminal injury – the wound to my pride is far more dangerous to my overall health – and I am pleased with myself and my coping with this minor setback. Because even at its most serious, this is merely a minor setback.

And yet again, this is another step that makes me feel so happy.

Onward.

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