Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The First Step is Always the Hardest

Wednesday, 2 October 2013
It's only taken a little over two months, but I finally took my sorry fat arse to the gym.

I've intended to go ever since I arrived in Melbourne. At first, it wasn't feasible - bad asthma, a dodgy foot. Then ... no excuses. Until I went to an osteopath who said my body was too screwed up to do much more than walking for a few weeks. I have at least been doing the rehab exercises and can see a little improvement.

I'm Scared.

Scared that I don't have the capacity or energy to throw myself back into it. My mind still wants me to be the 8 times a week gym junkie I was in 2006. But I'm not that person any more, either mentally or physically, so it's time to let go and stop trying to get back to where I was.

Scared I'm going to get back into the routine, get injured and go through all of this all over again. Scared of gaining control and then losing it again. Scared to crawl out of the cocoon of numbness that I've been shrouded in for so long.

Scared to fail. Even more scared to succeed.

Yesterday, one little thing changed. I packed my gym bag and put it in the car. I had it with me when I drove to the shopping centre. I waddled up to the gym, gave my contact details and wandered inside. Realised I had no idea where the change rooms were, so sheepishly went back to the desk and asked for help. Once shown where they were, quickly changed and did what felt like the most piss-poor excuse for a workout ever. Post-workout thoughts "10 minutes on the elliptical trainer? Loser. 1.34 kms in 16:52 minutes on the Treadmill? Pathetic!"  Thanks for the vote of confidence, brain. Screw you, bad thoughts.

But you know what? I'll do it again tomorrow. It will still feel poor workout, but it will be better than than yesterday's. The key right now is to not over-exert myself and get injured again. Eventually, I'll be doing workouts that make me feel proud of the effort and not feel like a shambling land-whale. The only way to kill this feeling is to chip away at it one workout at a time.

Taking that first step is always the hardest. The second one is a hell of a lot easier.


4 comments:

Alison said...

It's hard to go back after injury or illness. Not knowing what your body is currently capable of and not being entirely sure how much you can do without risking going backwards again. Knowing what you were capable of doing makes it harder still when the situation changes. Take it slowly, even though it's hard.

You'll see progress, something you could do comfortably for 10mins will turn into 12. If you decide to start strength training 3 reps will turn into 5 then 7.

If it helps use tools to track your progress, I use Fitocracy as well as filling out a programme card. One is for my trainer to review and the other is for me. You can do it :D

Penelope Dane said...

Ooh. Back to Fitocracy. Excellent Idea :D

Elspeth Thorne said...

I have to say ... that's a lot more than I'd be comfortable doing, after a fairly regular schedule since the beginning of the year.

Myself, I'm finally back to doing 30kgs for my squats. Which is piss-poor and fuck all for ten months of training. I should be up to bodyweight by now!

But. Unlike last year, where I went from couch to 45kg squats in six weeks - I can leave the bed the day after a workout. I can carry on such a semblance of a normal life as I usually do. And I don't (mostly) pass out in public, which is MASSIVE.

Still, being patient - going slow, going easy, never pushing because that's a fast way to hit a wall and break myself - is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Reminding myself that even if it feels like nothing to be doing 5min on the treadmill, or going for a walk down the street, or even climbing the stairs once more time than is strictly necessary on any given day - it all counts.

Now I'm going to go find a painkiller because I went a bit hard on Monday, and I'm still walking funny.

Drew Triebe said...

I did a similar thing, I got the rowing machine out and told myself i'd do a nice easy half hour each other day to get back some fitness.

After 10 minutes i was totally flogged. And unfortunately did not do it again. And im cursing myself for being so weak willed.