Saturday, May 15, 2010

Stranger in a strange land...

It's not just a book, it's my life.

So as you may recall, jumping from a plane was the time to leave the old me behind. Oops. Epic fail.

It's funny, because one of my co-workers yesterday said to me "ever since your jump you've just been glowing!" All I can say is, it must be the lighting in the building.

Building up to the jump, I was feeling really quite good about things. I had started a prep class for my trainer certification. I just felt good about things. Then jump day came. I spent the better part of the drive there sobbing to my mother, reflecting on how far I really had come in the journey. But, when I got to the jump sight, I got an instant reminder by way of a swift verbal kick to my pride. It put me in my place. It made me realize a)just exactly how far I have to go and b) just exactly how the world sees me. Step one in meltdown: complete.

After the jump I survived on a fair amount of (pseudo)adrenaline for about a week.

The little voices were largely kept in check. But then a comment was made that I took personally. Probably much more personally than I should have, but I did.
Step two in meltdown: complete.

By Sunday of last week, the rope holding me together was frayed to within a few strings. I was studying like crazy, but feeling very overwhelmed. I was tired. I was getting more and worse headaches than usual. I got to the gym early to lay claim to "my" spin bike, which gave me a fair amount of time to sit in the back of the room and study. A spin rookie came in and a couple of the regulars were helping her set up her bike. One of them mentioned something to the rookie about staying in the class as long as she could, but it was okay to leave early. (It was a 90minute class, by the way.) And then the other girl (who is also responsible for the previous comment I took personally) says "But if you leave the class early, you're a loser" and giggled.
Step Four in meltdown: complete. And we are no in the red zone, ladies and gentleman.

I was LIVID. It brought every bad "fat joke" memory, every gym anxiety, all of those things, rushing back like a tidal surge. Who would say that to a complete stranger? WHO SAYS THAT??? By the time class was over, I talked to the instructor about it (who was not in the room when that comment was made.) And although it reminded me that THAT is the reason I want to be a trainer, to be the absolute antithesis of what kind of attitude the "loser" comment represents. Still, it rocked me to the core, and not in a good way.

So by Monday it all came tumbling down. Computer snafus at work allowed time to study for the personal trainer certification. My mind was just not in the right place. I'm pretty sure my hormones were not in the right place. What should have been a chance to really learn with the assistance of an expert turned into an opportunity for the little voices to run through my thoughts unchecked.
Meltdown: complete

I spent pretty much the next two days crying. If I wasn't crying, I was sleeping or using all my strength not to tear up. I had wrapped myself into a giant knot.

I was talking with my friend Jess about it all, who astutely wrapped it up in a nice little package. "You're out of your comfort zone, and it's scary." She's right. It's not just scary, it's terrifying. In a million years I would have never thought I'd be sitting here, a middle aged woman, re-inventing who I am and how I think about myself and my place in the world. Empowering? Yes. Doable? Yes (though three days ago I might not have believed that). But scary and hard? ABSOLUTELY!

One of the things I've learned about myself, and the last week is an example, is that I have a tendency develop some anxiety about something but ignore it. Then it reaches a boiling point and it turns to a little bit of panic. Not in the sense of actual panic, but I go through a phase of "I can't, this is too much, I'm stupid, there is nothing I can do". That's usually not very long (thankfully!) Then it turns to the "roll up your sleeves and dig in" phase. Get it done.

So that's where I am. I've rolled up my sleeves and I'll get it done. I don't have a plan completely mapped out, but I'll find my way eventually.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes, the best plans happen when you don't have them mapped out. Hang on, and you WILL find your way!

    btw, i love your slideshow! :)