I Must Not Fear

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.  And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
― Frank HerbertDune

What you are about to read may surprise some and may sound ridiculous to others but… it’s my truth, so I am sharing.

My fanatical friend and trainer is basking in the tropics this week, which leaves me all alone. Boo! 😦   I knew this day was coming and I’ve been restless about it.

Throughout the day I nervously studied the prescribed and written arm workout.  In case I misplace or lose the original paper, I made an extra copy.  One stuffed in my gym bag; the other on my desk.

My thinking is, if I study the workout beforehand, when I arrive at the gym, I will feel more confident, look more like a pro and look and feel less like a lost soul.  I confided in a friend.  She asked,

What are you afraid of?

Well… good question.  If I am going to be 200% honest with you, I need to reveal that Mrs. Fitness and Mrs. Patty Perfect (self-titled) always wants to do things to perfection.  God forbid I do something wrong and Lord knows that I have in the past and will error in the future.

By no means do I think I’m perfect or better than anyone else, I simply want to do the best of my ability (near perfection) in everything that I do. I’m working on the typos! 🙂  I try not to judge others, which is human nature in this country, but I am the critic when it comes to myself.

I know, I know!  There’s no such thing as perfect; however if I aim for the “P” word, then I’m assured that I’ve done my best and that’s all I want to do.  I can’t stand half-stepping or half-a** effort in anything.

You know what’s crazy?  I’ll run anywhere that is safe alone, take a fitness class where I don’t know anyone, but ask me to walk into a gym and lift weights alone… Nope.  I have never done this.  Most people who know me would not speculate that I have insecurities relative to any fitness environment.  But that goes to show you that we all have undisclosed bits and pieces of our personalities.

The gym environment is intimidating!  Ginormous, oversized, pulsating, loud music, tattooed male and female jocks grunting and slamming weights around.  You know the deer in the headlights thing?  That’s the situation I see myself in going solo to the gym. It’s silly because I know exactly what I’m supposed to do and I’m no stranger to the gym.

I asked a few women how they felt about weight lifting in the gym alone. They were not comfortable going it alone and feared “looking silly” or “not doing it right.”   I suspect the fear keeps a large number of woman off the gym floor.  The same is probably true for some guys, but they may not want to admit or acknowledge the intimidation factor.

Anyway, I swear by positive self-talk. The self-pep talk is my comrade that supports me when I lack confidence in myself. The talk has gotten me through many nerve wrenching situations.

While warming up on the treadmill, my eyes swiftly darted from one side of the gym to the other…. scouting out availability and space for my first exercise.  Boom!  I found a spot to begin my seated dumb bell curls.  I scurry off the treadmill and to my first station.

Are members watching and critiquing me?  Focus girl! My trainer’s note read….

Go hard or go home!

I claimed my bench with my one gallon jug of water, cranked up one of my favorite reggae tunes Shaggy’s, Strength Of A Woman, on my iPod, grabbed my 15 pound dumbbells and went to work on my bicep curls.  I knocked out three sets of 12 and before I realized it, I cared less about the who’s and what’s.

Tucked in my waist area, were my trainer’s written instructions.  Before moving on to the next exercise, I carefully reviewed her notes…  Twice I caught myself laughing aloud (not paying attention to anyone else) at the amount of weight I was instructed to lift.  Like, is she serious?  While shaking my head! LOL!

It took me less time to complete the workout than when I’m with my trainer.  Most likely because I did not talk to anyone–per her instructions–and really focused on the mind-body connection.  On A few of the exercises, I challenged myself to lift heavier than recommened and felt great about it.  At the end of the workout my arms were fatigued and I felt accomplished.

In spite of my fears, no one approached me to tell me that I looked silly or absurd.  While working out, another member may have been near me experiencing the same anxiety, but I wouldn’t know that.  Seriously we have to figure out how to get a handle on our fears. They are crippling and stifling.  Driving home I reflected on my experience.  All that fear and anxiety… for NOTHING.

Preparation for this competition is more involved than I anticipated. Not only am I tearing  down and rebuilding muscles, but I am also breaking down walls and barriers that unbeknownst to me have held me back.

At almost eight-weeks out from the competition, I am filled with anticipation about what the future holds for me.

Hmm… gotta love the unknown!

Thanks for stopping by!

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