The gym is the only place I continue to go to day after day, no matter what is going on, no matter how I feel.
And I think this is incredible because normally, my response to uncomfortable situations or things that go wrong, is to run. I get out of there (wherever I may be) as fast as I can. I've done it with school over and over again, with college, with family gatherings, group classes, etc.
If I don't feel comfortable or something happens that I don't like, I leave and never go back.
But not with the gym. No the gym is like my safe place, even though some days I do hate it and it's packed and there are too many people doing stupid things. There's just something about the gym that makes me not care if I'm uncomfortable or whatever. And even if I mess up or fall down doing squats or deadlifts, I continue to come back the next day and try again.
This concept literally blows my mind, because it's the complete opposite of what I normally do. Not that it's at all a bad thing, in fact, I wish this is how I functioned with all parts of life: continued to show up and try.
But there's something special about the gym and the way I feel when I'm there.
Everything stops when I enter the gym. My thoughts turn off and I become who I want to be; a strong, confident women, who can do anything and who is comfortable.
The gym makes me feel strong on the outside when all I feel on the inside is weak and muted. I walk through the doors and leave my other, self-doubting, self-sabotaging, deeply wounded self behind. I become a different person when I am at the gym.
Even all my pain goes away when I'm there. If I am sick, I'm sick no more. If my back hurts, it doesn't anymore. If I am sad or depressed, I'm happy and alive.
Nothing else gives me this feeling, not even being by myself, at home. Typically I don't feel strong or confident. Typically I feel worthless, un-loved, gross, depressed, hopeless, weak, fragile, etc, etc.
Sometimes, however I can tap into the gym feelings when I am out at the grocery store or someplace. I can put on that persona of being strong, capable, and self-assured. But it feels fake.
I am constantly trying to give off a tough exterior appearance, because on the inside, there's nothing that comes close to that. I'm hard on the outside to compensate for the softness on the inside.
And the gym allows me to feel this way; like a high, for at least an hour. And I can't get enough. I love working out so much because of how it makes me feel, but when the workout is done, so is that person I turned into.
The gym also allows me to be the person everyone expects me to be. I am a hard-worker when I am there. I push myself to complete a final rep. If I fail, I try again until I get it right. I never quit.
In real life. Quitter is my middle name. I can never seem to hold onto something long enough before I decide to quit it. Which I find amazing because working out is so hard sometimes and it hurts and yet I get through it. But I haven't figured out how to apply this to real life. Probably because I don't see the point. Or because everything takes too long to prosper.
But yet, it took me over a year to finally be able to squat a decent amount of weight. And it took almost three years to finally get my shoulders to look like they had some shape to them. So I'm not afraid of things taking a long time, its just, at the gym I see the progress, and in life I don't.
I guess I wish life was more like the gym. That I could be that confident person, with that much fearlessness. I wish I could do hard things and see the progress.
I wish, I wish, I wish.
If only I could translate the feelings I have at the gym to the real world, maybe then I could fix my brokenness.