I have a really weird relationship with getting fit. For ages I wanted to be super strong like a power lifter and smashed myself at the gym and got real strong. I followed strong people on Instagram. I ended up following a few different people doing what I thought strong fit people did. I got sucked into the Instagram fitness hole.
Then one day my brain broke.
I took part in a challenge with a whole bunch of women online. I was overseas so couldn’t win the main prize but I got honorable mentions because I kicked all the ass. A whole bunch of stuff happened relating to that challenge and I gave myself a break. That’s when my brain collapsed. I considered myself a baby lifter, I mean I knew a few actual lifters, but never competed. I tried to eat like an athlete and trained like I wanted to be an athlete but never quite got there. I felt like a fraud. I felt like all of a sudden the things that I thought I was I never was to begin with and I was lying to myself. I never had a chance at being it at all really. I felt like a dickhead. I felt unworthy of being in a gym and because I couldn’t do the things the people I looked up to could do. I’d just finished a challenge about empowerment and fitness and felt worse than when I started.
I started making excuses for why I couldn’t go to the gym. My hand. The kids. Work. Life. It was all excuses. I also realised by this point was doing all this fitness in part to gain the approval and respect of other people I never met, to whom realistically I was a complete stranger. I wanted to belong even though I never could be. I desperately wanted to be one of the cool kids because their lifestyle seemed attainable but at the same time always just a touch out of reach. I wanted the cool kids to notice me and accept me as one of their own. That was never ever going to happen in this lifetime.
It was all a bit messed up.
Now no one forced me to do any of that. I did it all by myself. There was no gun to my head. I enjoyed lifting. I saw a my body type celebrated when I grew up in a time that everyone wanted a body like the girls in the Rip Curl ads in Dolly. I became strong, built muscle and enjoyed every single second of it. What’s the problem then? Every single insecurity I had about my body and belonging came flooding back and I started to hide. I stopped eating properly and have since put on a fair bit of weight and I’m literally ashamed. People ask me about the gym and I trot out the same tired excuse. I’m scared of becoming fit because when I do get really fit and look great I seem to become a magnet for bullying. I’m worried that since I can’t do stuff with my hand and starting to become shit knees I’m not going to be able to do any kind of fitness. The most odd fear is that I’m also freaked out that me being fit will make someone else feel bad.
That’s why I haven’t been back to the gym.
However I talked to a friend who has kindly offered to help me make my way back. Baby steps but helped me make my way back to the gym none the less. I’m very excited but also, very hesistant. We’ll see where it gets us eh?