Today I’m returning to you, gym, after I’ve missed almost two complete weeks. I am deconditioning as I write.
I had one light workout the week before BlogHer, but most of that week I was distracted and feeling stressed. I worried that my lack of focus might inadvertently cause me to hurt myself, so I let caution be the better guide. I stayed away from your steel weights, your medicine balls, your foam rollers, your cardio.
This past week I was working through a case of influenza. The anxiety would pop back up, but I knew it was the exhaustion of the flu. I rested a lot, took plenty of fluids, and tried to be good to myself. So I stayed away.
It’s not that you are not good for me, a hard cardio workout would help me mentally deal with stress and anger but I was physically incapable of moving like I should. I honestly knew I did not want to be inside a gym.
Now I’m getting scared.
Scared to go back to the gym.
It’s been long enough since a hard workout that I know I’m a bit deconditioned, so where do I set my limits? How far back should I go? Start over or start where I was 6 weeks ago? Let my muscles or my mind guide me?
I don’t know what to do, so I feel scared. I haven’t been “unvoluntarily” out of the gym since my surgery in early ’07. That’s almost 17 months. Then I slowly worked my way back in: 15 minutes of cardio a day moving up to 30 as I healed. Nothing else until I got the all clear from the surgeon.
By that time I’d spent so much time around the sweat and noise and steel that I was craving it. It was “hold me back” before I push too far. I wanted everything at once. I think I could have workout to the point of total collapse that day, poured a protein drink down and started again.
Today I’m much more like the person who first walked through the doors. Uncertain.
What should I expect from myself?
Ah.. the BIG question: what should be my realistic expectations for today?
I need someone to greet me at the door with a smile, tell me you’ve missed seeing me. Someone to take me by the hand and simply guide me through a workout. Pretend I’m a kindergartner. Tell me that it will be OK. Talk softly and laugh a lot. Encourage me.
Can you remind me that I’ve been here before and that it will all come back to me like riding a bike. (oh, I suck royally at riding bikes. Can I show you the scars?).
Later, like maybe day three??, you can let me kick my butt. I’m probably planning this in a secret corner of my head. A drop-weight death match that will be the talk of the free weight room for days later. (That woman was Killa! Did you catch her super-set at the flat bench? My shoulders didn’t forgive me til today for just watching it!)
But right now? I simply need the friendly accepting nature you sometimes show. And maybe some apple slices and a protein shake when I’m done.