It’s been an incredibly stressful couple of weeks, weeks that have left me emotionally exhausted. And when I am emotionally exhausted, I tend to not work out. Especially when said workout assigned by a trainer makes me want to die just thinking about it. So I did what comes naturally.
I did not work out for two and a half weeks.
Well, kind of. Tuesday, knowing I had made an appointment with my trainer for Thursday, I went for a 40 minute walk on a favorite trail and thought about why I hadn’t been working out. I hated the workout he gave me, and I didn’t feel like I was making any progress.
I really just have two fitness goals:
1. Make exercise a habit. Or even better, make it so I crave it, need it like oxygen.
2. Run a 5K in less than 40 minutes.
And I realized that I needed to tell my trainer what I was feeling, and take whatever consequence followed. Because in this situation, I see myself as an epic failure, and see him as a wielder of power. Thanks, Patriarchy. You’re swell.
Today I practiced in my head all day what I wanted to say to him. I ran it by two friends–one of whom is in the fitness industry. Both friends did not seem to think I was out of line at all. So when it was time for my appointment, I was 60% confident I would be able to have an honest conversation with my trainer about how things were going.
Our session started, and he asked how I was.
“Well, it’s been a crazy day, and I haven’t had dinner yet (it was 7:30 p.m.),” I said.
“I’m glad you told me, because that will change up what we do. What else?” he asked.
And I gave him some vague details of the emotional exhaustion I’d been feeling.
“When I’m that spent, emotionally, getting myself here to do a workout I’m so uncomfortable with and don’t feel like I’m progressing at all just was too much,” I started.
“Oh! So we need to ratchet it back and work up to it?” he asked.
“Is that okay?” I squeaked out.
“OH MY GOSH, absolutely!” he said.
And we talked for a bit about how I was feeling and what I really wanted, and then he kicked my ass (actually he kicked my arms and shoulders…I anticipate I will not be able to lift anything tomorrow) for 25 minutes.
When our session was over, I asked him what I should do before our next appointment, and he said he would just send me a new workout. I thanked him for taking the time to do it.
“No, thank YOU for telling me you needed something different! It’s supposed to be hard enough to challenge you, but not so awful that you start ignoring me and never come in,” he said.
I needed that today–I was feeling very down on humanity in general for a variety of reasons, but he restored a little of my faith. And as I drove home from the gym, telling my sister all about what happened, I really felt excited about going back. The dread I’d been feeling the past three weeks was gone.