I cried today in TRX class. WHAT UP WITH THAT? When did I turn into such a soggy mess? I mean, there are times in every class when you feel like crying because one more rep and your muscles are going to pop right through your skin, but this was different.
Nope. This was a crisis of confidence, and it was humiliating and freaking annoying. Hours later, I'm still pissed off about it.
Kickboxing class starts off with about five minutes of jumping rope, which I am simply not coordinated enough to do. I spend all my time battling the rope and not getting much cardio in. So, I do jumping jacks and run in place instead. Kickboxing IS cardio, and in between kicks and punches, we do more jumping jacks (set of 50 as a class, usually at least 3 times during class), push-ups, squats, and sometimes burpees and squat-thrusts. Then, it's time for TRX suspension class, taught by the same instructor (and most of the women from kickboxing take it, too). Between resistance exercises, more jumping jacks and push-ups. It's WORK, and I love it.
But today, I got tired a little sooner than usual, and tonight is my final dress rehearsal for Romeo & Juliette, so I didn't want to push. I needed to hold some energy in reserve. I started pooping out on the jumping jacks, which made me mad at myself.
And then we got to decline pushups. These are tough. These and planks are my downfall. Magda saw I couldn't do it and told me to just hold a plank, and that is where I lost it. Without warning, I just felt so humiliated that I couldn't do it like everybody else was. Tears sprang to my eyes, and I was so mad. I kept trying but my current strength was just not up to it. So I did what I could, and we moved on to something else which I could do, but that surprise attack moment of negativity had sunk its hooks in, and I couldn't quite shake it off. So much for telling my inner bully to bite it. I mean, I told it to, but it wouldn't shut up, and I guess sometimes that's just the way it goes. There were another 15 minutes of class and time and again, the negative thoughts returned. I beat them off and kept going as best I could. I kept telling myself to suck it up, it's not like I hadn't been working hard already for an hour forty-five, just do what I could do and move on. But it sucked.
Sisyphus was a Corinthian king who, in his lifetime, managed to piss off the gods so badly that in death he was condemned to an eternity of rolling a giant boulder to the top of a mountain, where it would inevitably roll back down, forcing him to start all over again. And again. And again.
The task of losing weight and keeping it off seems Sisyphean to me. My unhappiness with my size is what's at the core of my private little hissyfit in class today, and the accompanying feelings of shame and inferiority. It doesn't matter how often I beat those feelings back; they resurface. It doesn't matter how hard I work out, how careful I am with my eating; at some point, I will be at the top of the mountain, and at some point, I'll find myself chasing that boulder back downhill.
Now here's the weird part: knowing and accepting that means it's not necessary to struggle against the inevitable. What I mean by that is, understanding that there are going to be ups and downs, understanding that this is a battle that is going to have to be fought over and over, maybe I can learn to prepare for the downs better and recover from them faster. Maybe the stone doesn't have to roll all the way downhill. Maybe it can balance on the top for a while, and next time, a longer while.
There is really only one thing I have found that works in the fight for fitness, and that is perseverence. As long as you keep fighting, you're winning, at least a little bit.