Thursday, September 10, 2015

Facing Insecurities

In high school, it was that Presidential Fitness contest.  The one where you have to do sit ups (not just crunches), pull ups and run.  Looking back, I wasn't as "huge" as I felt during this time, but I definitely wasn't in shape.  I struggled with these exercises and always felt so embarrassed having to try them in front of the class.  I became more fit when I started lifeguarding and then freshman year of college I worked out regularly, but then I broke my hip and it went down hill until I graduated.  Several years and lots of ups and downs later, I thought I was past that insecurity.  I thought as an adult, I'm supposed to be confident and not care what other people think.  Unfortunately, it's not that easy.

I've been making great strides in my strength and fitness level and overall have felt really good about myself.  I recently switched up my workout regimen to go from two to one session with my trainer, but added a small group training option to keep me going.  It's not only significantly less expensive, it's good to change things up now and then.  I was nervous going into this group, but I kept up just fine and truly surprised myself.  That is, until this past Tuesday.

At the end of the session, the trainer led us into the gym for a group "activity."  As soon as he said that, I started getting knots in my stomach.  Those high school insecurities were already creeping up.  He showed us this torture device that we would use to race up and down the gym. (Please see picture below)  It would take a lot of upper body, chest and core strength.  Great, all three of my weaknesses.  I considered making up an excuse to leave early (where was a fussy Audrey when I needed her), but I sucked it up and decided to try it.  As others made it look easy, I cracked jokes to try and ease my nerves.  When my turn came, I strapped my feet in, got in the position, took a few movements with my arms and...thud.  Yep, not as easy as it looked.  

To be clear, although I felt like I was back in high school, no one acted like teenagers.  I did not get made fun of and there were no whispers, only encouragement and smiles.  As nice as that is, I was still humiliated.  I could feel the blood rushing to my face and the tears forming in my eyes.  In that moment, it didn't matter how far I'd come or that I had open heart surgery 7 months ago.  I felt defeated and frustrated.  

While a quick phone call to Andrew after class cheered me up, it was on my mind all day. Typing this out now, it feels kind of dumb and you probably all think I am incredibly immature.  But just maybe you've had an adult moment of insecurity too.  One that sends you back to a time in your life when you felt all eyes on you and whispers behind your back.  The difference between these past times and the present is a big one.  I am now armed with experience.  I know that this moment doesn't really matter.  No one else in that class gave it a second thought and today when I went back, obviously no one brought it up.  I have come a long way and I will master that contraption one day, but for now there are so many other important things to occupy my mind.  

I will always have insecurities.  Everyone does.  It may be related to appearance, ability, money or another trivial thing.  We have to learn from our teenage selves to not dwell on these and focus on the positive.  Easier said than done in today's world, but it's now not only important for myself, but for my kids too.  I want them to know a confident mommy who sets a strong example.  Babies enter the world with zero wonderful would it be if we could all stay that way?

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