I have been physically ill 6 times in 40 years: Twice with influenza, the standard high school mono outbreak, and I am currently suffering from my 3rd cold. Whenever I have called in to work “sick” (which was rare) I was in the midst of a severe anxiety attack or in the hospital under “watch”. I don’t count either as sick, those are just part of being me.
Anyway, I canceled my clients today but I never miss a workout. New Coach made this a hard call. He has World’s Strongest Man in one month. If I get him sick this close to his biggest competition, I would hate myself. And if I, inhuman immunity girl, am sick this must be one hell of a bug! I went in and let him make the call. He said I lift. My competition is just as important as his.
Reverse band deadlifts. Breaks were longer…much longer. 3 reps would leave me seeing spots and gasping for air. We are down to purple bands (taking 20# total off the floor) and I got 3 sets of 2 reps at 290#.
He asked about my meds and if the constricted breathing makes my anxiety worse (nope). And then he detailed his anxiety attacks and asked more about mine (he’s been studying again, prep for both of us). I told him generalities and when he said “if you’re uncomfortable…” I replied “no, I hate admitting how weak I am. I’ve finally got a diagnosis I can get behind: OCD. The anxiety sets in when I can’t get a hold of it. And the fact is, if Coach is here I have to take 2 pills and sit in my car waiting for them to kick in before I can face walking in here. Otherwise I’m fine most of the time and if I do need one occassionally, it is only one”.
It makes perfect sense to him. I wish it did to me.
My absence has been due to good reason. I had 2 filmings (one for the gym!) and a photo shoot. I’ve been cordinating a summer program for high schoolers, prepping for comp, and hanging out with the husband and friends. I have the best in each.
One of my closest has a new girl and the vetting process has been…fun. She loves anime, PC gaming, and is getting ready for a Cosplay convention. She’s in school, gainfully employed, and sensible. And cute as cute can be. Spending loads of time with them has been healing for my spirit. The Husband threw me a belated 40th birthday party, complete with tiara and all. My new Training Partner is a beautiful red-head who did my make up for my photo shoot and she took me make-up shopping (her feeling is tough girls should still be pretty). After 40 years, I am learning how to put on make-up. And my dear New Mother (whose name will have to change soon…) continues to be the dearest friend I have ever had. We spend what extra time we have playing Mario Kart and chatting.
I am officially excited for the competition. I said to New Coach “I know you’ll tell me to reign it in” and he said I can and should be excited. “I wouldn’t have okayed it if you weren’t going to have fun. If you weren’t excited, if you weren’t having this much fun, I wouldn’t have encouraged it.”
This is such a different way of coaching. It’s better but nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Ever. It will take a lot of getting used to. I really hope I’m that kind of coach.
But the biggest change has been in me. The girl that never quits because she never learned how. I tried to keep fightig but when Coach left, I was ready to quit. At my last “real” job (at Target), a job I only took to buy time until I figured out what to do with my life, i met people who changed my life. I call them my Target family. They were all so proud that I competed even with the results. They all regularly ask when I will again (I couldn’t quit and keep face). They all called Coach cuss words when I tried to defend him. They all held my dream in safe keeping when I lost my energy for dreaming. And now that I haven’t quit, that I am making another leap, several have asked if they can come support me in April. I never would have been open to this love and support before. But this victory – yes, even trying again is a victory – is theirs as much as mine. What a gift to give me?! To waste a whole day watching a sport they aren’t familar with, a long boring day, just to encourage me through 3 attempts on the bar…who in the world is luckier than I am?
So I guess I still haven’t learned to quit. But I have learned tonbe open to people. I have learned to say “yes, if you want to support me, I could use the help”. And slowly, though I miss who we should have been, I’m learning to let go of those who don’t.