Welcome to a new series! I’m a gym owner and I’ve got thoughts. Lots of them. If you’ve ever had me coach a class of yours, you are probably rolling your eyes a bit right now. You probably know that I love Disney and musicals, that reading and peppermint bark bring me great joy. That I adore talking about my job and the work we do in the gym. You might know that I grew up homeschooled, which gives me my highly sophisticated sense of humor. Much like Olaf, I also look forward to warm hugs and getting to engage with people. And because I’m an introvert at heart, I really like going home and NOT engaging with people anymore.
But I’m here to share some thoughts that you might NOT know.
True confession: I don’t always like working out. I don’t know if that’s kosher to say, but some days it’s really tough. My mind is fried and my body doesn’t feel quite right. Endless Netflix is such a slippery slope. Sleep feels so good. It might be teetering into the depression side of things but I don’t truly know.
In my past, I’ve been known to be a pretty positive person. Again, if you’ve spent any time with me in the gym you probably have picked up on that. What I’ve learned in the last few years is that there are two sides to that positive trait. One is the side we all think about, encouraging others and silver linings and all that. When it’s taken too far, positivity can be a damaging thing. Because I don’t let myself, or others, feel the feelings they have. But I’m learning that the only way to get to the other side, means you have to go THROUGH the pain.
Inside Out (also a favorite movie of mine) illustrates this beautifully. Joy tries so hard to distract Bing Bong, to get his mind off of the terrible thing that just happened. But when Sadness empathizes with him – sits in the pain alongside him – true connection and healing is possible.
So I don’t want to pretend like I, as an owner, have it all together. I want to feel the tough. I want to practice saying the hard or uncomfortable things. I want to give others the freedom to say where they are struggling or frustrated.
There are often days I don’t like working out. And to date in the month of December I have worked out a grand total of 3 days in my gym (and two of them were this week). So it’s a vicious cycle of missing a workout and feeling bad about missing the workout. Then physically I have less energy, I’m a bit more cranky, and I tend to eat more junk to cheer myself up. Then the semi-depressed sleep and getting up the next morning still isn’t happening.
Intellectually … I KNOW. I know that going to the gym will help my physical body, which will help my mental state, which helps my relationships and process. After all, our 2nd value at the gym acknowledges this very topic. I know that I’ll end up having fun. I know that I’ll enjoy seeing my friends. I know I can adjust any movement that I need. I know I’ll feel accomplished. But knowing doesn’t always make the doing any easier.
If this is the situation you find yourself in, please know that I can empathize with you! I don’t have children at home so I have to try to imagine what this season would be like while trying to help them deal with this new life we are all living. But I can relate to work stress or missing family stress. I can relate to struggling with perfectionism, which makes something like the gym double tough.
If this is you, please reach out! I’d truly enjoy hearing from you. I’d love to hear more about how you view the world. Not to try to fix it or to blithely tell you that “it gets better”. But just to sit with you in the mess.