I had these crazy doubts after the shift in hormones over the course of a few months. I felt like I was held hostage by life for a moment while I struggled to regain my whole self again. It’s now safe to say I’m no longer tear-jerking myself over Grey Anatomy episodes or telling my Partner in Crime I want to marry him as soon as possible. I may be back to what I know as my normal self, the kind who does none of what I just mentioned.
Okay so my body’s chemistry threw me for a loop and for a long period of time I thought I would just continue getting fat while losing hard-earned muscle. I thought I would continue eating sugar and wanting to make out with Coke and Tang on a regular basis. I thought I would never be motivated to workout once more let alone find my inner beast to blaze me back up.
Then one night I said, “Fuck it!” and decided on Monday cardio, and on Tuesday I did even more cardio, except I refused to be a cardio bunny and leave the gym without caressing and groping the weights. Training arms seemed like a good place to start to see if I could get over my foolish uncertainties of being a weightlifter again.
I wrapped my hand around the dumbbell and performed a One-arm Overhead Tricep Extension and the motion flowed gracefully and every rep became about cherishing each contraction and cherishing the blood surging through my veins and cherishing the pleasant out-and-in-and-in-and-out body experience. Without a second thought I moved right into barbell bicep curls and lifted the weight passionately as everything I put my heart into.
All in all it came back to me like riding a bike and I couldn’t ask for anything else to accompany me in this moment. I became alive as day and any thought of pacing myself with exercises, equipment, reps or poundage went right out the gym entrance along with every one of my insecurities and qualms. I was back at my one true home!
From school I started to head straight to the gym and in my mind I’m in a dark corner in the center of the room because my ego places me there. I have an imaginary audience yet I tune out the real life folks all around me in the gym like an awful lecture coming from a married-in uncle who tried to molest me once upon of time by cold lust. I. Just. Tune. Everything. The. Fuck. Out.
The music that was blaring in my headphones suddenly vanished once I positioned my feet under the barbell square in the middle with a stance almost narrow. I make no fancy flailing or martial arm movements and I make no thunder roar like a powerlifter. I remain powerfully silent, looking at both sides from where the stained rings are on the barbell steel and with one hand over and the other hand under I roll the bar so it pushes the excess accumulated calluses towards the rest of my palm so it fits snugly to one side and won’t rip open.
I look straight at the mirror but I don’t even see myself in it. I can see clothes. I can see broad shoulders. I can feel glorious energy multiplying. But it’s time to get into that low squat and it’s time to pull the barbell up and on my shins, time to maintain focus to deadlift with my traps, lats and entire posterior chain on mental command so my body does exactly what I desire. I nail it. I nail it. I nail it. I nail it over and over and over again. I’m happy like a kid in a candy store like a woman who just achieved her first orgasm by the tongue of a man like a fat kid with a buffet of food. HAPPY!
At certain moments I pulled and held my breath and then I started to see myself in the mirror. I could see how ugly I look with a deadly mixture between being a woman, a man and a beast. I felt my abdominals cave in and tighten itself within as if I were about to get hit by a baseball bat and I continued pulling. During one of the reps I felt pain bordering by the side of my spine and my mind in quick fear blinked the word danger.
I felt my fingers fatigued and go into a frozen state while my forearm stiffened like I imagine a snake’s body would if it were to be lit by fire and around a tree bark or some human’s neck holding on for treasured life. I felt my body like this many times before trying to go against me by breaking form.
And all I know is this is how I feel like when I’m all up in Kanye West’s song when he says, “I’m in it and I can’t get out” except he’s talking about orgasms and the lovely things that come along with sex. However that’s exactly how I feel.
I’m in it and I can’t get out of the gym because it’s my strength and my therapy. It’s my happy place, my go-to home! The gym is where I go to deal and/or get rid of my doubts and concerns. The gym is the place where I continue to forge my character. The gym gives me my sanity back. It’s my constant haven, not to mention it’s an orgasm away from an actual orgasm.