“But this time…
…I do want him to go down in the fourth.
And I DO mean it, this time.” -‘BrickTop’ in the movie “Snatch”
TODAY it began in earnest. We left for our trip out west somewhere around April 15th, returned somewhere around the 25th and I’ve been to precisely two (2) workout sessions from then til this morning. That’s almost a month. One month is more than enough time to re-animate all the latent laziness and idling lard-assedness in my system. One month of crappy food. One month of getting sweetened up shit-laden coffee as opposed to the standard black fare. One month of the jump rope in the rolled up position and the gut in the horizontal extension mode. It’s as though I’ve gone back beyond square one and am now looking upwards out of this hole wondering just how the hell did THAT happen?
Here’s the thing about gyms: I hate ’em. Even the highly-touted CrossFit Springfield intimidates and annoys me at times, and this is because I feel so far behind the 8-ball that the path of surrender seems much more inviting. Give in. Order some Sesame Chicken and a gallon of beer and talk about how you might’ve turned out, if only. Slip the belt out a notch and begin to justify the acquisition of multiple chins. What the hell, grow a goatee like every other man out here over thirty in an attempt to cover up said chins. I watch people get stronger and faster at the gym and I remain annoyed at my u-shaped biceps and catastrophic wheezing sessions. Here are three reasons I feel behind said 8-ball:
You know about “Ryan” aka ThunderChicken.(no? well there’s a post here and here to catch you up. ) The other two are owner/trainers of our CrossFit gym and yes, this is how they go about their daily lives. These boys mean business. It’s amazing to watch the transformations these people can inspire in others who work out there. I am not one of those people who has had an amazing transformation, and I blame no one but me. I’ll see a little drop in weight or belt size, get cocky and wipe out 32 Guinnesses to congratulate myself. This does not lend itself to being in the kind of shape these guys are sporting. In fact, a more accurate picture of the look I’m cultivating goes a little something like this:
And deep down, I’ve been in a superfunk for the last three weeks. Not super-funky ala Rick James, I mean SuperFunk as in bummed and I can’t nail down why. Family is good, friends are fine, life’s trucking by at a reasonable pace. And then, this morning it hit me:
I’ve been missing the pain.
I’ve been missing the self-inflicted humiliation.
I’m depressed about avoiding the place that depresses me.
So I went in, and I wish I could say I suffered greatly. I wish I could say I was putting up weights that would make lesser men quiver in fear. The reality is nowhere near that. In actuality, I lifted barely above the weight of three pints of Guinness, and I gotta be honest, it felt great. It was pitiful enough that G (pictured above) made sure to mention: “Well, Uli, sometimes less is more, I guess”. So nice of him to try and find the positive – he’s a great coach, and well intentioned and all, but the truth is, I welcome the humiliation. Feeling like I have nowhere to go but up is somewhat inspirational. It’s as though each day I’m starting anew, like my body has low-grade Alzheimer’s. And I’ve been missing that feeling.
So today I started at the gym. And I do mean it, this time.
Great post, Uli. Glad to have you back!
thanks, Sarah. I achingly acknowledge it’s great to be back in the “box”. I’m sure my inconsistent attendance schedule will collide with yours at one point, and then you can take the opportunity to laugh at me in person!
Oh, how I so relate to everything you wrote.
good to hear I’m not the only one, Gene. That makes the shame a little easier to handle. But just a little.
Always love reading your posts. You may not have the fitness gene (I know I don’t!) but you do know how to express what most of us feel. And I think the important thing is we get out there and try. Most people don’t even do that much. We may not look great doing it, we may not be able to lift a lot, but dadgumit we try. I have a hard time with those who say don’t use the word “can’t”…truth be told there’s a lot of things I can’t do…I’m perfectly fine with that…but I can try. And should by some miracle I actually hear a trainer yell out “nice form” or “there you go, you got it!” then all the better.
it’s like we have the same workout credo, Eric. That’s why I keep on staying motivated to go there: others are suffering collectively, so it must be good for you.