Jessika the awkward gym girl
Damn I feel shitty, I have written many blogs about feeling shitty but, this one hits different because just three short weeks ago I was sharing about how I was walking confidently in the gym and now, I am feeling very small and insecure.
I thought I made progress with my gym judging and my ability to smile at the gym and make eye contact, I was really working hard…well I am not doing so well these days, I am walking around in this fog of vulnerability and weirdness. I am afraid of people. I cant make eye contact. I don't reach out to folks on social or otherwise. I am basically a hermit. When I feel like this, the walls go up and my seriously scary face goes on, I imagine I look pretty unapproachable. I am convinced that everyone around me can sense that I am weird as fuck and dont belong there. I show up anyway because I have been doing this for so long that now I dont know how not to.
My weird vulnerability morphed me into huge asshole today. I woke up and put on my comfy judger pants. They were at the top of my closet in a box but, I brought them back down. These are my favorite pants to wear when I feel shitty and, well, I feel like shit lately. I am raw, I am vulnerable and insecure and everyday, I go to this place, the gym, with these other people and I move around them with all of my awkwardness in tow. Did I mention that many of them look perfect? That's so much fun.
I arrive at the gym around 5am every morning, I see basically the same people, most days I dont notice anything going on around me, I dont make any eye contact for fear I would turn to stone. I pay attention only to my workout journal, my breath, my muscles and whatever issue I am working through in my mind that day. On shitty days however, I notice a whole lot, I compare myself to anyone who seems like they have their shit together. I think that's what makes the gym so scary, I bet many people are doing the exact same thing I am doing and maybe thats why the gym sucks for them, when I am in these spaces it sucks for me too. I am ready for a 3 hour nap after all of my mental wrestling, takes more of my energy than my deadlifts do.
I watch that girl, the one I wrote about a few blogs back, she is truly so lovely, she talks to everyone and smiles effortlessly, she truly adds to the 5am vibe. She truly seems comfortable being her, she isnt afraid of much or at least she doesnt appear to. I thought I was on my way to being the smiley girl too but, now I am walking around like a cross between Eyore and Napoleon Dynamite. I know that am looking at a highlight reel, she could feel like me inside some days. But, since the gym judger doesnt give enough of a shit to introduce reality, let's ride.
I identify with people who feel out of place and maybe have a really hard time going to a gym (I realize how weird that sounds). I identify with the confused humans, the humans who have been led down a crooked path to a house with a broken windows and a leaky roof in a very sketchy neighborhood, these are the folks I relate to. I have always felt like my transparency will help my people so I spill it. The people I write for need a little realness, okay here is some realness, when I am in the gym I feel shy and awkward, painfully awkward, like I am the last kid picked in gym class. I am most useful to these humans when I share my truth. Sometimes I feel shitty, really shitty. I know I am not alone in these feelings, everyone feels this way sometimes. My shitiness causes me to act in weird ways. Over the years I walk with the shitiness rather than grab a blanket and take a nap with it.
My school years were not comfortable years, I was such a weird kid. Some kids were stellar at sports, you know those fucking team captains. I was'nt them, I was the last kid picked, sometimes second to last but definitely among the least desired to have on a team. I hated sports, so naturally every monday (gym day) I would experience a very mysterious illness. I can still feel the panic arise in my throat when I think about gym, the scooters, the ropes the field, all of it. I felt awkward pretty much everywhere but, in gym class, it was highlighted. I can recall the feeling as I stood there waiting, trying to act like I wasn't totally mortified. I can feel that kickball sound deep in my soul. I realized this morning that I am awkward as fuck and I still feel very much like that kid in class. The gym, like gym class, really is the perfect stage for all insecurities. Ironically, It's also where I connect not only to my breath but my joy, sadness, fear, weirdness, ego and awkwardness.
I seem to be taking a few steps back after taking a few forward. It happens with training, recovery and its happening here. In the action of me spiraling backwards and wrestling with my gym judging I have discovered not only am I still sometimes the gym judger, I am also the incredibly awkward girl.