I went to the gym this morning… It took me six minutes of laying in bed and debating with myself but I eventually got up and went. I dilly dallied getting my clothes on and forgot to put my gym bag together last night so I only left the house at 4:55. I sped over the bridge and careened into the parking lot at 5:03 only to find that every other 5am gymgoer was standing outside. I got out of my car thinking that maybe they were waiting for some sort of special event bus to come and pick them up and that I would just slip past them into the building. Ya, no. The girl that opens the gym ended up coming at 5:28… 28 min late! It was damn cold outside and waiting outside for 30 min to do half a workout was a bit of a slap in the face.
Now, do I wish I’d stayed in bed? No. That’s a good sign, since normally I would say yes, had I known that this would happen, I would have just slept in.
What I realized as I was doing my 28 min on the elliptical was that this has stopped being ‘kill you hard’. I ramped up the resistance and crossramp on the thing for the 2nd half of my workout so that I wasn’t just coasting along, but I wasn’t counting down every second as wanting to vomit or die… that’s a good sign… right? I recovered quicker and felt better than any other day I’ve been to the gym in the last two weeks so I was very happy. Altho I would have been happier if I could have gone and treadmilled for a few min.
The one good thing about getting locked out of the gym at 5am is that because I chose to get out of bed this morning, chose to wait to get into the gym and then chose to work out as hard as I could for that measly 28 min, I felt part of a club. I chatted with the guys (cause I was the only girl there) and we commiserated about getting out of bed at that time, why we had to leave at a certain time (some of us have the science of am workouts down to the minute) and why this was ‘so stupid’. I missed being a part of a community like that. It’s a special group of people (my sister included.. of course it’s special!) who get up when everyone else is still snuggling and go put some sweat on the machines. I always liked being part of that group of people… and now I’m part of it again… It gives me a little bump up in drive and determination!
You’re no fun!
So it seems that my muscle memory for working out is coming back and with it, it’s bringing memories of other things. Like people being assholes about my personal changes. Now, I realize and learned this lesson many years ago that when YOU make changes, it’s your responsibility to help other people adapt. That seems weird to say right? Why do you have to manage other people’s reactions? Because it’s in your own best interest. When you make any sort of massive change, it rocks the boat of your world and those waves affect people around you. Normally I would say that everyone can deal with their own reactions to things outside their control but I know from experience that unless you want to just wash your life of all your friends and family that are feeling uncomfortable with the changes you’re making, you need to do a little management.
Of course by managing other people’s interaction with you, that doesn’t mean stop doing something for yourself because it makes others feel uncomfortable. But it does mean that you can help them adapt by adapting your own behavior to make the change less difficult for loved ones to deal with.
For instance, let’s pretend you’re getting married and your single friends are having a hard time dealing with it. You can help yourself by managing how the change is being presented. You can book girls nights, make sure that wedding talk doesn’t monopolize every single conversation and invite them to participate in a way that is both helpful to you and fulfilling for them etc… You’re not going to NOT get married because your single friends are upset but you can manage the change to make life easier for everyone, including yourself.
You're getting married??
Now, I’m not getting married, but the changes I’m making in my own life are starting to affect the people in my circle. I’m getting a lot of negativity and pushback from people I would have expected to be some of the biggest cheerleaders. And I’ve been declared un-fun for declining to go for cake and cookies and bottles of wine and beer. I’m still a lot of fun if you ask me but the ‘club’ I used to belong to (as opposed to the sports club I now belong to) is being shaken up. The security and security blanket of my participation being removed is rocking the boat big time!
People have other people in their lives for various reasons. Oftentimes it works for both parties. When one party changes the pieces around, the other party has now had a component of their life changed and sometimes removed. Often people do get over it in time and the change takes hold and the relationship evolves to continue to reward both parties.....but in reality, if you have friends who saw you only as a junk food eating, wine drinking, lazing about participant who potentially made them feel OK about that part of their own personality, it's possible that they will go elsewhere to fill their need for that. The part about managing this is the difficult thing. I don’t want to scrub clean my small circle of friends right off the bat without allowing a chance for the change to take hold and the relationship to evolve, so I will try to help them become more comfortable with the new me. What I will not do is work diligently on myself all the while consciously helping them adapt only to continue to get beaten up for it. A time will come when decisions have to be made about how people will fit into my new life.
There are few things I count on in life more than my relationship with my sister. I sent her a portion of this post that sounded like it was written by someone for whom English is their third language. She understood what I was trying to say and was able to put it into words. It’s incredibly comforting for me to know that she’s been down this road… I’ve been down this road in the past too, but I was young then and things important then are certainly not important now. She knows the hurdles and boulders that will be in my path and even tho I know I’m equipped to deal with them, having travelled this path before, she walked it more recently. I’m incredibly thankful for having someone in the world that can make my own thoughts sound coherent and who will cheer me on for every life circumstance, regardless if it potentially makes her feel uncomfortable for a minute. And I do the same for her!
Credit goes to my beautiful sister at FittyvsFatty for writing portions of the ‘You’re No Fun!’ section!
Semolina Cavatelli with Rabbit Ragu
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