Fact: I have all my best Oprah “a-ha!” moments in spin class. I don’t know what this is, but every time my butt is on that bike, I get smacked in the face with the most awesome, profound, and obvious thoughts. That’s part of the reason why I say going to spin class is like my version of going to church. It’s a legit spiritual experience for me, one that opens me up to myself and helps me more positively and productively navigate my world.
This is my first week back in the gym since the end of November. Over a month away, and it shows. I’ve been feeling like a newbie, experiencing the same anxiety, going-to-throw-up nervousness that I did when I started there almost one year ago. I think it’s a combination of: 1. realizing that my fitness progress has basically been wiped out, and 2. a mental roadblock of not wanting people to think that I’m one of those people who are new to the gym as of January 1 (Resolutionaries, we’ll call them).
In light of that, I’ve been trying to exude as much confidence as possible, being purposeful in everything I do–from how hard I push myself on the machines/in class, to how I walk through locker room and open my combination lock. I don’t want people thinking I’m weak or that I’m some flash in the pan gym-joiner.
But between the oncoming monthly hell that is being a woman, this nagging cold and having been off the workout wagon for awhile, it’s definitely been a difficult transition back. My stamina is shot, and I can barely run. I feel gigantic, puffy, ugly, crazy insecure–worse than I did at my heaviest. I’m still sore from my weights class two days ago. These are all things I had successfully moved way past just a short month ago. But now I’m back here and it sucks.
Which is why last night’s “mass”, my first time back in the pew/on the bike since the end of November, was so powerful.
All off this doubt and insecurity, negativity and worry, was running over and over in my mind. I felt it rise up violently each time I caught myself in the mirror. And I was pissed. Why did I stop? Why was I back here again? I don’t want to know this gross person anymore! Why is she still here?
And then as it tends to do in my life, a song came on that changed everything.
All These Things That I’ve Done by The Killers. One line in particular replayed in my head over and over, long after I left class:
When you can’t hold on, hold on.
Yes! Over and over in life we give up. In all things big and small, we pump the brakes or sometimes even come to a screeching halt when we feel challenged or things appear too difficult to manage. But this year, and forever after, when those roadblocks pop up, I want to accelerate through them. When I feel like giving up, I want to push even harder. Stop over thinking, worrying, analyzing, doubting, and just do. Be. There just can’t be any other option than to keep going. Hold on.