Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Crying for planks

Disclaimer: My words today may not be in usual chipper form, but it's a part of this journey that is important to share. I've been trying to be more honest during this process, as it's the only way healthy results are guaranteed. I promise to include more funnies next week. Until then, welcome to a more intimate part of me.

Last time I checked in, I was on a cloud nine of sorts, excited for what was to come!

Happy to report I'm down over 8 pounds (wheee!), about 1/3 of what I need to lose to get to goal. It feels great! I've been working my ass off to get there, and it's nice when I stand on the scale to see that all the portion control, planks, and non-alcoholic choices have all been paying off.

That said, it's been one hell of a week.

In a nut shell, I called it quits with someone I was seeing, am on the cusp of losing a very dear friend over something I have no control over, had what appeared to be a terrible sinus clusterfuck all weekend, missed an annual poker game I had really been looking forward to due to said clusterfuck, and stepped in cat vomit this morning.

I mean, come on! Could it have been any worse?

The one thing that kept me sane, besides my dear confidants and TONS of deep breathing, was exercise. I was desperately looking forward to the challenge of Refine more than ever, looking for an outlet to release all these emotions that was swirling through my insides. I wanted to hold planks longer, up my weights when possible, and exhaust my quads until the burning alone kept my legs vibrating even after I had stopped moving them. I needed a release. A release that usually involved cheese fries, and/or crying. I refused to turn to calories for solace, and somehow, I had no desire to cry this week. No desire to feel anything.

Until this afternoon.

It all began while I was half way through my second refine class for the week. I was fully aware that in my first class yesterday evening, I was having trouble keeping my usual pace, partly because my lungs were congested, partly because I was unusually lightheaded. So ok, fine. Maybe I was still under the weather, but I refused to let some pansy sinus infection hold me back from taking class. But I wasn't prepared for the limitations my body threw at me yesterday. I was so mortified, that after class, I went up to Katie, the amazing Refine instructor, and apologized for not being able to give my all.

She looked at me like I was bat shit crazy and then gave me the warmest smile. "Claudia, you were fine. I love when you take class. You work so very hard." Suddenly I felt my lower chin quiver, my throat tighten up, and my already high-pitched voice rapidly soaring to "hamster mating-call" levels.

"K thanks Katie. Bye."---I ran out of there so fast, refusing to cry at Refine. I instantly thought of one of my favorite Tom Hanks moments:

There is no crying in Refine!

Until this afternoon.

I started feeling  dejavu moments all through class today, as I had to stop during lunges, planks, push ups, and jumping jacks, because spots were appearing again, and my breathing was challenging. I couldn't get oxygen in my mouth fast enough. I was beyond frustrated. I took a moment when the class continued on with side lunges, and took some water, and started to take deep breaths. We were finishing up the final set of jumping jacks when Laura announced the final component of the final circuit of the night:  elbow planks. Laura, another favorite instructor of mine,  is so encouraging, challenging, and thoughtful. She, just like Katie and Brynn, are the kind of instructors you WANT to work hard for, instructors you don't want to disappoint; that the idea of them catching you taking a break, modifying, or working in faulty form is beyong mortifying. They are wonderful.

Therefore, when Laura made the final direction to get into plank, I was on a mission to hold that 60 second plank with every ounce of strength that I had left. It turns out, though, that I probably had only 7 seconds of strength left. My legs gave out.

"&#*#^#$^$&#&^%$%"--Was what I mumbled, in Spanish no less, letting my frustration roll off my tongue in an aggresive haste. I took another deep breath and attempted more planking.

7 more seconds. Collapse.

My frustration was beginning to shoot through my arms and overwhelm my shoulder blades. I was pissed, but I simply could not give up.

"15 seconds, guys. Come on, you can do it. Your body is stronger than you think." Laura was not letting us give up.

I uploaded my exhausted and stubborn body into plank position and held. My core started to shake. Sweat started to drown my eyes, beads skiing down my sore biceps. A familiar failing feeling came creeping back. I was done.

"You got this, Claudia. You can do this. You are doing great. Don't. Give. Up." Laura's docile voice, with conviction, suddenly scared the option to quit out of my system. It was an option no more.

I held on.

"5, 4, 3, 2, 1."

My body crawled into child's pose. And, in an odd turn of effortless events, I began to cry. Right there, in a dim studio on the Upper West Side, drenched in sweat, in child's pose. Tears came down my face. All this frustration, emotion, pent up anger, sadness, and, well, the week, flooded out of my already soaked eye sockets. Lucky for me, because I was already drenched in sweat, nobody really could notice I was sobbing like a bitch.

But I took full notice.  Couldn't explain any of it at that moment. Just went with it.

On the train ride home, I thought about why I cried. I came up with a whole slew of reasons: my frustration for having to rest in between circuits, my anger at my body for being a douche (or in recovery. Whatever), the fact that a dear dear friend of mine is falling within my grasp and the idea of not having her in my life is down right tragic, the realization that people hurt others for no reason, the fact that I couldn't hold the fucking plank for 60 seconds.

Or. It could have been the cat puke.

Who knows.

What I do know is that tomorrow is a new day to keep trying. I'm grateful that I am getting healthier, that I am beginning to fit into some smaller clothes, that my booty is not quite apple-bottom, but there is definite pomegranate potential. And for this:

I'm also beyond grateful for Refine. Yes, it's so wonderful to flex and pose when I brush my teeth in the morning (and evening. and sometimes midday at work) so I can stare at my biceps in the mirror. But, it's also pretty amazing to be able to release all the bullshit of daily life, 3 times a week, in the form of a plank.

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