My first step was to do what we all do…I joined a gym. Not just any gym, but the gym I’ve been a member of probably at least 20 prior times. This time I decided to up the ante. Instead of joining for one month to decide if it was going to be a waste of money, I joined for six months AND I signed the whole family up. Maybe that would help me stay motivated. And off I went. My first class was a weight lifting class. I purposely went VERY light on the weight, knowing if I didn’t, I would feel like a truck ran over me the next morning since it had been over a year since I had lifted weights. I’ve done this class many times so I knew what to expect, but I didn’t expect how much my body would fight it. It was painful as I did it but I made it through the class.
The next morning I did not feel like a truck ran over me, I felt like TWO trucks ran over me and then parked! I seriously couldn’t move. If you’ve ever been really sore after working out you know what I’m talking about it. There would be no squatting to pee, I could only use the handicap bathroom at work and that was only if my shaking arms didn’t give out trying to hold me up on the handicap rails. I went the long way everywhere to avoid all stairs and after trying to lift my arm to staple something on a bulletin board for about 5 minutes, I just gave up. I knew it was bad when I was waiting in line behind a 90 year old man and he dropped a dime. We both looked at each other and I thought, “Oh crap.” We both went for the dime (at the same pace I might add) and he beat me to it. I couldn’t get back up so he was kind enough to help me! The only place I could find any relief was in a hot bathtub. I was miserable.
That evening I went to sit down on the couch with my husband. After watching me for a quite some time try to sit without bending at all, he said to me, “You know you have to go back.” I ignored him. “You have to work through the pain. Once you work through the pain it won’t hurt any more or it will at least be bearable.” He was right (as usual)…and not just about the gym.
We tend to want to avoid painful situations and uncomfortable feelings. If we ignore it long enough, it will go away. But will it?
We certainly don’t want to revisit experiences that have hurt us, but until we do, we are never free of them and nothing changes. We can push them way down and pretend they don’t exist, but they will continue to eat away at us in all kinds of unhealthy ways.
Everyone I know is dealing with some kind of pain. There are times we never acknowledge our pain because we minimize it. Yes, we are hurting, but we know so many people who have it “worse than us” so we don’t feel entitled to feel our pain. And then we have other judging our pain, comparing their pain to ours, thereby making our pain seem trivial. I once read somewhere that the pain of the death of a loved one, the pain of the end of a relationship, and the pain of a child losing a teddy bear are no different. Pain is pain and no one should put limits on it or qualify it.
And then there are times it’s, well, just too painful. We just don’t feel like we can face it. So we look for answers in all the wrong places and the pain just multiplies. It’s not until we truly work through our pain in a healthy and productive way that we can be free of it. Being free does not mean we forget or we never feel sad, it just means we don’t let the pain control us anymore…it becomes bearable.
For those wondering, I did go back to the gym and my soreness is now the “good kind” of pain. I’ve been very consistent with this class because I know if I don’t continue to go, I’ll be right back where I started…in pain. And who wants to be there?!?