Breath, When Life Hits You Hard, Take a Breath
I’m writing this post feeling like I just got gut-punched. This week, I got the news that my older brother is going to be facing a serious illness. I woke up feeling sad, scared, and lost, so I was grateful for the distraction when it was time to lace up my shoes and head out to Vertex for my workout. I needed to take a breath from what is going on.
Dwayne and I usually chat a bit while we go through my workout together, but this week I just didn’t have anything to say. I told him what was going on, and we got to work. I was sure I wasn’t going to have much to give this week. The last time I went through a workout while I was all up in my emotions, I barely got through it and ended up hyperventilating on the leg press. I was determined that that wasn’t going to happen again, but I didn’t know how much focus and effort I had left to bring to the table. After hearing the bad news, and with the subsequent endless calls and texts and hospital updates and arrangements, I’ve just felt hollow.
But as I started my workout, instead of panic, I found some peace. All the stress and grief of the last three days seemed to fade into the background for a while as I got onto the first machine, focused my breathing, and just brought my body through the motions that I’ve been taught. I focused harder than ever on keeping my breathing calm and not letting the pressure build up in my chest while I target the different muscle groups. Having this to focus on gave me something to grab on to.
I’ve never done this before and will never do it again, but I got a call in the middle of my workout and took it, in case there was news from the hospital. It was my younger brother, just looking to vent and for some support. I DO NOT recommend attempting to hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear while on the leg extension–I realized after a few seconds that I was going to pull something, and after making sure my brother was all right, I ended the call and got back to work. It’s crazy how a momentary distraction can break your focus. Still, I’m glad I was able to be there for my brother when he needed me.
By the time I hit the leg press machine, I felt like I was running on fumes. I focused up, and did a few reps properly, but the fatigue got the better of me. By the time Dwayne told me it was time to do two more, I banged out what had to have been two of the wussiest presses known to exercise science. But, you know what? I did them. I can work on better leg press form next week. This week, I’m just grateful to be getting though day by day, and I’m grateful that my workout could provide a few minutes of much needed peace and clarity.