Real Talk: Don’t Forget to Breathe | (My Fitness Journey – Vertex Fitness Diary 15)
I’m going to be real with you all. Today was one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done. I lost my cat this week, and after a string of other bad news, I struggled to focus on my workout at all. I was hoping that my workout would be the head-clearing experience I needed, but I couldn’t get out of my own head. My take away lesson: don’t forget to breathe.
Focusing to just breathe was getting me through, because I honestly felt on the verge of tears the whole time. My form was a sloppy mess, and Dwayne was correcting me nearly constantly to try to get me back on track, with mixed success. When I was on the second to last leg exercise, I thought, “Great! I haven’t cried like a fool in front of anyone yet. Just the leg press left, and who can honestly think about anything else when they’re doing the leg press?” Turns out, me. The weights felt heavier, I felt unbalanced and in poor form, and while I struggled to correct and contract at the hips I felt everything unraveling faster than I could put it back together. I started breathing harder and harder, struggling to compensate and keep the weight moving and get myself closer to the end rep by rep. Soon, I was struggling to breathe at all, feeling like there was a heavy weight on my chest keeping my lungs from expanding fully, and I could hear a wheeze. I mercifully finished the last rep with a groan that sounded like I was giving birth, and relaxed my legs and back, feeling the instense burn.
But my breathing didn’t slow down. Instead, it sped up. The wheeze got louder, and I recognized the signs of hyperventilation. I felt a strange panic rising that I knew was because of my breathing, not the other way around. I know that the cure for hyperventilation is to just force yourself to breathe slower, so I struggled to get myself together and get my breathing under control. My husband does workouts here at Vertex Fitness as well, and I’d heard him go through the same thing on the leg press. It’s partially due to his sports-induced asthma, and partially due to mental barriers surrounding the leg press. This was the first time I’d actually experienced what he had been describing to me. I’m glad that I had Dwayne to talk me through the experience, because I imagine it would have been scary to go through while alone. It’s one more reason that I count on Vertex Fitness for my workouts, instead of taking a crap shoot by myself at the gym. Some weeks are harder than others, and some days you’re just going to need more support. The important thing, I think, is just to push through and know that the next week will be better.