This morning I attended a Cardio Muscle class at my gym. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew I was in trouble when, half way through the warm-up, I was exhausted. The instructor is 9 months pregnant and she was kicking-ass. Mine to be exact.
It was so easy for me to get frustrated with myself. “Damn I am SO out of shape, I didn’t know I was that bad”. Then there was the comparing myself to everyone else in the class and being uncomfortable in my body. I started to get really down on myself. Then I realized that this was my first time in a new class and the beginning of me trying to be active again. Why was I expecting myself to be able to keep up like I was some kind of Olympic athlete?
I remembered how my therapist gave me some insight on how I don’t allow myself a learning curve. I expect to get everything right away, and if I don’t, well then, I’m just flawed. According to her, being raised on survival mode doesn’t allow for a learning curve. There is no time to learn, it’s either sink or swim. Emotionally I was definitely raised on survival mode. I was always looking for some kind of acceptance and approval (as children do), but do not recall getting it. Whenever I look back on my childhood, I always get a sense of being invisible. So it makes sense that I was living in survival mode and just trying to get by emotionally with little to work with.
So I talked to that part of me that felt stupid and worthless, and told it that we were just starting a new class. If we kept at it we would get stronger and better and someday, be able to keep up with the class. The people around me that I was looking at weren’t examples of what I wasn’t, but rather examples of what I can be. “Cut yourself some slack, do your best, and keep at it. I mean, if I could make it through this class, the rest of the day is gravy”.