Struggles With Exercise & Fear
I have had exercise induced asthma my entire life and when I get a cold it stops me in my tracks. I cough so bad that I become scared to move for fear of aggravating it. As someone in recovery who has given up any external chemicals for stress release, exercise is a critical piece of my life. A good workout releases the same chemicals that make us feel good from drinking or drug use. Well, due to the cough, it had basically been a month since my last workout. Here is the deal, I could have done more yoga, I could have lifted weights, but I still struggle with all or nothing, black or white behavior. Regardless of what I should have done, the fact of the matter is I didn’t, and then became faced with the “Getting Started Again” dilemma, as I have been so many times in my life. What I have come to realize is that in the Getting Started phase, I morph back into a young girl, probably about 13 years old who is terrified of letting any of her coaches down. I remember being taken off the field at 14 in the softball world series for dropping a ball. I can’t even count the times I had been yelled at or berated by a coach in all my years playing sports. I was on my way to a new kickboxing class today for day one and the good old motor in my head started up with a vengeance. “Maybe I can start tomorrow”, If I don’t like the vibe there I won’t go back”, “I’m walking 3 miles today isn’t that enough?”. I can’t tell you how close I was to skipping class. But I know better these days. FEAR for me means F#!k Everything And Run, and I am a runner. What I know now is that every day I continue to run, and this applies to anything in life, the more difficult it becomes to get back to where I started. I went into that class today, and the woman at the front desk was rude, I was terrified everyone was in better shape than me, and I was scared I looked stupid, but I smiled and I finished the class. It makes me sad when I think of that little girl who is still playing small in some ways and is scared to push through her fears entirely. It makes me sad that a collegiate athlete could still have so many horrible things to say to herself when it comes to fitness. But now I work on progress and not perfection and that means I address myself with firm compassion. Feelings are not facts. It’s completely ok to be scared, but it’s not ok to run. There is no excuse at this point in the game. Every second I deny myself the opportunity to face a fear I am chipping away at my self worth and digging a great big hole in my self esteem. Now I am good to go back to working out instead of making it two months, or even three of avoiding it. Just remember, as Jack Canfield says, everything you want is on the other side of fear!!!
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Danielle, the Founder & Master Coach of RealYou Revolution, is a woman in long term recovery with a passion for helping others overcome their own personal demons – whatever they may be.