smackshack: a crude digital self-portrait (Default)
The [fitness] disclaimer in the subject is your clue to ignore me if you don't want hear stuff about diet, exercise, body image, and the like.

Today I took "Elements I" in CrossFit, which is another way of saying Help! A very nice young woman with a positive, helpful attitude is trying to kill me!

I feel the way I did when I first started taking karate as a teenager, coming home from workouts so keyed up that I felt on the verge of vomiting. (And I did vomit on more than one occasion because, being a teenager with poor impulse control, I ate too soon after the workout.) And this wasn't even the real workout. This was the introduction to how to work out workout. So I won't eat anything for a little while; I'll stick to having a glass of water.

At moments like these I see the immense practicality of medieval demonology. I have several demons in my head at the moment.

Demon #1:  You suck at this you big, fat piece of shit. Why did you ever think you could do this?

Demon #2:  You know she's lying, right? When the instructor says something nice like "Good form" or "You can do it" she's just mouthing empty platitudes so you'll finish and get the fuck out.

Demon #3:  See the way you feel now? It's never going to get better. You're going to suffer and suffer unless you give up. And if you give up you're a worthless big fat piece of shit, so I'll take a holiday and let Demon #1 take over kicking your ass. Wouldn't that be nice?

So while these voices are attacking me inside my head, I'm grateful for a poster in the lobby of the CrossFit studio. It says, "Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional." It's a very Buddhist sort of saying. Pain is a natural result of what happens to your body; suffering is a natural result of what's going on in your mind. You can't tell a muscle to stop hurting when you've tried and not quite managed to do the last few pull-ups, but (in theory) you can quiet the demons in your mind by being mindful of them, knowing where they come from, and knowing that what they say isn't true.

I sure hope it works.


smackshack: a crude digital self-portrait (Default)

June 2012



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