I like to lift weights. Strength Training. I’ve actually grown to like it very much. As my technique has improved, so has my confidence in pushing myself further. But sometimes, my mind blocks my progress. The simple action of lifting the weight is affected by the simple notion that I can’t do it.
And then I can’t. Well, I guess the more accurate term is that I won’t.
I am by no means a bodybuilder and all you have to do to figure out the laxness of my routine is to scroll back through my posts and count how often I refer to red wine, cigarettes and poutine. It’s also a time of year when some of my favorite activities include watching various series revolving around the exploits of Sherlock Holmes and reading Craigslist Missed Connections. The winter is dragging on with little sign of spring, so I guess I’ve taken a strong interest in sleuthing and general nosiness. And poutine.
But I lift the weights.
The other day, I experienced something that happens to me once every couple of months. I was doing a bench press and as I pushed the weight away from me, I thought about it falling on my face. Specifically, my arms turning to Jello and the weight just slamming down from above me.
I have an inside retainer and have had all sorts of dental work done. And I adore going to the dentist. Even after braces. Maybe because I was so happy to get braces. So excited to have nice teeth. My sister accidentally knocked my front teeth out with a piece of wood during a pseudo softball game when I was 5. She warned me to back up. But I didn’t want to be that far away. I can still remember the numbness and the calm and the taste of blood. Gross but true. I can taste it.
I think these are reasons that I have nightmares that my teeth fall out.
And daydreams that something will drive them out.
As I said, this worry comes to me every few months. But this time, I couldn’t disspell it. I couldn’t rationalize it away. My trainer spotted me and supported me and I kept going. I was proud that I persevered but disappointed that I’d allowed it to regulate me. It kept me safe. It made me just ‘get through it’, rather than drive it.
We are so very powerful. Our minds are so complex and amazing.
I used to have another fear. This fear also came to me every few months, and not while bench pressing. This fear would visit while walking down the stairs on the North East corner of Dufferin and Bloor, down to the Subway. I lived nearby for years, so I went down those stairs a lot, but every once and a while I would be presented with a thought.
What if I forget how to do this?
This. Walking down the stairs.
If you think about the action of walking down stairs, it is actually terrifying. A combination of suspension and balance that requires timing and elegance. True elegance. Scientific precision.
What if I forget how?
I don’t. I don’t forget. My innate commitment to preserve myself keeps me going. I have fallen down stairs before. Being careless or tripping. And although that action was frightful, it’s pretty amazing how my body and mind cooperated to help me regain my balance or fall as safely as possible.
The power of perspective. And trust.
This is a video that a friend shared the other day. It has some interesting points on perspective. And it’s also just pretty damn cool. It made me think of being a little girl and going for long drives. I would turn in my seat and sit cross-legged, much to my parents chagrin, favouring the view behind than the one ahead. I imagine these astronauts in my Dad’s red Ford Escort, chugging down the road.