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Rough Day Ruminations October 6, 2010

Posted by KG in Etc..
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It’s Wednesday after work.  I’m at the gym, standing next to the squat rack.  For the last few weeks, my right leg has been touch and go, limiting my exercise and consequently challenging my sanity.  Trying to get back to some sort of physical normal is a long way away.  Right now I’m just hoping to be able to squat half my previous max with no pain.  The lowering of my limits — on top of the inability to run without being hobbled for days — is starting to drive me mad.

On top of that: it’s been a bad day.  I’m feeling unproductive and out of the loop.   And I just heard that somehow actions I intended as honest attempts to be helpful have been completely misinterpreted.  Normally I’d manage the frustration by, surprise surprise, pushing myself to my physical limits at the gym.  The endorphin rush and self-focus needed to do so has, for the last few years, been my pressure valve.  With the bum leg, that valve’s been hard to find.

So I’m at the rack, wallowing in self-pity.  Nothing’s going right, and I’m convinced — in the pit of my own making — that my career is toast.   By happenstance, I look left.  There stands a guy I’ve seen a few times, wearing a sweatshirt that says “blind lifter.”  He’s racking weights with ease, and also not being shy to ask for a hand from those around him.  He’s smiling and laughing as he walks, with his hand on the shoulder of a trainer to get around that maze of a gym.   He’s happy.  (He’s also in damn good shape.)

He reminds me of a time that was, well, way worse than today’s minor bump.  A few years ago I hit a point where I couldn’t find a way on my own to get out of the pit, to pick myself up and dust myself off.  The only thing that worked then was getting humble and asking for help.  It worked better than I ever thought, so well that somehow I lost track of that experience.  So well that I re-convinced myself I could go it on my own.

I’m nowhere near as down as I was a few years ago.  But I’m probably the closest I’ve been since, for reasons totally different.   Fortunately the lessons remain the same.  It’s hard to ask for help, but the risks are worth the reward.

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