Part two of the saga I lovingly refer to as, “how I started to figure my shit out”. If you haven’t read part one yet, go do that now. I’ll be waiting right here when you’re done.
Originally posted Jan 24, 2013 – edited
Well, it happened. Biggest Loser contestant Pam was sent home this week. What? Why? How??? She came in THIRD in the 5k race! She and Danni Allen (White Team) crushed it all week. This made no sense at all. Pam was my beacon of light, the one I most identified with out of season 14’s group of contestants. Approximately my age, mouthy, full of piss and vinegar — and completely and utterly afraid of failure.
When she stood on that scale and saw her disappointing result on the screen behind her, my heart sank. It was as though I was up on that scale with her, sharing in her failure.
I recalled the challenges and fears I faced during my week at the Biggest Loser Resort; how, like Pam, I was the only thing standing in the way of my own success.
I shared some of what was going on in part one of this saga. What I haven’t shared (or even delved into myself) is the why. In part, I’m embarrassed to examine what was going on in my head to make me capable of self-sabotage. But, in even bigger part, I’m afraid. Afraid of giving new life to the crazy. Like maybe if I look at it, and talk about it, I’ll give it license to take over again.
I’m fighting hard against both the embarrassment and the fear because I know that I need to figure this shit out in order to learn and grow. To do that, a little more soul-baring is in order.
So here we go… [cue dramatic music]
Things went downhill for me very quickly during that first workout, the Monday morning assessment hike. I couldn’t understand why I was struggling so much with a hike that I knew I could readily do back home on my own. Looking back, there were clearly two issues at play:
- Physically: I did not listen to my own body. I knew, going in, that cardio endurance has always been an issue for me. I knew that taking frequent, but short, breaks would allow me the opportunity to slow my heart rate and carry on with the activity. Yet, inexplicably, despite all the tell-tale signs (racing heart, shortness of breath, inability to carry on a conversation), I chose not to stop. I chose to keep hiking; getting slower and slower, and more and more angry at myself with each step.
- Mentally: Inside my head I was absolutely listening to my body. I heard every word it screamed at me. Words like, I NEED A BREAK WOMAN! I knew I was in an anaerobic state, and therefore not burning fat (my primary goal for the week). I knew I was being stupid. And yet my mind never stopped my body from propelling forward. Why? Looking back now, I think it was because I was more worried about keeping up, about not being last, about not being worst.
I was more worried about those things than I was in actually achieving my goals.
Here I am, climbing ANOTHER goddamned hill, about 3/4 of the way through the hike.
I’m huffing, puffing, nearing heart failure… But, hey, at least there are a handful of people still behind me, so I’m not last.
Competitive Nancy at her best. Er, worst.
Holy shit. Someone call a shrink STAT, because mama’s clearly gone loco.
We interrupt this post to provide a quick, but important, aside; one which adds a bit more colour to my physical state.
This was my first time ever hiking with a camelbak. Camelbaks are wonderful hands-free water intake systems. Only one issue: Unlike a water bottle, I had no way of gauging how much water I was actually taking in. I got dehydrated. And it wasn’t pretty. The hiking guides informed me that my dehydration would manifest in flu-like symptoms, lasting for a couple of days. Those hiking guides know their stuff. Spot on, they were.
Monday afternoon brought with it back-to-back-to-back (that’s three) classes ranging from HIIT to kickboxing to cardio conditioning, along with my raging flu-like symptoms.
With each class I felt like a bigger failure. My energy level plummeted and my mind raced with thoughts of being last, slowest, weakest, worst.
We had 15 minute breaks in between each of the three classes. Just enough time to run back to my room to change into dry clothes, and to cry, in private. God forbid I should let anyone know I was struggling. Not me. Way too strong and independent for that. Way too competitive for that.
And with each quick trip to my room, and each bout of tears, I felt worse and worse about myself.
Okay, methinks that’s enough for today. I can only expose so much of my crazy in one sitting.
I’m a work-in-progress; please be patient with me. I promise to try to get as real as I can on this journey of self-discovery. I’ve got the heavy equipment at hand, and I’m ready to do some soul excavation.
To read part three in this series, click here. ‘
Til then… Keep moving!