Fit, strong and able. That’s what I want to feel. I used to feel that, I used to be that, now I have started the long journey to become fit, strong and able again. I have joined a gym (ladies only of course, it is the Sandpit). But, looking at the long and arduous journey in front of me feels strangely good. It is giving me a focus, stopping me obsessing over ovulation, Cacia, suspicious periods (is it a miscarriage?!), Asherman’s, Tyrant, my marriage, living in constant limbo in the Sandpit, compounds (as in which can we live on). I have a challenge, a mental and physical challenge that I need to battle for and commit to, and that feels good. Trust me, some days are hard but that is part of the battle. It is a battle that I am relishing, because it is a battle I can win and that I recognise, a return to a life pre-Cacia. I feel like all the anger, frustration, emotional turmoil that weighs me down is being shadow punched, weight lifted, spinned and circuited out of me and I feel lighter, emotionally, not physically (yet!).
It is only now, that I really understand how much emotional weight I carry around. On days when I don’t go to the gym I feel tired, a bit down, unenergised, everything feels that bit more forced rather than easy, I find myself focusing on some of the harder parts of my life and unable to see solutions. After the gym, I feel energised, tired, lighter, happier and ready for the rest of the day, I find it easier to find solutions, it is much less forced and more natural.
In all, joining the gym and getting my large behind back into classes has been great, but I don’t wish I had done it earlier. I wasn’t ready earlier. Up until recently, and sometimes even now, I wanted to be alone. I didn’t want to be in any situation where I had to be social, or answer questions about my life because I didn’t want to have to decide whether to acknowledge Cacia or not. I didn’t avoid all social environments, impossible with a toddler, but for some reason a gym class was an environment I wasn’t ready for. I wanted to run (more like stumble jog) alone, with my music, and not communicate with anyone. I didn’t want to have space to think or breathe, so I had my music up loud and pushed myself hard, alone.
But eventually I stopped wanting to run alone and work out alone, I found myself unmotivated and consequently my down days were increasing, instead of continuing to decrease. I realised I was pining after a social setting, specifically the group workout. I was ready to start back into another area of life that I had alway enjoyed, the social environment that a group work out provides.
For as long as I can remember, I have been active and participated in groups work outs and team sports. I always hated running alone, always preferring to run with a friend, and always chose circuits, spinning, any group work out over running! For me a group workout is social, I love the camaraderie you feel with those you work out with, the sense of accomplishment you share with everyone when it is completed. Until recently I hadn’t missed it, I was ok with being alone, until I wasn’t.
Now, I am ready to work out in a social setting because I want to, because I have decided I need to get back to feeling fit, strong and able. But the reality is now, unlike before, I never have to decide whether to acknowledge Cacia, if I am asked ‘That Question’ I am bold and proud to talk of my second daughter. Now, I rarely have doubts about being in a social setting, I am confident in who and what I am. I am a mother to two girls, Tyrant and Cacia. I am a mother to one living child and one stillborn child. What on earth can a social group work out class really throw at me that I can’t manage? The answer; nothing. I have no fear of answering ‘That Question,’ I have battled my way through this last year and have come to know who I am becoming. My return to the gym and group workouts feels as though another part of me, which has been missing since Cacia died, has returned. Slowly over this last year, the new me, post Cacia, has, and is still emerging. Some parts recognisable, some parts aren’t, this part is recognisable and is welcomed, for its returning me to a familiar world and kickstarting my journey to the land of fit, strong and able.