Day 30 of 365: a gym-induced awakening & why I’m so glad my suicide attempts failed

I’m at a point in my life where things that I would have previously considered negative are now beautiful.

While at the gym this evening, I felt pain in my knee quickly into my workout. Years ago, I would have been FURIOUS. At my body. At life. Injuries made me so angry.

And today I smiled. Truly.

I was like, “What a fucking cool opportunity. To be alive and in this body… This beautiful body that’s carried this expression of consciousness for 30 years. And what a privilege for this body to communicate to me through pain.”

I rubbed my knee and said “thank you,” and then stopped lower body exercises.

I complimented a woman on her physique and her response was, “You have a great shape; you just need to do cardio. If you want to be small.”

Even a year ago, that would have thrown me for a fucking loop.

WHAT. SOMEONE DOESN’T THINK I’M SMALL. SOMEONE IS TELLING ME I NEED TO EXERCISE. OHMIGOD HOW EMBARRASSING I MUST HIDE.

But today, I smiled. I thanked her for her opinion, and I even did some light cardio in addition to weights because I was like, Hey. I spoke to her for a reason. Maybe I’ll listen to what she had to say.

A year ago me would want to go to every person in the gym and say

HEY I KNOW I’M ONLY LIFTING 10 POUND WEIGHTS AND THAT I’M NOT AS BUFF AS YOU. IT’S JUST BECAUSE I WAS SICK FOR A WHILE AND THEN HAD SURGERY. HERE’S A PICTURE OF WHAT I USED TO LOOK LIKE.

But no. Today, I looked at myself in the mirror as I lifted weights. I noticed that I’m not yet as toned as I hope to be, and that’s okay.

I made eye contact with myself in the mirror and silently said, “You’re amazing. You’re in here, strengthening your muscles, free of old body image issues. You go, girl.”

I’m just grateful to be exercising. Before my surgery, I wasn’t able to do upper body strength training for, like, seven years. For the year right before my surgery I had such little energy that walking to the bathroom was a win.

I’m SO thankful to have the strength and energy and confidence to go to the gym and be surrounded by people with like 3% body fat. (Also. Let’s be real. When negative judgment is removed, those folks are hella’ inspiring.)

And I’m so thrilled to be strong again. Exercising is now about so much more than just looking how I think I “should” look. It’s about being kind to my body rather than punishing myself.

It’s a way I communicate love and appreciation to myself, and to this vessel.

I used to have panic attacks at gyms.

Today I had a mini-awakening.

You know that “I’m so cool I give no shits” look that people frequently sport in gyms? I used to be sooooooo good at that. And at sucking in my stomach and pushing my body way too hard in an effort to look cool, or something.

Today I decided to instead smile. Like a big ol’ “DON’T YOU WANNA KNOW WHY I’M SO FUCKIN’ HAPPY TO BE ALIVE” smile. And it felt amazing. Some people smiled back. Most people didn’t. And I sent all of them love.

While doing my cardio (gently because of my sweet knee), I looked around at all of the people in the gym. All different sizes and shapes and colors and hairs.

And all equally beautiful.

All deserving of love.

It feels so fucking good to say that, and even better to truly mean it.

Everyone experiences fear. Everyone is in there with thoughts and feelings and ORGANS THAT DO STUFF WITH FOOD AND BLOOD AND AIR AND THINGS.

What a fucking miracle it is to be a human, and to be blessed with the ability to move, think, feel, EAT, interact, and breathe.

I had this zoom-out moment while on the elliptical where I could physically feel the connectedness of everyone, on an energetic level. How we’re all spokes of the same wheel, so to speak.

Love is what connects us. And holy shit am I grateful that my suicide attempts didn’t work… Because now that I’m on the other side of it? I am blown away by the beauty of e v e r y t h i n g.

In 100% authentic gratitude that I feel tingling in my heart right now,

Jen

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Sometimes I write about happy things. Other times I write about sad things. Either way, there will be doodles.

2 thoughts on “Day 30 of 365: a gym-induced awakening & why I’m so glad my suicide attempts failed

  1. Jen, You’re reminding me of the quote from The Velveteen Rabbit talking about the beauty in becoming Real. You get more beautiful everyday.
    I look forward to more!
    Annie’s Mom

    Like

    1. I’ve never read it, and I just looked up quotes and clearly must read this book.

      “Real isn’t how you are made. It’s a thing that happens to you. Sometimes it hurts, but when you are Real you don’t mind being hurt. It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. Once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand. Once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

      Like

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