true strength

For the first time in recent memory, I quit a workout before it was finished and went home.

I didn’t get enough sleep. My head was not in the right place for the heavy strong woman workout I was supposed to do today. I got a late start. I ran errands first. I was procrastinating. I did a really long warm up and stretching session. My mind of full of fear today and I could not shake it.

I’ve written before that my main goals for this strong woman training are…

  1. gain mass
  2. lose fear of pressing over my head, and let’s add…
  3. don’t get hurt

Notice that “win a strong woman competition” is NOT a goal? Because it’s not. This is NOT my passion. I like some of the exercises, but in general, I don’t look forward to these workouts. They are really hard and scary. Which is exactly why I wanted to do them.

But today, I was miserable.

Something that I’m learning about myself, that I suppose my hubby and my coach both know – I don’t respond well to positive thinking. I’m just too… something. Pragmatic? I cannot logically accept that I can lift a weight that I know is too heavy, no matter how I feel about it. So when very wonderful people try to encourage me, it backfires. When I don’t believe it, it’s just wishful thinking and it never works. And you know what? I really don’t give a sh#t what I’m expected to lift on Sept 21.  I had at least three people tell me to “go for it” today and I was not ready.  Some days, I’m in “beast mode” coming out of the gate locker room. But not usually. Most of the time, I start at a weight I can easily handle and increase it gradually. It’s more about building my confidence than building my strength. The inner dialogue is always the same…

This is a warm up set… This is heavier, but still a warm up set… OK. Let’s try last week’s max… OK. Let’s add 5 pounds – you won’t even notice 5 pounds… OK., now let’s add 10 pounds.

At some point, I fail. If I fail too soon, I’m pissed. However, I do pretty well attempting and failing one week, then nailing it the next. This is a normal cycle.

Last week, I failed to complete a set of log presses at 70 pounds. So today, I didn’t try. I did two three rep sets to warm up and then I did 4 one-rep sets. I was able to handle 75 pounds – not easily, but I did it. Two attempts at 80 pounds could not be pressed higher than my eyeballs.

But that was all the ‘heavy’ I had in me today. TMI ALERT! I pushed so hard on those last two attempts I wet myself. I had no change of clothes with me. And honestly – that was the last straw. I was tired, angry, hot, and unfocused. Game over.

G A M E.   O V E R.

Sent this text to Coach as I was walking to the car. (Please excuse my language.)


I cried in the car all the way home. So frustrated! I am serious about rethinking this decision, however, I believe a good night’s sleep will reset my brain and calm my fears. I’ve refused to try some exercises before and I’ve refused to do some ever again – like hand-stand pushups. All of this goes back to protecting my weak shoulder. It’s gotten a LOT stronger in the last year, but I still feel those little pings.

My mental game is lame.

Coach continued to text me today…


I got home and showered and ate.  I spent the afternoon in my beautiful ‘new’ home office writing blog posts and listening to Vivaldi.  My brain is calmer now.

I don’t recall being this fearful about my program since I was a newb. Maybe that’s because I’m a newb again.  At risk of sounding a little self-obsessed (wink, wink, Martha), I catch people watching me do these exercises and that just makes me feel more insure.  I think my form is OK, but I have to be honest – I don’t know for sure I’m doing them right and it feels like I’m in a fish bowl.  That could be my insecure imagination or it could be legit because I’m doing something so different than what I used to do.

Tomorrow morning, I will decide to either finish the workout I started today or go back to a bodybuilding routine. I suspect I will continue, but I also expect that I will need to make that same decision every week before the “heavy” workout. Constant cycle of recommitting.

I have collected a ton of pictures over the years. For days like today.

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