Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Screw Assumptions and the People Who Make Them.

A judgement made without all relevant information.
This is one of the days when I have to consciously, forcefully, and repeatedly remind myself that I am on a journey; that I will reach my goals; that I am stronger and more fierce than critics can understand. I'll be honest. Some days it's hard enough to convince myself.

I'm really struggling with my shoulder. No matter what I'm doing in the gym, my shoulder joint is involved - whether I'm actually working it or not - when I set the weight on a machine, my joint is involved, when I reach for a weight plate or mat or ball - my shoulder is involved. When I reach for my toes in a stretch - yep, there's that shoulder. We don't realize how intertwined our body parts are until one is hurt.

I don't know if it's the cold snap (yeah, scoff all you want, but us thin-bloods think 40 degrees in the morning is downright nippy), or if it's the progressive work I'm doing, but my AC joint (and biceps bursitis and tendonitis) are raging. You ever drive down the road and put your left elbow up to rest on the window of the door? I can't. Trying to remove my workout top and sports bra would be comical if it didn't make me swear in three languages.

It feels like someone has driven a nail from the top of my shoulder straight down into the joint, then laid a hot brand across the top of the shoulder. Fun, right? lol. So as I'm struggling to deal with my own limitations while striving toward my goal (stage again), I often fight myself. Can I do one more rep (without landing in the hospital)? Yes? Do it. No? Let go and move on. Not easy for someone with slight controlling tendencies ;-)  Each gym session brings both success in finishing, and frustration in not being able to do more. I have weight envy. Lol. I watch others work and hurt that I can't do what I once did, that I can't move as easily and unconsciously as my fellow gym-rats. But I push on. I do what I can. Then I usually do a bit more, cuz I'm crazy like that.

Well.... this morning, dark and early, I'm fighting my inner battle. I've completed my super-sets of modified cable press/fly's, cable triceps push-backs, and cable shoulder rotations with pectoral emphasis - and moved over to the bench to do more triceps push-backs and skull-crushers. My shoulder is screaming. My triceps are fairly wasted. I'm frustrated but determined. With my ear-buds in and tunes pushing me on (thank you, Shinedown), I am bent over, doing my push-backs with a twist at the top (back?) using an 8 lb dumbbell. Would I like to be using a larger weight? Yes. Yes, I would. But I can't, so I use the weight I can while still working the muscle.

I see movement out of the corner of my eye, and look up to find an older gentleman standing in front of me. Thinking fleetingly that it's rude to interrupt someone's workout, I pull out one ear-bud to give him my attention, and he shoves two 12 lb pink dumbbells toward me and says (get this)...

"I thought I'd give you these. I want you to get in the best shape you can."


I must have stared blankly at him because he pushed them toward me again. I leaned my weight onto my thigh and said, "Thanks, but my shoulder can't handle that weight."  I put my ear-bud in and got back to work. He smirked at another guy, shrugged his shoulders and walked away.

I was pissed! And hurt. The voice of my former-fat-girl spoke up, saying that I must look really out of shape, I'm such a wussy. I squashed her pretty quick because I do have a mirror, and I've (for the most part) beat the body dysmorphia that haunted me for years after reaching goal weight (even after competing). But still. I hurt.

Screw this guy and his assumptions. He knew nothing about me, what I was doing, where I was going, what was going on inside me. But dammit if he didn't get to me. Frack! Over the years, I've developed a relatively thick skin when it comes to people in the gym. Mostly, we all just mind our own business, but every so often you get your know-it-all's with their smug criticisms. One thing I've learned is to not judge. Period. Unless someone is just being stupid (and wow, there've been some doozies!), I can't pass judgement on someone unless I know the whole story - maybe there's a reason that woman is only ever on the bike - like she's rehabbing something, or just starting out, or whatever. It's not up to me to criticize. And hello - maybe the reason this woman is using an 8 lb dumbbell instead of a 12 or 20 is because she's working with what she's got. Maybe instead of making an assumption, that guy could have simply appreciated that 8lb-dumbbell-woman was in the gym at all.

Ok, I guess I'm still wound up. I did finish my workout, then did my time on the stair-monster, stretched, came home, ate my breakfast... but dagnabbit, I'm still mad. And honestly, still hurt. So...

Screw Assumptions, and the People Who Make Them.

I'm going to go build an angry-workout playlist. And cuddle my dog. Nobody accepts you like a dog. ;-)

PS - I'd like to take that 12 lb pink dumbbell and whack him with it - no, wait... I'll use my 8 lb and really do some damage! Ha!


  1. Wow,Chelle. The nerve of some people. You handled that situation much better than I would have. He would have been walking funny from that 8 pound dumbbell being shoved you know where. Just keep on keeping on, my dear. Sounds like this guy is just not a fan of women in the gym and I'd bet if you had a 40-pound weight, he'd still be an ass about that, too. Where's Nicole Wilkins or Erin Stern when you need them, darn it?! You know what you can do and have done in the past - you’re a STRONG woman. Frack 'em all I say!

  2. you are such an inspriration Chelle! What a total idiot that guy is! You hang in are truly amazing...most people would have just given up with the weights, but you are determined and therefore inspire so many of us! Kelly

    1. Thank you Kelly! Ya'll have no idea how very much YOU inspire ME. Thanks for your kindness!

  3. Some people have more balls than brains! for those of us who know your journey i can say for myself you continually inspire me and make me realize i could be trying a lot harder than i am! He's a dumb ass!

    1. Hahah! You said it! more balls than brains. LOL.
      Thank you so much, I'm starting to calm down, and it really helps to have ya'll on my side. :-D

  4. Honestly I'm stunned that a man in the gym wanted you to lift heavier. I'm surprised he didn't give you 5's because he didn't want you to "bulk up"!

    Not that it wasn't jerkish - but amazing it went the opposite direction.....