Tuesday, January 17, 2017

When the "happily ever after" fades....

What feels like an eternity ago, I wrote a blog post entitled "My CrossFit Story".  In that post I detailed all of the things good, bad, and ugly that had eventually led me to finding CrossFit.  That story ended with lots of warm fuzzies.  Me becoming stronger, both physically and mentally.  Me growing through CrossFit, gaining friends, and learning about myself.  Me hopping on a plane, running half marathons, and continuing to PR what felt like almost daily.  Me losing weight and finally liking myself for the first time in well, ever.  After writing that blog I felt as if I was destined to ride off into the sunset, as if I was destined to live "happily ever after".  But, alas, as with many things in life, life had other plans.

Some time long after that blog, I had to have surgery.  I couldn't walk for the better part of nearly 3 months, and then afterwards was so scared about blowing out my tendon I was almost afraid to do anything.  Amidst that, I quit my job and started a new one, my best friends moved away, and life just started to go downhill.  I wanted things to magically go back to the way they were, but for some reason, I couldn't make them.  I couldn't convince myself to go to the box 5 days a week, and I couldn't convince myself to be that happy, poppy, excited girl I used to be in my posts.  Sure, I wrote a pretty post about how 3 days a week was good for me, fit my lifestyle etc etc, but since that post, even just 3 days a week has been hard, and most often it's just 1 or 2.

Part of it is pride, and I'm having a very hard time overcoming it.  In my mind I keep replaying a list of all the things I used to be able to do.  I used to be able to deadlift 300.  I used to be able to do a sub 5 Fran.  I used to be able to consecutively do chest to bar pull-ups.  I used to be just a hair's breath away from the ever elusive muscle-up.  Going to the box now and watching people surpass me and watching them achieve all of their goals, just reminds me of how far away I am from the ones I used to have.  I want to be happy for them, they are truly great people, but in the back of my head is some sort of sick jealousy because they seem to have all the things that I don't.  Drive,  determination, dedication..... I don't know where those things went, or how to get them back, and I'm jealous of everyone who seems to have found theirs while mine is lacking.

I think another part of this, is fear.  Fear of being rejected because I am not who I used to be.   Fear of being labeled as a failure.... fear of exposing my weaknesses, and my sensitivity and sadness regarding this situation.... fear of never being able to get back to where I used to be. What if I am never again what I used to be? What if how I used to be, is not something I can ever achieve again?

Additionally, there is the embarrassment.  At the end of that CrossFit story post, I felt like I was in a movie.  Riding off into the great unknown, but although it was unknown, it seemed from all indications that whatever was coming was going to be great and awesome and amazing.  But, here we are, and it's not.  I'm embarrassed at the fact that I cannot do the things I once did.  I'm embarrassed at the fact that getting to the box 2 to 3 days a week is a struggle.  And I'm embarrassed that the girl who once loved and found peace with herself, has allowed herself to regain all the weight she lost, and fall right back down the rabbit hole of self-loathing.

This.... this existence is not the "happily ever after" I envisioned years ago when I wrote that post.  This embarrassment and unhappiness, this jealousy of those around me.  This was never where I wanted or intended to be.  So I think the question in my mind has become, what do we do when the "happily ever after" fades away? When anger replaces excitement when the alarm rings each day? When genuine pride and excitement for others is replaced by jealousy? When desire and determination are replaced by resignation and acceptance? Where do we go? How do we return to our former selves? Or if that is not possible, how do we move forward and find an alternate version of our self that we can love and be proud of? When the fairytale seems to have ended, what do we do?

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