On Monday night, I attended my Body Balance class with Kaz at YMCA Casey ARC in Narre Warren. Over the weekend, I’ve been dealing with a number of personal issues which have accumulated to the point of feeling emotionally shutdown. I feel very conflicted in how I want to proceed. The fact that I’ve always been a highly sensitive person who overthinks, doesn’t have a thick skin, gets easily upset and can’t handle criticism from others has lead me to this state of low mood and depression. I feel lonely and confused as to what people think about me.
So tonight is all about releasing these negative thoughts and feelings that no longer serve me and getting back to looking after myself. I feel like I’ve improved heaps especially with the Pilates section. I try to follow on and do the best I can even with my hips and core muscles burning. It just takes a lot of practice and doing what you’re capable of. Never give up.
Tonight we did the following exercises from Release 77: Tai-Chi Warmup (Overhead circles, bow and arrow), Sun Salutations (Forward fold, downward facing dog, plank, crocodile, baby cobra, low lunge, open twist), Standing Strength (Chair pose, tree pose, Warrior 3), Pilates (Table top, Bridge pose with pulses and bicycle, Criss-cross crunches, Side plank elbow to knee), Hamstring Stretches (Wide-legged forward fold, Staff pose) and Relaxation (Japanese Garden guided meditation). http://w3.lesmills.com/israel/en/cl…
On Tuesday afternoon, I spent some time with my Mum. After picking up my anti-depressants from the GP, Mum and I went to Cranbourne Park Shopping Centre to do some shopping. I could feel myself hitting rock bottom emotionally as things began to spill out of me. I was that depressed and low that I felt physically numb and empty just sitting at the table at Theobroma Chocolate Lounge Cranbourne. You can only keep that fake “everything’s fine” facade on for so long. I’m 31 years old and I have no idea what I’m doing with my life.
So many things have been affecting me in a negative way like my lack of friends/social life, the relationship with my PT, not having the confidence or self-esteem to stand up for myself, being unable to find my dream career or work out my direction in life. I think that I’ve become way too comfortable living at home with my parents that the prospect of moving out seems overwhelming and unbearable.
On Tuesday night, I attended my Body Combat class with Cinamon Guerin at YMCA Casey ARC in Narre Warren. It was pretty obvious during tonight’s class that I was struggling to keep up more than usual and I also had to take slightly longer rest breaks from tracks. I honestly wasn’t surprised considering how mentally and emotionally overloaded I’ve been over the last few days so I really need to cut myself some slack. The fact that I was still participating, still working hard, still doing the best I can and still walking out dripping in sweat should be something to celebrate and be proud of.
I had a great chat with Cinamon after the class and really opened up to her about how I’ve been feeling. It really needed to unload everything that’s been weighing me down lately. I’m so glad that Cinamon has a sympathetic and non-judgemental ear and can understand what I’m going through. Some people don’t get mental illness no matter how hard you try to explain it to them and that’s something I just have to accept. https://www.lesmills.com/workouts/f…
On Wednesday, I had my Strength Training session with Luke Davey at Breakaway Fitness in Berwick. Today was a tremendously difficult day for me after weighing up everyone’s opinions and advice on whether I should stay or should I go? Joel Perryman provided a welcome distraction by doing a brief interview with me about why I started training for UFT PLAYgrounds. I was also reading a chapter on “The Power of Self-Acceptance” from Dr. Russ Harris’ book The Confidence Gap. Kind of appropriate for me right now.
I don’t think I was fully prepared for the difficult conversation that was about to unfold between Luke and myself. It was time to take off the “everything’s fine” mask and get real about what’s been on my mind. I was physically shaking and feeling nauseous just listening to what Luke had to say to me. It was tough hearing those harsh truths it because I can’t seem to handle criticism of any sort. I do take a lot of things to heart, misinterpret things people say to me and get myself upset unnecessarily. I’ve just always been a highly sensitive person and I have to accept that.
Whilst part of me wanted to storm out of there and never return, I decided to do the mature thing, sit with the negative emotions, process what Luke said to me and try to learn and grow from this experience. I’m tired of running away from my problems. At times like these, I think that it’s really important to remember all the positive qualities that Luke possesses (He only wants the best for me. He wants me to improve in all aspects of my physical and mental health. He is friendly, encouraging and motivating). I’m holding onto hope that things will get better.
WARM-UP…I started the session by doing several yoga pose holds including camel pose, lizard pose and cobra pose. This was mentally tough for me as I was still feel like shit about what happened over the last few days. But continuing to beat myself up and calling myself a terrible person is not a productive way of dealing with this. I made mistakes. I took things Luke said to me the wrong way. Does that make me a terrible person? No, I don’t think so.
DEVELOPMENT…Somehow I managed to redeem myself here and explode out of that depressed, miserable mindset that I put myself in. I put the cards on the table and continued to open up to Luke which really helped me feel better. Today I did 5 rounds of 8 reps front squats at 50kg. Instantly my mind protested “Oh shit! Not front squats again. Remember what happened last time?” But I told my brain to shush and pushed myself through it.
I was pleasantly surprised at how well I was doing those front squats today. Despite my left wrist hurting, I still managed to get my technique right: t-rex grip on the bar, elbows and chest lifted, bar sitting on the shoulders. My squat depth was generally pretty good though I did struggle at times and noticed my heels lifted up a bit. But overall I walked away feeling like I did a really good job today. I turned negatives into positives which is exactly what I was hoping for. Things can only go up from here as I continue to get stronger and better.
On Thursday night, I went and saw Blade Runner 2049 at Village Cinemas Fountain Gate. You’d think I’d be used to going to the movies by myself at my age (All by myself, don’t wanna be all by myself anymore…) but evidently I’m not. I did make a few attempts to round up a few friends to come along but they all pretty much failed. It’s always been a huge struggle for me. It’s both frustrating and depressing but the reality is that I can’t control people’s lives or how busy they are or whether they’ll come or not. All I can do is ask.
Still I decided to not dwell on it too much and just focus on enjoying the movie. I’ve been waiting 15 years for this sequel to come out so I’m not going to wait for someone to go with, I’m really not. I have to remind myself that there’s nothing wrong with doing activities by myself at all. It’s just an acceptance thing really. I brought my copy of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which is very appropriate considering that’s the source material for Blade Runner. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1856101…
On Friday morning, I had my second Strength Training session with Luke Davey at Breakaway Fitness in Berwick. I felt like I was in a better place today mentally and emotionally since I sorted things out with Luke on Wednesday. I was reading “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff…and It’s All Small Stuff” by Richard Carlson to help facilitate a positive mindset and give myself some gentle reminds before I started my session.
This part in particularly spoke volumes for me…”On the contrary, when you’re in a bad mood, life looks unbearably serious and difficult. You have very little perspective. You take things personally and often misinterpret those around you, as you impute malignant motives into their actions.” (p. 81). Yeah I took things the wrong way with Luke last week and realise now that his critique is not personal, but used to improve my technique, performance and abilities. He’s only trying to help me, not put me down or treat me like shit.
WARM-UP…This morning I started my doing 5 minutes on the balance board and then three rounds of the following: 8 leg curls with the resistance band, 8 single arm kettle bell lifts and 8 “hey boys”. I was struggling a little getting my feet into the resistance band and almost getting myself tangled up in it but I decided to be patient and kind with myself instead of beating myself up like I usually do. I’m only human and overall, I did pretty well with these movements.
DEVELOPMENT…Today I did 5 rounds of 8 reps deadlifts at 77kg. As much as I kept trying to bury my frustration, it was continuing to pop up today as it took me many attempts to get my technique, form, movement and pace right. Plus the pain in my lower back and hips was annoying the hell out of me. There was the possibility of me breaking down over this but I told myself that “Take your time Michael. You can do this. I refuse to be defeated. I will not give up.” I took in all the advice and constructive criticism Luke was giving me and eventually I was getting it.
My biggest issue is keeping my shoulders pulled back and not hunching over the bar too much as well as touching the ground softly. But it’s certainly getting there. I may have been really breathless and fatigued by the end of my 5 sets but at least I got it done and gradually felt myself improve once I let go of that internal frustration. Like Luke said to me today, I just need to “relax” more. Easier said than done! Another big positive was my ability to get the plates on and off the bar. It’s getting better and I’m no longer being harsh with myself about how long it’s taking me. Progress is progress no matter how small.
WORKOUT…Today’s workout consisted of doing 3 rounds of the following: 200m row, 20 butterfly situps, 20 Russian twists and 10 hollow rocks. Even during my first round, I knew that the Russian twists were going to be my greatest challenge. I struggling to keep my balance, legs lifted and deal with the pain in my hips and lower back. But giving up never crossed my mind.
Every rep I got through with an achievement for me. That was my approach. Just get it done and I did. Luke recognised that my attitude towards this workout was much more positive compared to last week’s push-ups and I walked away feeling proud of that performance. Sure it was really difficult at times but I didn’t let it defeat me. That’s strength, resilience and determination right there.
On Friday afternoon, Mum and I visited the Dandenong Market. We bought some more flowers (yellow and dyed chrysanthemums), which are very cheap and better quality than the ones in the supermarket. We also bought some Christmas cards and fragrant soaps before having a bite to eat at the Cafe Marketto. The food here is always really good and decently priced. I ordered the Aussie Breakfast which consists of scrambled eggs on toast, mushrooms, spinach leaves and a rasher of bacon.
“Why am I like this? Trying to get my head stronger. My friends fucking hate me. My heart has grown cold and so lately. Everything I touch turns to stone and fades. And I feel a weight has lifted. And I feel the waves crash over me. Don’t lack or feel deflated. I found comfort in being free. Move forward keep your head up. You will find your home. Just don’t give into pain. Move forward there. And you will find your home. You’ll find your home. You’ll find your home.” Reside – Home (2017)