I Needed Help at the Gym

This blog is an unusual one in that it starts with a 1-minute video (right below) and then finishes up as a traditional written note. I hope you enjoy the use of different media as I share some of my experience.

Meanwhile, two women had come to join the guy on the bench next to me. They were standing back to back with interlocked arms, alternately bending over each others back to stretch. I looked to the woman who was facing me and said, “Could you help me?” She was looking right at me but she didn’t move. I repeated myself, this time more loudly. I realized later that she hadn’t moved because she was being held in place by her partner. Finally she unlocked her arms and came right behind me to help me push the bar up. PHEW!

I sat up and expressed my extreme gratitude to her. I felt so fortunate that she was there and came to my rescue.

Then I immediately got so choked up and almost cried a bucket of tears right there on the bench.

I had dealt with the stressor, which was the barbell. Now I was dealing with the stress. Yikes.

Crying can be a way for us to come down from the fight-or-flight response.  Having A Big Ol’ Cry is one of 7 ways to complete the cycle of stress so that it doesn’t linger inside us, according to Emily and Amelia Nagoski In Burnout: The Secret of Unlocking the Stress Cycle, a book I highly recommend.

Here is the complete list:

  1. Physical Activity
  2. Breathing
  3. Positive Social Interaction
  4. Laughter
  5. Affection
  6. A Big Ol’ Cry
  7. Creative Expression
I felt super emotional that whole day remembering and reflecting on other triggering moments.Then I reviewed my study of the Bench Press. (YouTube videos can be so helpful.) I knew not to use clips on the ends of the bar to keep the plates on for a Bench Press. If the bar gets stuck, you’re supposed to tip one end down and let the plates slide off. Unfortunately, I hadn’t remembered that in the heat of the moment.

After resting, I got right back on the horse and completed 2 more sets. The guy on the next bench generously spotted me for them.

Going forward, I’ve scaled back in weight and repetitions for this exercise.

My wish for you:

When you encounter something intense in your life, may you ask for help and find it too. 

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