Stretch

Really Real Mental Health Post

I’ve been going to the gym for over 2 years now.  There have been some breaks during that time, but more often than not, the gym has been a major part of my life since Parker died.

The gym does far more than just keep me physically stronger and healthier, it’s a huge part of my mental health as well.

Yesterday Batwoman and I were stretching after working out and I realized, as we’re sprawled across mats, that we wouldn’t have been able to do that 2 years earlier.  Not physically, although, that too, but mentally.  We would have been too worried about standing out and being seen.  The two of us trying to be all flexi-bendy by ourselves on the side of the gym with other people working out around us.  We would worry that we were too inflexible or didn’t fit in or didn’t belong or didn’t. . . .something.   We’ve come a long way towards just doing what we want to do to get healthier and fuck what everyone else thinks.

I’ve come a long way.  The gym was a huge part of that for me.

The gym gave me a confidence I never had before.  Yeah, I’m still a big person, and I still take up space, but I know what my body can do that it could never do before.  I know that I’m capable, and I know that the people who look at me and only see my size have no idea that I’m more than this.  It sucks that often, we, as a society, don’t take into account what things someones brain is capable of when they have big bodies, but if I start talking about what I’ve physically done, suddenly my weight isn’t such a big deal to people who were fat shaming me moments before.

But the gym did give me the ability to say “Fuck the haters” because I knew I could do something, and stick with it, and I got the support of the people around me who cheered me on while I was doing it.  I learned to listen to my body and follow my own routine.  It’s made me both physically and mentally stronger.

I’m back to where I look forward to my time in the gym each day, and I’m looking for the next thing and the next thing to do while I’m there.  I’m wondering what new strengths I’m going to find and what new exercises I’m going to learn.

What am I going to learn about myself that has nothing to do with my body and everything to do with my mind?

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